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Down to Business (Part B)

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

Down to Business (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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June 6, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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The fulfillment of Joel's prophecy occurs then. The fulfillment of what Peter is now reciting to them, verse 17. I think there's more excitement coming. And I think as Christians, if you're not excited about the Lord using you, then you might be just a little bit too centered on this life.

Some nasty stuff. And yet, we are called still to shine as beacons. And now here's Pastor Rick with part two of his message called, Down to Business, in Acts chapter two. Well, I've seen Christians in the pew abuse Christianity. That's no excuse. We can't say, okay, I got stung and now I'm out. That, you know, in boxing, you would be accused of having a glass jaw. You know, one hit to the chin and you're done.

You can't take a punch. And we Christians, we're supposed to be able to take some heat and dependence upon the Lord. Exodus chapter 17, verse 12, I think illustrates what I'm talking about very nicely. Because if the church did not support these apostles, it would have been the end of the church when the apostles died.

But they did support them. As much trouble as they had to confront or face in the church, the church prevailed. And we being here, as are many other churches, are proof of that. But Exodus chapter 12, Moses hands. This is when Joshua's on the battlefield. He's fighting and Moses is overseeing the battle. And when Moses lifts his arms up, Joshua prevails. When Moses' arms get tired and he brings them down to rest, then Joshua's forces get pushed back. And Moses recognizes this and so does Aaron and a man named Hur who is with them. And this is what they do. They formulate a response, a solution. They come up with something to win the fight.

But they know they've got to support their leader. Exodus 17, Moses hands became heavy so that they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it and Aaron and Hur supported his hands. One on one side and the other on the other side.

And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. One man can't do it. You need your Joshua's, you need your troops, you need your Aaron and Hur, you need Moses. It is the body of Christ and it works better. It is more, it is victorious when it works together.

The 11 is with Peter making 12. It's not a little statement. Let this be known to you.

And he's responding to that ignorant statement. He is going to correct, he is explaining and he is going to encourage all at the same time. That's preaching. To be able to convict, to rebuke and to exhort. 2 Timothy chapter 2, Paul tells Timothy this is ministry. This is pastoral ministry, Timothy. But it doesn't excuse the individual Christian either. He says, In humility, correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance so that they may know the truth.

And that's what Peter is doing. And now when I say, I mentioned that this does not excuse the Christian. We are all, pastor or not, supposed to, in humility, when the Holy Spirit opens the door, as he's doing here at Pentecost, we are to correct those who are in opposition, if perhaps God will grant them repentance, that they may know the truth. Now, remember now, after the Spirit came upon them and before, we don't read about them just running around the temple ground preaching to people.

They let the Holy Spirit open the door. Peter is going to reinforce his sermon with scripture. He's going, as I mentioned, cross reference, Joel the prophet, because he himself is now a man of the word. We're going to really get to that in chapter 6, but before that, rereading what I've been saying over the last few sessions in Acts, Jesus, after he rose from the dead, Luke writes this, And he, Christ, opened their understanding that they might comprehend the scriptures. Which, of course, presupposes they weren't getting it, and as we go through the Gospel, we say, what is wrong with these guys? Well, the Lord changed all that, and now we're seeing it in action as Peter gets down to business. Acts chapter 6, now this is in Acts chapter 6, the Christians came up with what they thought was a good idea, which evidently failed because it just falls off the pages, but Peter stood up and said, Listen, this is good stuff what you're saying. Choose from among you those who are worthy for this ministry, who have a good reputation, a good witness, filled with the Spirit.

Let them oversee this. But, and he goes on to say, we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word. So he's now this dynamo in the word, and it is, imagine what would have happened if he was not. What would have happened to the first church if they did not fill themselves with the scripture?

You would have had a bunch of leaders who didn't know the word of God. And when the blind lead the blind, they both fall into a ditch. Peter says, and heed my words. He invites this multitude that he's preaching to, who are not Christians, he invites them to act on solid preaching. It was Peter also who wrote in 2 Peter chapter 1, we have the prophetic word confirmed. We've got the prophecies of Christ, we've got the evidences that he's fulfilled these prophecies and no one else has. And then he says, which you do well to heed. We have got the scripture, we've got the truth, we can back up what we're preaching, unlike any other religion on earth, and you do well to heed. And so here he's telling them, even though it's two different Greek words that say meaning, heed my words.

Verse 15, for these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. So debunking their theory. When do the evolutionists decide they're going to be honest with themselves? You know, you don't need Christianity to debunk evolution. You need science.

I thought that was pretty good. So he's appealing to their sense of reason and their sense of honesty. Well, if you're witnessing to somebody who's not going to be rational and not going to be honest, there's really not much more you can do.

But they are. They are listening. And he's reasoning with them.

And they're honest with themselves, evidently because we know the outcome of this. The Holy Spirit often calls us to explain his work. Why does he need witnesses? Why does he need servants? He wants us involved.

We are to interact with him as we interact with lost souls and saved souls. And just in case you haven't figured this out, saved souls can be sometimes more of a pain in the neck. Did I put too much emphasis on that P?

Did I pop that P too much? They can be more of a pain in the neck than unbelievers. It shouldn't be this way. And of course, then you add to that the make-believers. They're not real Christians, but they use all the Christian language. They say they are, but their fruits dispute it.

They just lock it down. No way. This guy can be a believer. The Lord is for you to decide that finally, but I've got to be careful with this person. And that is such is life.

Anyway, he says, as you suppose, there is no way that these people could have understood without help. No one stumbles into salvation. Yeah, I was just drinking a milkshake and then all of a sudden it dawned on me. I'm a sinner and I need a Savior. I mean, you know, that does not happen. At some point, there has to be boots on the ground.

There has to be engagement. Even Paul, who was saved miraculously on the road to Damascus, he got clobbered by Stephen's sermon. That sermon eviscerated Paul's doctrine. He was still seething threats of violence. He was coming against the church because he was taken apart by truth. And he didn't know how to get out of that.

And God helped him with that. Well, again, Peter, instead of being offended, he reasons from the scripture. He did not let the scoffers have the last say.

It didn't like how they think we're drunk. All right, let them believe whatever. Well, sometimes you have to do that.

Not this time. And it sure helps to know when it's a time to say, you know what, I'm not giving you a pass on that one. That I'm going to take you to task on. It is certainly beneficial to us to be engaged, to be in the game, and to learn when to be led, when the Lord leads us to sit still, and when the Lord leads us to speak.

However, there's a big caveat that goes with this, a big warning. If you have not love, what is your problem? I ask for all of us. The apostle said, if I don't have love, I am nothing. And there are a lot of Christians, they want to reach the laws, but they are just the most loveless, judgmental, self-righteous, annoying people. And you've got to love them, right?

I'm not asking you. And I'm sure there's somebody that says something like that about you. How could they say it about me?

There's no way there's everything they love about me. You know, isn't it, it's eye-opening when someone tells you, yeah, you know, I thought you were a jerk. What? Why would you think that? And, you know, it causes you to go back, what did I do to make this person think that I was this or that when I'm not that way?

That's my mom. So Peter says, don't be silly. This, incidentally, is the hour of prayer when the morning sacrifices were being offered. They had been slaughtered earlier, but by the time they gave me, this is a big event, every morning, the morning sacrifices, and at Pentecost, predominantly, men are there at the temple, more so than at other times, because this was a mandated holiday for the men, three of them, God said, you know, some of you men, you just will never go to church.

So I'm going to mandate three of the holidays that you've got to be there, and maybe something will click in your noggin. Well, verse 16. I shouldn't be too hard on that, because if I weren't preaching, I wouldn't be here.

It's a joke. Of course I'd be here. I've got to answer to the Lord and judge whoever else is up here. Verse 16. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.

I love that they're listening to Peter. This is a nobody from Galilee. This is radical. This is an act of God. He's saying to them, why are you surprised at the miraculous? You're supposed to be covenant people. The prophet Joel, his prophecies are loaded with the spiritual features that belong to our faith.

Why should you be surprised at this? It's sort of like when they were praying for Peter to be released from prison, and he knocks on the door, and they don't believe he's released. I don't know if I would do better, but you can't miss the lesson that the Holy Spirit preserves with such records in our scripture. God covered this topic, oh, 800 to 500 years ago through this prophet Joel. Again, Peter is giving them scripture, not opinion. And common enough in scripture are partial fulfillments and future fulfillments when it comes to predictive prophecy, which eventually is fulfilled at some point. And this is one of the prophecies in the scripture that has a partial fulfillment here at Pentecost, and then at the end of the age, and we'll get into some of that. He is not, Peter is not asserting that Joel's prophecy is completely fulfilled, because the evidence is against that, and we have no reason to charge Peter with this. Was he showing off his knowledge of the word?

I don't think so, but it's cute to ponder it a little bit. But here's this outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and not a fulfillment, but a critical point, a critical moment in the lives of the apostles, who are for the first time ministering this way, who are putting to work what Christ put into them, and for the recipients, a great multitude of which will be saved in this morning, on the morning of this event. Consistent with Joel's revelation is that God is doing here at Pentecost what he said he would do.

This is, Peter says, a deposit. This is the first layer of fulfillment, and evidently his audience who would have been familiar with Joel are agreeing, because there are no hecklers. Maybe some walked away, who knows, but we know a great multitude of them stayed for the sermon, all of it, and then they took heed to the sermon. And so Peter's saying, why is it so hard to accept this fact that God is pouring out his Holy Spirit as you see, as he said he would?

This is that. Look again at verse 16, that just one little, those three words, this is that, he's connecting this event with what the prophet said. Once the church is raptured, that means public ministry according to the scripture, because the apostate church will be left behind to join antichrist.

The ecumenical church will join antichrist, but the true church is begun, because if it was not taken away, it would be slaughtered, and that's why Christ said, I'm going to spare you the wrath that is coming on the whole earth, and that wrath of not only the hatred towards Christianity, which the two witnesses will experience, but the wrath of cataclysmic events in nature, global warming, but not man-made, God-made. So once the church is raptured, further outpourings of the Holy Spirit will unfold. That's what Peter is saying, and all the work of the two witnesses and 144,000 Jews, and the nation of Israel finally coming to repentance, it's the work of the Holy Spirit. It's according to the prophecy of Joel, and Peter again is saying, this is layer one. This is God now, he will reach the Gentiles with this, and the Jews alike. It culminates in the Messiah's kingdom, after the day of the Lord, the wrath of the Lord, and the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy occurs then, the fulfillment of what Peter is now reciting to them, verse 17. I think there's more excitement coming, and I think as Christians, if you're not excited about the Lord using you, then you might be just a little bit too centered on this life.

I don't want to sound harsh, because life can throw at us some nasty stuff, and yet we are called still to shine as beacons. Verse 17, and it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men dream dreams, and it shall come to pass. The Old Testament prophets knew nothing about the New Testament church. They heard of the new covenant, but they progressed no further. Paul points this out in 1 Corinthians 2.

The eye is not seen, the ear is not heard. He's not talking about heaven. He's talking about the development of this new covenant that we call the New Testament. Testament means covenant. This new arrangement of God that is a binding arrangement. And so packed into Joel's prophecy are future events to this moment that Peter is speaking, and events right at the moment.

So you have this dual and separate fulfillment by over 2,000 years so far, and still counting. The portion fulfilled is the Holy Spirit indwelling believers. Acts chapter 2, verse 39, we're in Acts 2, verse 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. So Peter is saying this outpouring of the Spirit that Joel talked about, this first layer is for everybody who is in Christ. It's available to every believer. When Paul gets up to Ephesus in chapter 19, he's going to come across believers in Christ who aren't filled with the Spirit, and he's going to bless them. But they weren't excited. They were believers intellectually.

They got it, but there was this one feature missing. And we'll wait till chapter 19. He says here, and it shall come to pass in the last days. Well, the last days began with the coming of Christ. You can cross reference Hebrews chapter 1, verses 1 and 2. The last days was spoken by the prophets as in these last days spoken to us by his son. 1 Corinthians 10 and 11, also a reference to the last days coming with Christ. We live in the last of the last days as we look at the technology. You know, when man was building the Tower of Babel, God looked down and said, now, you know, nothing's going to be held up from them.

They're going to just continue to develop to their own destruction. And God interfered. Well, now, the Tower of Babel has been rebuilt, if you metaphorically look at it this way. Man has now hurtled the barriers of language.

He has crossed over mountains and oceans and rivers, and man has now come together without God. And they're building their tower of technology and their tower of whatever else that they want to do, to the point where they're messing with, you know, creation, artificial intelligence, which really has been around a long time. You should read some books. Anyway, God, at some, man, it can't be sustained, how they're messing with unborn, you know, the human body and all sorts of, the words are escaping me. That means the Lord, no, you need to finish up on chapter 2.

Don't go to Genesis right now. We see the Frankensteins, what they're doing in laboratories, what they're attempting to do in laboratories. The human race cannot sustain this, and I think that's just a rational view. Even unbelievers are saying the same thing. Anyway, here, in the last days that we live, he says, I will pour out my spirit, and that Greek word, epi, upon all flesh.

Of course, that's not happened. That remains to be fulfilled, otherwise we would all be saved, but it will happen. The remnant of Israel that comes through the tribulation.

Regardless of race, regardless of gender, regardless of social status, God has made his spirit available. Joel's prophecy cannot be fulfilled until after the day of the Lord, as it's coming to an end. Zechariah, chapter 13, verse 8, tells us that only a remnant will survive of the Jewish people in the great tribulation period, but that remnant will be converted to Christ. And it shall come to pass in all the land, says Yahweh, Zechariah 13, 8.

Two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, and one-third shall be left in it. Whether you like it or not, that's what the scripture says. But, Zechariah 12, and I will pour on the house of David, the Hebrew people, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication. Then they will look to me, whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn. And there's a spirit going to be poured out in the last days as Joel's prophecy is being completely fulfilled.

These things, they won't happen instantly in every situation. Some of it will. A lot will be going on and taking place. The main point is, these Old Testament prophets, they're right. He says, your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. They will proclaim. They will speak forth God's word. Prophecy is the movement of spiritual information.

It is not limited to prediction. I mean, there's that type of prophecy that predicts. There is a type when the Bible uses the word prophecy.

It also uses it when it speaks of praising God and or singing songs, preaching and or reading of the word of God. These are all forms of prophecy as used in scripture. So there is foretelling, telling the future, as Peter is doing here. He is saying, this is what the prophets spoke of.

Your sons and your daughters will dream dreams. And he's quoting Joel. 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 / 2023-04-08 18:54:21 / 2023-04-08 19:03:30 / 9

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