Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 53

The Advent Part 45

Acts 2:14, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, ‘men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem let this be known to you and heed my words.’”

There is an old saying but a true saying that everyone perceives what they desire of a certain thing, or in simpler terms we see what we want to see, and hear what we want to hear. As some who had gathered heard those who had been in the upper room speak the wonderful works of God in their own tongue, others mocked and said that they were simply drunk with new wine.

From what we can ascertain the ones who were mocking the disciples, were none other than those Jews who were native of Jerusalem, those who had been dwelling therein, and as such did not understand the tongues in which those who had been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit were speaking. To them, it was just mumbling, intelligible words, even though to those who had come from afar off, they were the wonderful works of God.

Peter the Apostle and the other eleven stood in the midst of the hundred and twenty that they might defend truth, and the work of the Holy Spirit, and explain to the native Jewish population, those living in Jerusalem what exactly was taking place. The fact that the other eleven Apostles stood with Peter, lent weight to his words, and demanded that those who were gathered listen to Peter’s defense of what had just occurred. This was to be the first message of the newborn church to the world, via its representative Peter the apostle of Christ after the advent of the Holy Spirit.

With all requisite honesty, I think we can all agree that the words which Peter began to speak were not his own. Adept as he might have been at catching fish, he was by no means a scholar, and as such the connections he would begin to make between what had just occurred and the prophet Joel as well as other passages of the Old Testament, had to have been divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit which now resided in Peter.

The dialogue between the church, or the Body of Christ, and the world began on the Day of Pentecost through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and it has continued through the ages, and will continue until the day of Christ’s return. Our message must be as one, simple, straightforward, and impacting, seeking not our own glory but rather the glory of God, and admonishing even beseeching all those who hear us to come in repentance to the foot of the cross and surrender their lives to Christ Jesus the only way into the kingdom of heaven.

It was not of their own strength that the twelve stood, it was no in his own wisdom that Peter began to speak, but by the unction and the power of the Holy Spirit they did these things. Yes, it was the Holy Spirit that compelled the twelve Apostles to stand in the midst of the hundred and twenty, and it was likewise the Holy Spirit who put the necessary words on the heart and lips of Peter, that when he spoke it would be with authority and conviction and passion. From that moment forward, to this present day and for as many days as the Lord will terry, it is the Holy Spirit that has led, and leads all who are Disciples of Christ Jesus in all truth, and it is He who gives utterance to the words we ought to speak to those still in darkness and despair. We are vessels, tools in the hands of the Holy Spirit, and He uses us as He sees fit for the glory of God the Father.

No longer was Peter speaking in tongues, but he was addressing the men of Judea and those who dwelt in Jerusalem in the language of the time which was Aramaic. Why is it that Peter only addresses the men of Judea and those who dwelt in Jerusalem? Because it was only these individuals, those who were natives of Jerusalem and Judea, that mocked and made fun of them. The others who had gathered understood, they had heard the wonderful works of God being spoken to them in their own language, and they were amazed and perplexed by what they heard, yet those who were of Jerusalem did not understand the greatness of what had just occurred, and so they mocked.

I know we’ve discussed the issue in previous posts, but it is something that is worth revisiting because it is happening more and more within the house of God. The issue I speak of, is the scorn and derision visited upon true believers, those who go about serving God with zeal and selflessness, who believe the whole counsel of God, and the entirety of Scripture, by the nominal or mainstream ‘Christians’ that are filling pews every Sunday and living like the world the rest of the week.

It wasn’t the secularists who were mocking the disciples it was in fact the devout Jews who had come to celebrate the feasts that were now looking down on them and accusing them of being drunk with new wine. Yes, the saying ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’ is apropos even today, and those content with living a false spirituality, those content with words absent of power, ceremony absent of God, and walks absent of authority seem to be growing in number day by day.

Just as Peter and the eleven stood in defense of the truth, we must likewise stand in defense of the truth even if we have to defend it in front of those we would readily call brothers and sisters in Christ. By the same token, when you are mocked, ridiculed, scorned and taunted for the truth’s sake take heart, rejoice, and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven.

Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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