The Advent Part 34
Acts 2:3, “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.”
Every time I read the first few verses of the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and this is without fail, I get goose bumps. It is simultaneously exciting and humbling to see the exact moment when a new era in human history as well as in the work of God began. The era I speak of, is of course the age of the Holy Spirit, an age which contrary to some didn’t last for a day, a week or a generation, but that is to this day continuing and will continue until the day the Master stands and closes the door.
Luke 13:24-25, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from.’”
The advent of the Holy Spirit is one of five completed works of God in the world. The first of these works was of course the Son of God coming in the flesh, the second, His work of redemption on the cross, the third, His resurrection, the fourth His ascension into heaven, and the fifth the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There is as yet a sixth aspect of the work of God in the world that has not come to pass, and that is the return of Christ Jesus at which time He will gather His elect from the four corners of the earth.
Ask anyone how they would react if they were in a room with one hundred nineteen other people and suddenly they saw tongues as of fire appearing on each of them, and you will get a wide variety of answers, from being shocked, to panicking, to yelling at people telling them they were on fire. The fact that they weren’t all running around trying to put out the ‘fire’, the fact that they didn’t panic upon hearing the sound as of a rushing mighty wind tells me that the individuals gathered in the upper room trusted God implicitly. They had not been told what to expect, the details of what was occurring had not been made known to them, all they had been told was to wait until the promise came, and the way in which it came was in no way subtle or subdued.
The first part of that which took place on the day of Pentecost was the baptism with the Holy Spirit, poured out over the entire Congregation of God that had assembled there, and the second part of the selfsame work were the distribution of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, given to each believer individually. The divided tongues, as of fire, sat upon each of them, even though the sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind filled the whole house where they were sitting.
The first part of this great work shows us the birth of the Body of Christ, and the second part shows us the responsibility and duty each individual member has in regards to building the Body and doing the work of God here on earth.
The baptism with the Holy Spirit shows us, and clearly so the indestructible unity between the Body, which is the church, and the head of the Body which is Christ. It is a living unity, never before seen in the history of mankind. Yes, there were believers and men of God even before the advent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, there were men led by the Holy Spirit such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, Isaiah, Elijah, and Elisha, men who walked with God, and heard from God, and through whom God did great and mighty works, but they were never part of the Body which has Christ Jesus as the head.
When the tongues as of fire appeared, and divided themselves they sat upon each of them, not differentiating between man and woman, because in Christ we are one, and God does not discriminate in such ways.
Galatians 3:26-28, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
When the Holy Spirit was poured out, it was not only for the Apostles, it was not only for the elders or the bishops, it was not only for the men amidst the congregation of believers, it was for all those who were present, who were there in one accord awaiting the promise of Christ.
Another teachable moment, at least from my perspective is the fact that all those who were present saw the tongues as of fire sitting atop their brethren and not atop themselves. They couldn’t look in a mirror to make sure that a tongue as of fire had settled upon them as well, but they knew that because they saw it atop everyone else that it was likewise atop them. Those who are born again, and have received the Holy Spirit, know those who are born again and are of the same Spirit. We are one in Christ, united in Him, and as such our own ambitions or exalted opinions of self must be mortified along with our flesh. We do not consider ourselves greater than our brethren if by the will of God we have been granted a gift, we do not consider ourselves greater than our brethren if we have been given to prophecy or dream dreams, or discern spirits, but rather with lowliness of mind we esteem our brothers and sisters better than we do ourselves.
Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.