Share This Episode
Cross Reference Radio Pastor Rick Gaston Logo

Pentecost (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
June 1, 2022 6:00 am

Pentecost (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1172 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

June 1, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
In Touch
Charles Stanley
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

When Paul prayed for the Colossians in Colossians chapter 1 verses 9 through 12, he wanted them to be filled, he wanted them to be righteous, he itemized these virtues, but he omitted tongues as though it weren't that important. When Paul was encouraging them, it would have been odd to leave out speaking in tongues if that was an essential sign of being filled with the Spirit when he's talking about being filled with the Spirit. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Acts.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick in Acts chapter 2 as he continues his message called Pentecost. 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 where, 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 first fruits required all male, 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 ones found by the temple on the temple grounds or close to 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. 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. But 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 and the crowds converging on, and then the sermon that comes, and so 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 would gather 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 righteous.

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 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, and 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. Now, 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. 2 Corinthians 5. Yeah, I love this. 2 Corinthians. It's such a heartfelt letter. You know, in 1 Corinthians, Paul's doing business.

The first nine chapters he spends cleaning up. Poor Paul, you know, you just want to hug him when you apply. I'm sorry I had to do that. Anyway, 2 Corinthians 5, verse 20, we are ambassadors for Christ, not diplomats, ambassadors. As though God were pleading through us, we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. You see, the tongue is producing this.

And that tongue is anointed. The human word, human speech, divine power, the author and finisher of our faith. 2 Corinthians 5, verse 11, knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.

How do you do that? Through preaching the word of God. Through telling the truth about God and the truth about men. It's a very simple message. Men is all messed up, God is not.

And then we just fill in the blanks. And that's witnessing. When you go to witness to people, you don't say, you know, things like, eschatologically speaking, I find that, I mean, they don't know that. They don't want to hear that.

They want to hear fact and truth come flowing out of somebody that has seen something that was there. No mention, incidentally, because we're on tongues and we're not. Tongues that were given to the church are not identical to what's going on here.

But I will make little comments on this as we move on. When Paul the apostle was converted and Ananias went to say, Paul, your sins are forgiven. The scales came off his eyes and he was filled with the Holy Spirit, we're told. There's no mention of him speaking in tongues. You can read that in Acts chapter nine. It's in other places, too, in Acts. We'll get to it three times going through Acts because that conversion is so powerful. A work of God, not a work of Paul. When Paul prayed for the Colossians in Colossians chapter one, verses nine through twelve, he wanted them to be filled, he wanted them to be righteous, he itemized these virtues, but he omitted tongues. As though it weren't that important.

When Paul was encouraging them, it would have been odd to leave out speaking in tongues if that was an essential sign of being filled with the Spirit when he's talking about being filled with the Spirit. So, I'll come back. I'll give it to you in doses because you just can't take one shot.

You got to get three and then boosters. It's a joke. It's funny. As a fire. Well, flames. I mean, there are degrees of fire. The flame of fire, a little flame, a pilot, you know, like on a gas furnace.

There's a little pilot there, so cute. But then there's a flame. And this is what they're seeing, these flaming tongues. There they go.

They were divided. It's not just this one little thing. It's moving here.

It's a metaphor. Luke chapter 12 verse 49, Jesus speaking, I came to send fire on earth and how I wish it were already kindled. He's pulling at the leash, you could say, chomping at the bit. You know, he wants to get the church in motion.

He's got to go through the death and the resurrection and the ascension and then Pentecost. Divided tongues. Plural.

Fire. Singular. Multiple tongues from one God.

That's the idea. It's one source. There are there are not many ways to heaven. For example, there's one way. All roads lead to Rome, but not all of them lead to heaven. There's only one to heaven, and that is Jesus Christ. The way, the truth and the life. Like it or not, take it or leave it. Fact, Jack.

That's how it is. Well, when we look at the Book of Kings, we're talking about fire right now. And there, Elijah has this duel with the false prophets of Baal and Ashtoreth. And Elijah says to them, you call on the name of your gods and I will call on the name of Yahweh and the God who answers by fire.

He is God. This ought to settle it. You would think that when they saw this happen on Mount Carmel, they would have converted and their lives would have been spared. Sort of a microcosm of judgment.

You know, you see the truth. You either convert or judgment. Of course, because Elijah then had the people slay the false prophets, which ended up being a contract out on his life.

Well, not really a contract, but an edict. Anyway, the God who answers by fire, the tongue, again, distinctly human. The fire is completely divine. God working with people.

Both can be hijacked in this sense. Heresy. A person uses the tongue to spread their heresy. False fire.

Nadab and Abihu. The beginning of a lesson there in the book of Leviticus, chapter 10. There can be those who say, I felt such a heat on my heart.

I know it was a spirit and be totally off base from scripture. Well, you go follow your heart and when you die, you can go answer to your chest. As for me, I want what the Lord wants. And it takes everything I've got to come close and without his mercy, I'd never make it. God was not in the wind with Elijah when Elijah does run from the death threats and he finally gets to the wilderness and he's hiding. And God is ministering to Elijah on one hand.

He's correcting him on another hand. So it's almost cute. I wouldn't want to trade places cute with Elijah, but it was almost in this sense, God says, all right, I'm going to pass by. And of course, it was the wind and God was not in the wind. It was the earthquake and God was not in the earthquake and the fire and God was not in the fire.

That's still small voice. And then God, of course, after getting Elijah's head back in the game, he says, no, that's what God did. I'm not clearing my throat. Actually, I have to do both. Elijah, by the way, you said you were the only one following me.

I've got 7,000 who haven't bowed the knee. And so, God does it later down in the interaction. He doesn't get to it right away. I would have been impatient.

I would have wanted to get that right away. Anyway, it's not an entertaining story. It can be entertaining.

It is a story, but it is true and it is available, albeit not as sensational necessarily. So these emblems of the tongue divided, the tongues divided and the fire, supernatural indicators of divine activity. Just God supernaturally saying, I'm here and you cannot duplicate this. You cannot leave where you are and go home and show your children, let me show you what happened to me today and the tongues of fire reappear over your head and it's not going to happen.

This is peculiar to this moment. The wind that first announced the coming of the Spirit, the wind pushes and the fire purges. These things belong to the emblem. If you take wind in the form of oxygen and you take fire in the form of acetylene, for example, or propane and you regulate them together and you push them out together, you have a torch. I mean, that thing will burn over 5,000 degrees hot.

And that's what you use to cut steel. And so looking at this, you know, the wind and the fire, you've got a lot of heat. And this is intentional. I want the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I want the fire and I want him to use my mouth. James, of course, goes the other direction, warning about the tongue being hijacked, as I mentioned earlier, and how easy it is for good Christian people to mess up everything with a snide or snarky little comment. And it happens too much, I'm told.

I've never done it myself, but I've heard about you people messing up. Anyway, that's how it would be if angels were entrusted with the gospel, right? But sinners are entrusted with the gospel and so we are in it together.

And largely we go through life spiritually feeling alone a lot of times, feeling that God is, you know, never leave me nor forsake me, but he must be way down the block because I don't sense his presence. And yet by faith we overcome hell. Without this fire, preaching would be man-made. That's the connection between the tongue and the fire. Without the fire, the tongue is just the tongue.

There's nothing more to it. But with this fire, this is something special. And so much so, when God wanted to grab Moses' attention the first time there on Mount Sinai, or Sinai if you prefer that pronunciation, he engulfed a bush with a flame and did not destroy the bush.

Fire is often used to depict the holy presence and his purifying work. Now we know Isaiah chapter 6. Now this is Isaiah, in the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. Uzziah was king for fifty-five, fifty-two years. I might be off a little bit, one or two, it's either five or two, it's two.

Can I get three? Alright, well it's fifty-two years. And he was a good king. And he died.

And that left a void in the heart of the prophet and the kingdom. And at that time, God manifest himself to the prophet Isaiah. And he says, I saw the Lord high and lifted up, trainer of his robe, we know the story. And then God says, who shall I send? I want a volunteer to send out to preach. And Isaiah raises his hand.

And I encourage you, that the world's thing is don't ever volunteer. That is not God's thing. Our God volunteered to come here for us, and he expects us to volunteer to be used by him based on what he did by coming here. Isaiah, okay, when are you going to get to Isaiah 6 right now? Then, after he says, I'll go, this is how you treat a pastor, then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live cold.

I would have been a little nervous at this point, hoping he'd stop on time, for instance. Anyway, having in his hand a live cold, which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. Now, if he can't touch them, what's he doing putting them on my lips? See, you know these little things in the scripture, right? He had taken with the tongs from the altar, and he touched my mouth with it. He said, behold, this has touched your lips, your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged. So we're talking about fire as the emblem, also for purging, that purifying work of God.

Here, the prophet Isaiah, his mouth, his lips, the tongue, the whole thing is being dealt with by God, using a seraphim in Isaiah's vision, prepping him from ministry. And then God sends him out to preach, and his message is not a happy seeker friendly message. And you know, my point is this, it is not seeker friendly to withhold the entire gospel from people.

It is not seeker friendly to skirt around telling people, you're a sinner. And if you don't fix it, you're going to go to hell. And the only way you can fix it is by accepting the fix. And this is the good news. The bad news is that if you opt out, well then God will lock you out.

And that's not what we want. So, back to this, it says here in verse 3, we're almost done here, and I got a bunch of ways to go. I'll fix this.

And one sat on each of them, none were missed, none were left out. We cannot have all the gifts, but we can have all the grace, and we can have it flow through us. But if you want grace to flow through you, get this straight, you're going to have to face who you are and who you are not, and you're going to have to face who God is and let Him be God.

It's going to take work. Nobody is just, well, you know, that's just a disposition. No, it's not. This is a spiritual thing. Grace is not carnal. It is not natural, not this grace. This is spiritual grace.

This is balance in faith. 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 / 2023-04-10 01:12:04 / 2023-04-10 01:21:33 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime