Share This Episode
Cross Reference Radio Pastor Rick Gaston Logo

Fortified by Prayer (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
July 4, 2022 6:00 am

Fortified by Prayer (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1036 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

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

July 4, 2022 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

And so here where it says, And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, that's what it takes to do many things for Christ. It's not an exhaustive list, hopefully, and the men come in on Sunday mornings to prepare the church to make sure it's clean, to wash the windows, to blow the leaves, to sweep the floors. When they come in to do this, it's the filling of the Spirit in their hearts.

That's what's doing it. The rabbis called the law, the fence of the law. It protected you. It blocked you from entering into things that would do you harm. This is still true of God's law.

When He prohibits something, He is trying to protect us with it. But people don't believe it. And because they get away with sin in one lifetime, they think that, therefore, it is somehow acceptable. Throughout the Great Tribulation, God will give mankind a chance, even in the midst of the Great Tribulation, to repent.

But most will opt out, and they will demonstrate their refusal to subject themselves to Christ through Bible study. Revelation 16, and men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God, who has power over these plagues, and they did not repent and give Him glory. So they doubled down in their stubbornness.

It was pointless. It was irrational. This is what sin will do. Once it's embraced, rabbis will say, Revelation again, chapter 16, verse 21, And great hail fell from heaven upon men, each hailstone about the weight of seventy-five pounds. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since the plague was exceedingly great. Bitter against men, they were And great hail fell from heaven upon men, each hailstone about the weight of seventy-five pounds.

Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since the plague was exceedingly great. Bitter against God, hating Him for being God, for exercising His right to be God. He has no right to judge me.

Oh, yes, He does. It's a prerogative of God to judge sinners and anybody else He wants to judge. Verse 26 now, we're still talking about Psalm 2, which applies to Jesus Christ and the world's hatred of Him, which the apostles were dealing with at this point. Verse 26, The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against Yahweh and against His Messiah, His anointed Christ in the Greek Messiah for the Hebrew. Anointed in the English. The whole world endorsed Calvary, at least in representation. Luke, chapter 23. An inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.

This is the King of the Jews. Well, the Greeks, they were the ones that gave the Romans really their newfound culture. The Romans took the gods of the Greeks and they renamed them and claimed them as their own. Zeus was now Jupiter, for example, and they greatly admired the Greeks, even though they conquered them. But that was the culture.

The Greeks represent the culture. Then the Latin, which the government, to this day, you go to some courthouses, they've got Latin inscribed on it. And usually it says, I'll translate what most of them say, you think you're going to find justice in here?

That's why they put it in Latin. They don't want you to know what they're up to. Now, granted, there are good judges. They really are. There are about three of them. But they're good judges.

But there are a lot of bad ones. And the system is just, you know, sinners just gone wild. Anyhow, of course, then the Hebrew, representing religion without God's Messiah, without the Christ. And that's what the Hebrew religion became.

The Judaism that we understand in the scripture and today is the Old Testament without its fulfillment. They've missed it. And we talk about how difficult it would be for someone to come along now and say, I am the Messiah, because you could say, how are you going to prove you're from the tribe of David?

The records are gone. And then if you could prove you were from the tribe of David, how are you going to zero it down to being from the house of David, from the tribe of Judah to the tribe of David? So they've missed it. That is a rationale that you would think alone would stir them to reevaluate. But you know, when you're up against a believer, oftentimes you're up against a network. It's not just one, their belief system, it's their family also, many times, or their culture. If you're witnessing to, or for me, witnessing to Roman Catholics, Irish Roman Catholics mainly in New York, it was up against a family. They were concerned what their family would think if they became a believer in the Bible and no longer a follower of the Pope and the Magisterium.

And that was a hurdle. And I tell them that. I say, I know you've got to worry about, you know, your wife or your fiance or your mom, your dad, your uncles. You love your family. I understand that. But if you love your family more than Christ, you're not worthy of Christ.

And that comes with a high payment. Well, at the first and second coming of Christ, the world's opposition is organized and official, and it is pointless. When he first came at the first coming, it was organized.

It was official and it was pointless. And that will be the way at Armageddon too, just that he won't stand for it. So the psalmist saw the kingdoms of men opposed to the kingdom of heaven, and he saw their doom. Verse 27, for truly against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together. Man against God. This part here, for truly against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.

Peter, well not Peter now, now it's all the believers. This is part of what was going on when they gathered together for prayer. And they began to speak the word and praise the Lord.

And here's the speaking of the word, they're quoting scripture, because they knew scripture. This holy servant Paul says, let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. This is the spirit of humility. It's very difficult to be humble. When I say humble, I mean mindful of who you are in the presence of God. When you've got things picking at you. It might be other people, it could be yourself.

Telling yourself, you know, where's that line between, you know, confidence and arrogance and things like that. Well, the believer sorts these things out through the word of God. Paul says, who being in the form of God, nobody else can that apply to but Christ. You can't say that about Michael the Archangel, who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a willing servant and coming in the likeness of men. See, in the Greek, the bondservant is really slave.

It's just like that, slave. But the context, the usage of it is connected to the Jewish bond slave, because what made a bond slave a bond slave versus just a slave is one was willing and the other was not. One was enslaved and the other was a bond slave, and Christ was willing. And so when the Christians hear in verse 27, for truly against your holy servant, this connects him to everything Isaiah was saying about my servant when his holy servant comes. The messianic Psalms, of course, if they're going to reach the Gentiles, they're going to have to learn to shave some of the Jewish culture down in their presentation. And really, none of them could do it well, except Paul and Barnabas.

And then the others, of course, would learn from that, but it was just what a task to be raised up in such a strict religious culture, and not a condemnation of that culture, but to then reach those outside of it without losing the essential points and being able to dismiss not only the non-essentials, but the detours, the unimportant things. Well, as God anointed David to rule Israel, Jesus is anointed to rule the world. Both Herod and Pontius Pilate, it says here, and the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered. Peter names names.

He could be arrested for this. Herod was still alive. Pontius Pilate, I don't know where he was, right?

He probably was still there. This is not too far from the crucifixion timeline, so he's still there. And the Gentiles and the people of Israel, so he's naming names collectively. The kings, the government, the Gentiles, the society, Israel, religions without Messiah. And so there's a sad irony here that Israel's religious leaders took their stand with pagan Gentiles against Yahweh's Messiah. But wait a minute, you guys are supposed, you have the oracles, you're supposed to, I'd be able to identify the Messiah. We understand the Gentiles not getting it.

Why didn't you get it? Other Jews got it. Well, and what they were applying here is an enemy of my enemy as my friend, and it damned their souls unless they repented. Verse 28, he's connecting that with verse 27, to do whatever your hand and your purpose determined before to be done. Well, of course, the cross was no accident to God.

God was not, he was saddened by the crucifixion, but he just wasn't surprised. What's the first thing that comes into your mind at the name Jesus Christ? What's the name and a title or the name and distinction? Lord is his title. Christ distinguishes him from everybody. He is the anointed one. Jesus is the name that he identifies with sinners through that name.

What's the first thing that comes to your mind? All right, back to you teens, those of you teens who are around who have embraced unbelieving friends, they are on the attack. And if you are defenseless, they are going to storm you. And the next thing you know, you will be an antichrist and you will have resentment towards Jesus Christ and his people. The devil's not playing, he hates your guts.

And if you're just dumb enough to not believe that, he's going to exploit it. So, are you two going to line up with those who are antichrist or are you going to show a backbone? Are you going to at your young age say, I believe in Jesus Christ and I will set my life to follow him. I don't take orders from Satan. My flesh gives me a hard enough time that I don't have to help him out. Or are you going to resent me for saying it? I don't care about that too much. I just hope if you're letting Satan pick your friends, what else are you going to let him do for you?

He's not finished. You can strike back. You can fortify yourself in prayer.

You can get a plan, be part of the plan to attack. Why don't you preach to your friends? Why do they get to introduce drinking to you and drugs to you and what other lawless things they want to introduce you and you can't introduce righteousness?

Evil company corrupts morals, says Paul. Raise your hand if you doubt that. I know, you wouldn't raise your hand even if you did. Anyway, am I getting a little in the spirit?

I hope so. That's my intention, is to let the spirit lead me through it. Anyway, verse 28. Yeah, I get angry. I get angry at Satan picking off our kids. What should I do? Throw a party? It comes down to you, not mom or dad. Mom and dad, shut up. It's you. It's you before the cross. What are you going to do? Mom and dad are not going to fill in for you at judgment.

You're going to stand there alone. You're either going to be buck, I have to censor that word, buck naked or you're going to be clothed in righteousness and it's up to you. Verse 28.

To do whatever your hand and your purpose determined before to be done. Of course, God was, as I mentioned, saddened but not surprised at the savagery poured out on his son. Isaiah 53. He surely has borne out griefs and carried out sorrows, yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. So the prophet called it, Isaiah, over 700 years before the crucifixion that this was going to happen to the anointed one.

Many of the rabbis missed the point that there would be a suffering phase in the Messiah's life and then the victorious phase, Ergo, Calvary, end of Armageddon, but the New Testament church has picked it up. To God, it was worth it. To God, I was worth it. For him to smite his son, see him stricken and afflicted, it was worth it if it got me to heaven. And if that's true of me, of course, it is true of all who will come. Isaiah 53.11.

He shall see the labor of his soul and be satisfied. Yeah, that's what I was after. Yeah, I suffered. Yeah, they spat on me. They pulled on my beard. They punched me. They whipped me and then they nailed me to a tree, to a cross. Yeah, it was worth it.

I'm satisfied with the results. Man, is that not going on the attack? And verse 29, Now, Lord, look on their threats and grant your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word. Because they were afraid, so they had to ask for boldness. That makes perfect sense.

I'm right there with them. Fortification to be used in the attack. Body armor.

In the attack. Your flesh has armor, too. Don't think that because, you know, the helmet of salvation. Well, your flesh has a helmet of defiance. In the shield of faith, those things are beautiful, but your flesh has got one, too. Don't think that this is going to be an easy fight and the flesh is going to say, Oh, look at that uniform. He's all ready for me.

I better get out of the way. Satan will get out of the way before your flesh does. Anyway, Paul followed this pattern also. Ephesians chapter six. Praying always. This is after he talks about the Christian armor. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me. He's saying, praying always and for me. He says, Pray for me that utterance may be given to me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. He's in jail for serving Christ and he's asking for boldness. Well, I think boldness got you there, Paul. And Paul is saying, Well, I want boldness to keep me wherever God wants me to be. I'm not going to take for granted that I was bold yesterday and therefore I'm going to be so tomorrow.

His mercies are new every morning, meaning I need a refill. Notice that they did not ask for the opposition to cease or for protection from them. Not that those things would have been wrong to ask for, but it doesn't come up. They're asking to be aggressive. They're not asking to be defended. They're asking to be turned loose.

Send us into action. And they're asking for the courage to speak God's word. We need courage. No man is strong enough spiritually on his own.

It's not possible. You can be strong in courage on carnal matters, stronger than on spiritual matters. You can muster up enough strength to face death. Unbelievers do it. But to face life in Christ, you need Christ. So here we have the glory of God, not the needs of men. The glory of God, not the needs of men, is the highest purpose to answered prayer. And a lot of people don't believe that.

They, you know, they think the church is a social service institution of some sort and they missed the point of having the gospel. We've been, you know, Paul lays down some heavy duty rules about giving handouts in church. And we're going to come to that in chapter six, not this morning, unless you've got nothing else to do.

We can go there. Anyway, coming back to this, Augustine. Augustine is, you know, he's one of those characters highly articulate in his devotion to God, but still his attachment to Rome just kind of makes it strong.

Rome wasn't yet, had not yet evolved to what we know it today, in his day, but it had some of it going on. But you would do well to read some of the confessions of Augustine's worth reading. He says this, pray as though everything depends on God and work as though everything depended on you.

Perfect sense. Verse 20, verse 30, by stretching out your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy servant, Jesus. Well, the supernatural activity of God opened the door for preaching and that's what Peter and the disciples are saying. We want to preach and if miracles are going to get us to preach, then Lord pour them out.

Another sensible thing to ask and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy servant. You know, these are the initial confirmations on apostolic authority. Those apostles needed these miracles for everybody to line up in back of them. You know, we could say it this way, following Jesus Christ is a tough act to follow. And so God says, you know, I know that and so I'm going to give you an advantage over everyone else.

I'm going to give them advantages too, but you're going to get a super dose because you're going to be my authority. We wouldn't have a New Testament were it not for the apostles, not a trustworthy one. Mark chapter 16, and they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. And so the very thing that brought negative attention to them and made cause them to be arrested. They're asking for more. Hey, the miracle got us arrested because we then preach the resurrection of Jesus.

Can we have another dose? That's what's going on here. They're so they have tunnel vision. All they can see is the preaching of the gospel. I would like that. But, you know, that has to God has to govern that is this heavy duty ministry.

God, we need to make more lame people whole. And if persecution does it, then bring it. Bring it.

We'll face it. Verse 31. And when they had prayed the place where they were assembled together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they spoke the word of God with boldness in speaking tongues. They spoke the word of God.

This is not uncommon for God to shake things up when he shows up. I know our brother Jesse and I wherever you are, you know, we were praying. I think I was praying.

You were listening and it was an earthquake. Remember that? Yeah. Amen. I was praying.

I will never ever be able to leave that story out. Yes, it was it was fun, was it not? But anyway, others felt it too. And, you know, in the area, I don't know that anybody else felt this one. It seems like only the disciples did. Anyway, I have a question for those of us who struggled to pray. Is it a busy schedule that keeps us from praying or unbelief? Which one? If you're not praying, if you don't pray, is it because you're too busy or you don't believe?

That's a question that you only can answer. Prayer is hard work and you've got to take it. Then this narrow gate, you just squeeze in anyway. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit. There's only one Pentecost and there's only one Calvary. There's only one Pentecost.

There's one baptism of the Spirit, many subsequent fillings, fresh fillings of the Spirit as going on here. We are living in the day of Pentecost. We don't need another Pentecost. We need to act on the existing one. We don't need new revelations of Scripture. We need to act on the existing revelations.

There's enough here. So these are very powerful points that the Scripture made. The Holy Spirit did not come as a visitor at Pentecost. He came as an occupant. He did not just touch down on the day of Pentecost. Okay, see you later.

He stayed. John's Gospel chapter 14. And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper. That's the Paraclete, the Comforter. That He may abide with you, here it comes, forever.

It's a permanent arrangement. Seven times in the book of Acts, we read of men being filled or full of the Spirit. We see the filling of the Spirit and they were speaking God's Word. That's Acts chapter 2, verse 4, Acts chapter 4, verse 8, and then here in verse 31. Filled serving God's people, Acts chapter 3, verse 6. Filled to verify God's work, Acts chapter 11, verse 24. Filled to counter-attack God's enemy, Acts chapter 13, verse 9. And then filled to die for Christ, Acts 7, verse 55. In each one of those, it is explicitly stated that they were filled or full. And so here where it says, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, that's what it takes to do many things for Christ.

It's not an exhaustive list, hopefully. When the men come in on Sunday mornings to prepare the church, to make sure it's clean, to wash the windows, to blow the leaves, to sweep the floors. When they come in to do this, it's the filling of the Spirit in their hearts.

That's what's doing it. When they said, I'll sign up for that, it was the filling of the Holy Spirit. Now, that doesn't mean you're not full if you didn't sign.

Well, maybe now's a good point to pour some guilt out. It doesn't mean that you're not called to do that. Every need is not a calling. It's impossible.

No one can answer every need. It's the calling that has your name on it. That's the one you must answer.

And if you don't, you probably won't get another one until you act on that one. When I came into ministry, it was on the announcements. The announcer came up and said, we have a need in the ushers ministry for men to serve. And he went on to talk about other things. And God said, I need you to do that. And I did it and I never stopped serving. So, in addition to listening to the announcements and praying and shaking the place, you know, I have many talents.

But it doesn't lower the price of gas for me. Anyway, and they spoke the word of God with boldness and there it is. The Lord fortified them through prayer as they requested to hold to God's word. Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet your word is my delight.

I want this in my life every day. 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 / 2023-03-27 23:48:08 / 2023-03-27 23:58:21 / 10

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