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Pentecost (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
June 2, 2022 6:00 am

Pentecost (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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June 2, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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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 it. No, it's not. This is a spiritual thing. Grace is not carnal. It is not natural, not this grace.

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 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 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 Mt. Carmel, they would have converted and their lives would have been spared. Sort of a microcosm of judgment. 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 the 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 a 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. It was that 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 in a way that'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, this 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. We know Isaiah chapter six. Now this is Isaiah. In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord.

Uzziah was king for 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? All right. 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 manifests himself to the prophet Isaiah. He says, I saw the Lord high and lifted up, train 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. I say, okay, when are you going to get to Isaiah six 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 the faith. This is the platform, the launch pad for all the virtues.

It's not the only one. I mean, you know, there's other ingredients like faith and truth and love and even hope. Because hope, without hope, when we fail, what would we hope in to recover from or how to recover? This is a new experience for these apostles.

What's going on here? They are being, see if I, so when you're preaching the gospel to unbelievers, you can say they were baptized in the spirit and you probably lost them. But if you say they were immersed in the spirit, that's what baptism means. You're immersing someone.

It's not a trickle. This is why John, whenever we see him baptizing, there's a lot of water there. It's when the Ethiopian eunuch said to Philip, there's water, what stops us?

And they went down into the water. There are exceptions. I mean, I wouldn't want to baptize an Eskimo in a fishing hole through the ice. That would be bad. Someone that's sick. There are exceptions because it's a symbol. A symbol.

A symbol is an emblem that has had a child with that symbol. Anyway, this, now, if you laugh, you're going to have to even laugh at other jokes too. You know, don't just take the ones you like.

Fake it if you have to. Anyway, it makes me feel good about myself. The mission that the apostles had is the mission that we have. Theirs and ours in the world is to make Jesus known by the tongue. I mean, don't mime the gospel. You shouldn't mime anything. Miming should be outlawed.

They just won't mime their own business. The tongue of praise, the tongue of prayer. The tongue of scripture, the tongue of sense. Now, I believe we want our students to be A students, but not if they're going to be A students without sense. We don't need that. We don't need a bunch of smart, dumb people. We need them to be smart and sensible at the same time. And when that doesn't happen, you get this current administration and several of the others that we've just had. That is not political. That is fact.

It's just, boy, nobody can be that stupid and that smart at the same time and expect to be applauded. Anyway, supercharged by truth and love, verse 4, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Well, people have the capacity to be filled with God's Spirit to the point of overflow, to be immersed in the Spirit of God.

They were already believers. We don't have time to go to John, chapter 20, verses 21 to 23. We don't have time to go there, but Jesus said to them again, peace to you as the Father has sent me.

I also send you. Then he said, receive the Holy Spirit. And they were already saved, but yet they had to have this third experience with the Holy Spirit. The first one was being drawn to Christ. The second one was being recipients of the Spirit.

And the third experience is now to overflow. I baptize you with water unto repentance, John said, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will immerse you in the Holy Spirit and fire. See, we get a little numb when we hear these Christian words too many times. He will baptize you. He will immerse you.

And that's what we want. It is the promise of the Father. It is given not to show off, but to witness Christ.

We have to run through these. Acts, chapter 1, verse 8, you will be witnesses to me. John, chapter 15, verse 26, but when the Holy Spirit comes, the Helper whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify of me. It's very centered on Christ, John 16, 13. When he, the Spirit of truth has come, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears, he will speak and he will tell you things to come. He will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you. This is the Godhead in operation.

We could stay on that. We can show you how the Spirit and the Father and the Son are all doing the same things from the Scripture, but that's not where we are. And so the early days of the apostles, characterized by miracles, this is one of them. We cannot all perform miracles, but we can all speak the truth. We can all speak the truth in Christ. We can all be immersed in the Spirit of God and have this witness where we glorify, we testify, and we speak not on our authority, but on his. And if the Holy Spirit takes that position, how much more for us. And he began to speak with other tongues, it says, and began to speak with other tongues. Not by the force of the Word, the sword, but of the tongue, the Word. Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord. Islam is spread with the sword and it is maintained the same way.

That's just how it is. It's not a disparaging statement. For them, they'd be honored to hear this. Loyalty to Islam is forced under the threat of death, whereas Christianity, loyalty to Christ, is maintained by spiritual truth, faith, and love. Here it is maintained, Peter said, speaking of believers, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation. We are kept not at gunpoint, but by the power of God for salvation. And the tongue is for speaking the truth, the mission of the church. Those who worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth, John 4, 24. And the Spirit gave them utterance, that means the ability, at the bottom of verse 4, God-given and God-driven. Paul was perplexed at the Gentile, the Galatians, he says, having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect in the flesh?

What's your problem? We see this happen all the time in the church. Trusting God, God blessing them, and all of a sudden God's put out of the way and gimmicks are brought in. We've got to get the people in the church. Not my job. That is the work of the Holy Spirit, to bring people into a church and to push them out.

And it is not a human thing. Verse 5, and there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. Well, this is the mandatory feast, the men were migrating onto Jerusalem, the temple, devout men, they were serious about their faith from every nation under heaven. The Diaspora, when the Jews were brought into Babylonian exile over 500 years before these events, once they were emancipated, many of them decided not to go back to Jerusalem. So Ezra and Nehemiah, when they go back to Jerusalem, they don't have a lot of people with them.

A lot of the Jews had become very competent in their commercial skills, and they spread throughout the Gentile world, and they built for themselves an unofficial commercial empire of financial successes. Well, they were still devout, and they were still, when the temple was rebuilt, they would come to Jerusalem, and that's what we're reading about. Verse 6, and when this sound occurred, the multitudes came together and were confused because everyone heard them speak in his own language. So God used the sound to draw the multitude, the wind of verse 2. He's not referring to they heard them speaking in tongues, they heard the wind, that's what stirred them.

The apostles were already in a mode of prayer and praise. Again, events moving fast, faster than how they're narrated to us, and were confused because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Bottom of verse 6, God does not need software to overrule language barriers. Verse 7, and they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, look, are not all these who speak Galileans? Yeah, Galileans were considered hillbillies by many of the Jews, especially the Jerusalem type. Peter, you know, your Galilean accent betrays you, they could pick it up, and they thought you're one of them. The gospel message, it amuses unbelievers unto salvation.

It is very possible for that. Anyway, the cosmopolitan Jews, noticing that these unsophisticated Jews were speaking very sophisticatedly. Verse 8, and how is it that we hear each in our own language in which we were born? Again, that Galilean dialect, they're understanding them in the Persian language, for example.

I guess that's Farsi, some dialect thereof. For millennium, if God had anything to say, he said it to a Jew. If God spoke to men, he spoke in Hebrew mostly, almost entirely. Beginning on this day at Pentecost, God begins to speak in Gentile languages. God is about reaching Gentiles and Jews. So, for the past 2,000 years or more, if a Jew mostly wants to know about the glorious God of the New Testament and Old Testament, as a rule, they must go to a Gentile or use Gentile materials. That's going to change. When the two witnesses from Revelation chapter 11 come and 144, that's all going to go back to the Jews. God knows what he's doing. This is not anti-Semitic and it's not pro or anti-Gentile.

The story is there. Verse 9, Parthians, that would be Persians, Iran, Medes, Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia. Cappadocia, Pontus, and Asia, modern day Turkey, Elamites from southwestern Iran, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt. Verse 10, parts of Libya. These sections here, west of Egypt, Proselytes, those are Gentile converts to Judaism, some will be converted to Christ, another step, such as the Ethiopian eunuch.

Verse 11, Cretans and Arabs. We hear them speaking in our own tongues, wonderful works of God. The different tongues given to the church in this sense, different from the tongues given later.

This is interpretation. They're speaking. They're Galilean speaking, but people are hearing them in their language. It is a miracle through the tongue.

Cretans and Arabs from Crete, the Arabs are surrounding areas such as Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Jews coming from these places to Jerusalem. We hear them speaking in our own tongues. Not one incident in Scripture is instruction given to man from God through tongues. Tongues is exclusive to man addressing God, and it is praise. It is not a teaching. So someone to stand up and speak in tongues, and then someone to give an interpretation and say, Thus saith the Lord, eh, that's wrong. It is always praise. And it does not overrule, rudely, another gift. So if the gift of teaching is in operation, the gift of tongues does not butt in and interrupt what is being taught. Did I say that with a little attitude? Because I feel it.

All right. I remember a church man, the guy would get up the same time every Sunday and interrupt. People are still wondering what happened to that guy. I'm not telling you. But anyway, verse 12. So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, What could this mean? Do non-Christians even ask the church anymore what's going on? What does it mean? Or are we too lukewarm about our faith?

Is there something missing where we're not exciting them? I'm leaving out a lot of stuff, and it's your fault because you've got places to go. Verse 13. Others mocking said they are full of new wine. The world's theories and philosophies, their guesswork about spiritual things is always wrong.

They can build empires. They can do phenomenal things with carnal things. But spiritual things, it's the difference between natural speculation and divine revelation.

You either are guessing about God, and like this guy, you're going to be wrong, or it's going to be revealed to you through the Holy Spirit once you're born again. Well, that's all the time we have except to say Peter will preach with an anointed tongue next verse and deal with this remark. 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 / 2023-04-09 15:22:32 / 2023-04-09 15:31:57 / 9

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