When the disciples watched their beloved Jesus disappear into the heavens, they were overwhelmed by uncertainty and fear. What would the future hold for these devotees of the gospel? Undoubtedly, the ascension of Jesus made the twelve men feel like they'd been abandoned. And yet the second chapter of Acts describes a miraculous moment when their uncertainty was replaced by amazement. Jesus didn't abandon them after all.
In fact, Jesus inhabited their bodies in the form of His Spirit. Chuck titled today's message, Essential Fuel for Fulfilling the Mission, and we begin with prayer. We hear the words sung and we wish, O Lord, to know how we could crown Your Son as King and Lord. And we realize that it's not to be done tangibly but spiritually. We crown Him as Lord when we release our will to Him, when we give up our way for Him, when we say no to our desire and yes to His. We crown Him when we break habits of selfishness and wrong attitudes and prejudice and grudges, when we realize that You have the right to rule and reign over every moment of our every day, then we begin to enter in to crowning Him as King and Lord of our lives.
All of this is foreign to everything we learn in school, everything we read and hear in the media. So help us, our Father, to filter, truth from error, so that we walk in obedience. May we find comfort in serving You and joy in saying no to what we want as we please You in even the details of our lives, like giving, releasing what we have earned so that Your work might continue, never thinking about what we're giving up, but thinking only about what good it will do in the lives of those who would otherwise never hear and never know the Savior. So be our vision, Lord.
Fill our vision. Replace our own way with Yours as we walk in a new kind of life, including this offering. These things we ask in the name of Jesus. Everyone say, Amen.
You're listening to Insight for Living. To search the Scriptures with Chuck Swindon, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to insightworld.org slash studies. Chuck titled his message, Essential Fuel for Fulfilling the Mission. Let me give you a word that you'll seldom hear connected to him, but I think of that word often when I think of the mission of the disciples. The Holy Spirit became the fuel, the fuel that would ignite the engine of evangelism. The Holy Spirit became the fuel that would charge them with the courage they needed and the willingness to go to the stake, for martyrdom would be their future ultimately. But when the Holy Spirit took charge, they didn't care how they died or if they died. They were no longer operating in fear because the fuel of the Holy Spirit changed, the better word is transformed their lives.
But before I go there, I want you to turn to Acts chapter one. Let's look again at that familiar eighth verse where Jesus is at the mount of Olives. This is after he has been crucified, after he has been raised from the dead.
This is now 40 days after all of that and he's about to ascend into the clouds. He says in verse eight, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses telling people about me everywhere, in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. They're standing there, Jesus is standing before them, and the very next thing that occurs is the ascension.
Jesus departs from the earth in the ascension, vanishing into the clouds. Look at it in verse nine. After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching and they could no longer see him. Look, they're still longing for him. Look at the words in the next verse, verse 10. They strained to see him rising into heaven. They knew they would never see him on this earth again. So they're straining to catch the last glimpse of him.
They're straining to catch the last glimpse of him. Suddenly, two angels appear described here as two white-robed men who stood among them and look at the words of these men, men of Galilee. Why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return to heaven in the same way you saw him go.
You know what I really believe? I believe their grief is so great they hardly heard those words. Their grief is so great it's like those words flew by them until they later realized in the presence of the Holy Spirit what Jesus had in mind. So we read that the apostles, verse 12, returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of about a half a mile. When they arrived, they went up to the upstairs room of the house where they were the house where they were staying. Now, fast forward to the beginning of chapter 2.
So we're in the upper room. Here are the disciples, 11 of them. They are named for us, by the way, right here at verse 13. You'll see them named one by one. And there were others that met with them.
There were 120 believers all together in this room. This is where confusion has taken over, and all kinds of things have been drawn from this second chapter that were never a part of the original scene because misinterpretation of what it actually is teaching. Let's just let the passage speak for itself. Now, when was it, verse 1, on the day of Pentecost? Pentecost is a transliterated Greek word, Pentecostos, which means the 50th.
This came 50 days from the first Sunday after Passover. I find three evidences of the supernatural. First, I find an audible evidence. They are in the room, and there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm. Virtually every picture I've seen that has been rendered by an artist shows people's hair blowing and the drapes blowing, illustrating a wind. It doesn't say a wind was there.
Look at the verse of Scripture. Suddenly there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty wind. So it sounded like a windstorm, but there was no wind.
Phenomenal. Supernatural. So that audible evidence is the first thing we observe. Second, there's a visible evidence of the supernatural. The sound filled the house where they were sitting. Verse 3, then what looked like the flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. Every artistic rendering of Pentecost shows fire on the people, sometime on their tongues. It doesn't say there was a fire. It says what resembled or what appeared to be tongues of fire settled on them, but there was no heat.
There is no flame. It's hard to describe what it was. Were I an artist, I would put my brush down and stop right there. I'm not able to paint this.
I'm not able to paint this. I don't know what that looked like. Now, third, there is an oral evidence, and this is where confusion is really abounded. Observe verse 4. Everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other. Your Bible reads tongues, and from this has come the whole teaching of tongues that has spread all around the world, but observe what it says. They were speaking in Idiah, gloss ice, or heteros gloss ice, other languages. Not gibberish. Had it been gibberish, that kind of sound, you would need a translator.
What's that about? You would need someone who had you would need someone who had the ability to take those those clicks and sounds and guttural noises and put them into words, but there's no translator mentioned in chapter 2. What they spoke were languages they had never learned before. Some of them spoke Italian. Some of them spoke French. Some of them spoke the language of Mesopotamia. Some of them spoke in Asian languages, and they and we will notice here verse 6 or verse 5. At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem, and when they heard the loud noise, doesn't say they felt the wind, there was no wind.
When they heard the noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear what? Their own language being spoken by the believers, their own idia dialecto, their own dialect. We have the words today heart language. It's what you learned on your mother's breast. It's what you learned in your original home.
It's what you learned on the street where you grew up and played with your friends. They heard in their own tongue their own language words from people who had never been trained in the language before. Okay, now I pause so that you'll take it in.
I'm there. I'm from one of these regions, let's say Libya, and I know a language that I've grown up with, and I speak that with my friends who came with me from Libya, and we're all in Jerusalem together. Suddenly from this room come people who know my tongue, my language, my heart language, and they're Galileans. In fact, if you read further, when they heard the loud noise, they came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
Look at verse seven. They were completely amazed. Now they had been speaking gibberish. There's nothing to be amazed, amazing about gibberish, but when they hear their own tongue, and the Italians hear Italian, and the French hear French, and the Asians hear the Asian dialect, I want to say the Texans hear Texan language, but I'm not going to go there. They were completely amazed. How can that be? They exclaimed, and then they add, these people are all from Galilee.
Now why is that important? Because Galileans speak Aramaic. They don't speak French. They don't speak the language of Rome. They don't speak the language of the Egyptians. They speak Aramaic.
That's what Jesus spoke. That was his heart language when he was on this earth. But they were able to hear these men speaking in their own language, and they're all described for us in verse 10, verse 11. And what were they hearing?
Look at the end of verse 11. We all hear these people speaking in our own language. It says again, it's Dr. Luke who recorded this, it's Dr. Luke who records this, who, not records, who writes this, writes it in such a way that it's almost redundant, their own language, their own language. They spoke their own language. These men spoke languages. So get that.
Don't make it read something else. And they're, they stood there amazed as they hear about the wonderful things God has done. They hear about Jesus who died for them and rose from the dead and paid the penalty for their sins. They hear that. They've never heard something like this before. They've come to practice their their religion in coming at Passover, but they don't know Christ until they hear about him through their own language spoken through the tongue of Galileans, normally Aramaic speaking people.
How can this be? How can it be that Andrew and Peter are both speaking our language from Mesopotamia? How can it be that they speak our language as the language we grew up with?
And here we are in Jerusalem and these Galileans who, I mean, they're not the brightest bulbs in the hallway anyway to start with. And, and here they are breaking out into, into articulating the, the very terms and, and idioms. Idioglossilia.
The, the, the, the very words and idioms of the language. It's, it's amazing. And they're curious as to how this can be. And they're perplexed.
Look at verse 12. They stood there amazed and perplexed. What can this mean? They asked each other. You got it?
Everybody clear on this? I, I, I hope so. It's as if I suddenly began speaking in another actual language and I speak it with, with competence. I, I, I use idioms that are, that are familiar to the people who speak that language. The slang that might be a part of it, I will use that.
What's interesting is that those who heard them, the cynics, verse 13, they ridiculed and said they're, they're a bunch of drunks. You know, last time I checked, people who get drunk don't speak Italian or French or German. No, they speak another language sometime, but it's not, it's not an actual language.
It's profanity often. But this is a language. So that's a ridiculous response. In fact, that's the whole point of Peter's message. As he begins, we're not drunk. It's nine o'clock in the morning.
People aren't drinking as early in the morning. We're telling you the wonderful works of God. I think Peter is as amazed as they are that his tongue is conveying a language that he wasn't trained in. Now, I do know of one line of French. Cynthia taught it to me. She took French in high school and that's when we dated.
We'd been married three years. No, I'm teasing. That was to come later. But she, she said to me, you need to learn je vous en vous vous.
Whoa. Now you who know French, you know what that is. I love you very much. I probably said it wrong, but when you're in love, it doesn't matter if you say it right or not. You just, je vous en vous vous. That's the only French I know. But if I could break out into, into a paragraph of French, not only will you be amazed, I'd be amazed. Now, I took just enough Spanish to be dangerous.
And so I remember putting up with it during my years in high school and I'll never use that again. But you know, I wish I'd really gotten serious about it. Isn't it interesting that when missionaries go to the field and they're involved in, in, you know, in a work in another country that's different from their own, what do they do first? They go to language school.
Why? Because that is the, the key that unlocks connecting with the people they're going to minister to. These men could speak those languages with no training. In fact, suddenly, when the Spirit of God came upon them, not only was there the sound, not only was there the flame-like presence in the shape of tongues, tongues, interesting, since their mouths and tongues would play a major role in carrying out Acts 1-8.
Remember what we just read? You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem. That's my language, says an Aramaic speaking person. And Judea, that's my language. And Samaria, there's some differences there.
How about in the ends of the earth? I need to be equipped with language that got it. And this kick-starts the evangelism of the first century. This phenomenon, this miracle of God, identifies the coming of the Holy Spirit as our companion, and He continues to empower God's children to this day. You're listening to Insight for Living and a message from Chuck Swindoll titled, Essential Fuel for Fulfilling the Mission.
We'll hear a closing comment from Chuck in just a moment. To learn more about the ministry of Insight for Living, please visit us online at insightworld.org. While you're exploring our website, I'll remind you that Insight for Living produces a wide variety of resources perfectly suited for any occasion. So please take a few minutes to browse through the online store where you'll find a vast array of books such as the Swindoll Study Bible and the complete New Testament commentary series called, Swindoll's Living Insights. In addition, you'll have access to the beautiful pictorial coffee table books on topics such as Christmas, Easter, and even the journeys of Paul.
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You'll find all the details for requesting this wonderful resource at insight.org slash store. Chuck, throughout our study in Matthew's Gospel, we had occasion to witness the behavior of the legalist. These religious extremists had a dismissive way of shaming people and driving them away from God rather than to God. Well, you're right, Dave. Anyone who's been verbally dressed down by a legalist knows the ugly feeling of shame that follows. Have you ever been there? I sure have. Let me paint a picture for you. You've made a foolish mistake. You're at your lowest moment.
You need someone to guide you to safety, but instead the legalist kicks into judge and jury mode, drags your most embarrassing flaws into public view, and then celebrates your failures. Like a rabid dog with a juicy bone, satisfying his craving for self-validation, slobbering his way to the next victim, and the next, and the next. Look, I'm not going to preach a sermon here only to say that Jesus reserved his greatest expressions of anger for the self-righteous Pharisees who preyed upon weakness. But with the same intensity and even more, Jesus opened his arms to the brokenhearted, the marginalized, the lonely, and embraced them with grace. My friend, more than ever, Insight for Living Ministries is determined to serve as a lavish garden for people all around the world who long to smell the aroma of God's matchless grace.
A safe place where imperfect, sinful people are forgiven, taught the truth, and redeemed. In this emotionally charged era where shouting matches are commonplace, where people feel voiceless and overlooked and even condemned, would you be among those who give generously so that we can spread the fragrance of God's grace to those desperate for a second chance? Today, our needs at Insight for Living Ministries are urgent. As we wrap up another year, your special year-end donation will make all the difference. Please don't delay in your response. Together, let's introduce people to the God who says, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12, 9, my grace is all you need.
My power works best in weakness. Well, here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll. Give us a call right now. If you're listening in the U.S., dial 1-800-772-8888. That's 1-800-772-8888. Or if you prefer, it may be quicker and more efficient to give online at insight.org slash donate. That's insight.org slash donate. Thank you for your generous support. Join us again Monday when, once again, Chuck Swindoll opens the Bible to present Insight for Living. The preceding message, Essential Fuel for Fulfilling the Mission, was copyrighted in 2018, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2018 by Charles R. Swindoll and his wife, Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
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