in SEVEN PARTS with Commentary
Acts 2:1-4 Baptized in the Holy Spirit and Heaven’s Fire into the New Reality
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
My first-hand witness that Acts 2:1-4 applies to every believer until Jesus returns: What He does for one he will do for all. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever - He doesn't change. Don't ever alter your personal experiences with the Lord and always do our best to share your experiences with Him accurately.
When I saw Jesus, He placed His hands on my head as I kneeled before Him. I was thinking in English but I was thanking and praising Him in a new heavenly language! It was the language of the Holy Spirit, of the angels and of heaven. It came with the gift of the Holy Spirit given to me by Jesus. I still pray in the heavenly prayer language fluently every day. Paul says when we do, we pray perfectly. Have you ever asked Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit? Need more? We all know John 3:16 but check out Luke 3:16! Jesus is ready to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire of tongues to all who will ask Him. This is what we see as the birth of the Church in the Upper room on the Day of Pentecost. For assurance see Luke 11:11-13.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is God's provision to experience the 'fire' of Communion! (John 14-17) When we feed on the bread of His flesh and wine of His blood, it is the Holy Spirit that opens our eyes to see the unseen and to hear His voice. We have access into the presence of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:18, 5:17 and Hebrews 10:17-22
Acts 2:5-16 the Miraculous & the Mockery
Was the Coming of the Holy Spirit related to Communion in the Upper Room?
5 And living there were those in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 8 And how do we hear every man in his own tongue, where we were born? (*see map1) 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, what does this mean? 13 Others mocking said, these men are full of new wine. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken , as ye suppose , seeing it is but the third hour of the day (9am). 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
My Missions teacher at Christ for the Nations, John Garlock, seemed to me to be a bit like what I imagine C.S. Lewis might have been to his students. One of his gems was, "If you want to reach the world with the Gospel go witnessing where the ships come to port!"
How brilliant was the Lord to coordinate Roman and Jewish event days on the calendars to bring people groups together on appointed days. The new tax from Caesar for example used to bring Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem at just the right time! (Bethlehem: The House of bread where the Bread of life would put on flesh, be bundled and placed in a feeding trough - a manger.)
Now, at Pentecost, the sending of the Holy Spirit, promised and explained by Jesus after introducing the New Covenant Meal of Communion in John 13-17, had come and it was a time when there were visitors from virtually every people group and language in that part of the world. How did God get their attention? - They gathered when they saw the upper room as if it was enveloped by wind and fire from heaven. Then they heard 'the locals' praying, praising, preaching and singing simultaneously with no sense of confusion.
It was so outside the box that a few observers heckled the event saying, "They're drunk!" That's all it took for Peter to stand up to the jury and give his witness. In chapter one we learned that Jesus promised "Power to Become Witnesses" of His presence. It happened immediately. Peter preached, "Wow! We are not drunk - no, this is much better than revelry, this is revelation poured out like fire into our hearts from Jesus in heaven. He has put heaven inside us and His Spirit so that we can continue to walk and talk with Him. Jesus is alive inside us by the same power that raised Him from the dead just 50 days ago!
With that the crowd pressed in and the 120 scattered among them sharing their personal witness from group to group as quickly as they were able. That same day another 3,000 believed and the Church was born! Peter said in effect, "Hey! God has been planning this for a long time... Remember what the Prophet Joel said? He preached this in his day telling his world that this this day would come and now it has before your eyes and in your ears!"
Here's a hunch. I'll bet the when the prayer meeting came to the Bread and Wine in the Upper Room - I'll bet that's when they saw the fire and heard and felt the wind of the entrance of the Holy Spirit. He filled all the room where they were sitting and they all drank deeply of the wine of the Holy Spirit. As they partook of the Bread of His Flesh it was broken to become the veil pulled back releasing the wine of His Blood. It poured into all who opened their mouth to drink. When they did, wells of living water sprung up in the lives of 120 believers who could not stop praising the Lord in a heavenly language.
Another miracle was that when they spoke in heaven's language all the thousands of observers who gathered to see this miraculous event heard their own language! They also all heard the same message. This Jesus who was betrayed, tortured, suffered and died conquered sin, hell and death for anyone who would turn to Him from their own life and believe and follow Him. Coming to Him means you believe He did what was required for all your sins to be forgiven, all your shame, guilt and condemnation to be washed away and to have His promise of eternal life!
When they heard this they were astonished and a great sense of awe began to grow among them from moment to moment.
He loved you first. He wants to give you everything He has to share starting with the gift of the Holy Spirit and heaven's language. He invites you to sit down with Him every day to feast on heaven's treasures as He offers them to you one morsel and one sip at a time. The rest of the world will think 'they must be intoxicated' to be that happy!
Acts 2: 17-18 to Prophesy, Have Visions & Dream Dreams
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and handmaidens I will pour out My Spirit in those days and they shall prophesy!”
What power changes mortals into visionaries and prophets of the Lord? Joel saw it back in his day. He could "see" the day coming. It begins with Jesus showering all who believe with His gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit ignites our spirit with His fire. The evidence is that He enables us immediately with the gift of language. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to speak His language and the language of angels and billions of Christians before us. The Holy Spirit then becomes the revealer of Jesus and the only one who can give us the gift of bringing all things to our remembrance when we respond to Jesus' invitation to "Do this in remembrance of Him." After Salvation and Baptisms it is Daily Communion that opens the way for us to feed on the eternal life of Jesus. That's why our relationship with the Holy Spirit is so vital. He shows us what Jesus wants us to see and He only tells us what Jesus gives Him to say to us.
So the living stones that the Lord uses to build his Kingdom are those who are empowered by the Holy Spirit through Communion, the Eucharist, and the Qurbana.
Ongoing Communion with Jesus is the cause of the new community in the early church to appear to be ‘constantly’ - in a “drunken as you suppose” state of being because: Just mere mortals are provided each day with one morsel and one sip and it is enough!
It is His blessing on it that causes the crumb to multiply as part of an eternal feast with enough left over to share with anyone and everyone. Its how living in the Spirit of the miraculous works. The sip becomes a river of life coursing through our body revealing new blessings of His great salvation at every turn. In our hearts, it creates a fountain springing up and overflowing everywhere we go gently splashing others with the reality of His grace somehow. His goodness and grace spilled from them as it overflowed from their hearts,
He is always giving others room to splash when we are near and they get to take a free test drive. We consume and are consumed. We imbibe and are intoxicated with His love. His blessing comes with a written guarantee on the table of our hearts with the ink of his blood, “I will always give you more than enough with plenty left over to share with others and will never leave you or forsake you – you always have a seat at My Table.” His blessings make us want to come back for more for we can never get enough and His promises provide a cornucopia of fruit from His Tree of Life. One bite and the meat and juices of heaven cause us to become partakers of His divine nature. The Good Shepherd is leading us constantly and more deeply into his eternal reality... one morsel and one sip at a time.
When Jesus takes anything and blesses it – it is no longer the same!
He takes it,
He blesses it,
He breaks it and
He gives it to them
Where this appears:
Matthew 14:19, 26:26, Mark 6:41, 8:6, Luke 9:16, 24:30, John 6, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Hebrews 10:20
It’s all about who takes it and what happens when He blesses it and breaks it (open) as in Hebrews 10:20 and gives it to them... it is always a gift! Always.
Acts 2:19-37 Your Kingdom Come and will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!
New Life - New Lifestyle
The concealed revealed and then reflected.
The Invisible made visible and then shown!
The natural meets super natural and transforms.
"And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
You Men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held of it. For David speaks concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt you suffer your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the way of life; you shall make me full of joy with your countenance.
Men and brethren, let me freely and speak to you of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He saw this beforehand and spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
This Jesus God has raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which you now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel absolutely know that God hath made that same Jesus, who you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles,
Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
The Lord shows His signature on events of importance by producing signs and wonders. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit comes with Heavenly wind and Tongues of fire that ignite the ability of everyone breathing the wind to boldly speak the language of the Holy Spirit. Joel saw this and prophesied about it. Did you ever notice that when Mary pregnant with Jesus came to see Elizabeth pregnant with ‘the greatest prophet of all the Old Covenant’ (in Luke 1), John the Baptist ‘leaped in her womb’ and she was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to prophecy in a loud voice, “The Lord is with you, blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Signs and wonders began with the visitation of Gabriel to Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, and Zachariah; the Star of Bethlehem… it was the invisible becoming visible from the very beginning of the dawn of the New Covenant. “On earth as it is in heaven” became the new wind of heaven being released.
Peter is quickened by the Holy Spirit to declare to the crowd outside the Upper Room that King David prophesied about this moment. He too was delivering a revelation given to him in those moments. Jesus was now declared Lord and Christ, King of Heaven! King David knew this was going to happen a thousand years earlier.
So Peter witnessed to the crowd before that the Throne that was now set up in His heart and in the hearts of all those baptized in the wind and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It was now set up on the earth in their hearts. The throne of Jesus was the throne of David, a man after God’s own heart.
Picture this with Peter and David. Jesus was raised up from the dead and then into heaven and was crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God the Father took the oil of anointing just as Samuel did of David before Jesse and as it poured out over the head of Jesus it poured down through His beard to the skirts of His garments (Psalm 133) and then the wind of heaven carried the droplets of oil and the Holy Spirit from heaven to earth. As the wind arrived in the Upper Room the droplets of oil that anointed Jesus Lord and Christ in heaven, ignited! The regal authority of His throne filled the hearts of those breathing the wind of heaven and as the King sat down at the right hand of the Father in heaven He simultaneously sat down in the throne of every heart that breathed in the wind of heaven. They began to praise and worship Him as Savior and Lord with the angels and in language of the Holy Spirit with all the heavenly host.
Heaven had come to rest in the hearts of all who would call upon His name! The Kingdom that Jesus brought to them was now in them!
The Lord makes it clear through Peter and the signs and wonders of those first hours of Pentecost that prophesy, visions, dreams and revelations would continue until the return of Jesus. When He returns there would be powerful physical signs in the heavens and the earth. That Jesus would maintain complete authority until every last enemy would become his footstool.
On earth as in heaven. It has begun! It will continue until He creates a new heaven and a new earth and we see the New Covenant Jerusalem become our eternal dwelling place in Communion with the Lamb for all eternity!
Acts 2: 38-42. Day One: 3,000 + 120 = 3,120
38 Then Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued steadfastly in:
The Apostles' doctrine (“Christ in you the hope of glory”)
And fellowship, (as members of the New Covenant Community
And in breaking of bread, (Partaking of Communion)
And in prayers. (Agreement with God’s intentions)
Peter’s answer to “What shall we do?” is to turn from the world, self and Satan and turn to God. Believe and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! The he said that this promise is to you and all future generations.
The Early Church ‘formula’ for becoming part of God’s Kingdom was to baptize with John’s Baptism all that the Lord added to follow in the footsteps of the Savior. This was the line of demarcation for all that said, “I believe” and completely surrendered their life to Jesus. In those days making this decision was one of life and death. Choosing to be a Christ follower could very well cost you your life. When they were buried in the waters of baptism they went down into the watery depths, dead in trespasses and sin, and before all the world and all of heaven were raised up with Jesus a new creation into everlasting life. Alleluia. Then fellow members of this new humanity would share about and pray with each one to become baptized in the gift of the Holy Spirit. To receive heaven’s power to become first hand witnesses of the love, life and glory of Jesus Christ meant to be ready to come into the eternal presence of the Lord. That is when they experienced the King taking the throne to reveal His Kingdom to all who exchanged their worldly citizenship for eternal citizenship in the new reality of Jesus’ Kingdom.
Peter said, “This is how to be saved from this rebellious and scandalous generation.” (As it is in every generation until the lord returns.) The rhythm and the flow of each heart was tuned into the reality of Jesus ruling from within where He revealed His glory; the sharing of those revelations of Jesus as first-hand witnesses with each other as citizens of heaven; sharing Communion as often as they could from house to house and by that constant fire to unite together with the Lord and His people to move forward into a future only Jesus knew how to lead into.
There were no New Testaments. There was no Church history. The only one who knew the plan was the one who would reveal it morsel by morsel and sip by sip. Every moment of everyday there was absolute attentiveness to the leading of the Holy Spirit within the Communion. Communion is how Jesus distributed Himself as The Word of God. It is how He manifested Himself in His glory where we could each be transformed from glory to glory. Each morsel and sip became a time released miracle that would multiply between Communions, from house to house, preserving the integrity of the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the early construction of the ecclesia (those called to become believers) to become living stones the Lord would use to build His Church.
They “continued steadfastly” means that they continued doing that from which they drew their strength. They were persistent, intense and devoted to this new way of life being introduced, directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit orchestrated every encounter with Jesus (bringing each believer into His presence, bringing all things to their remembrance that Jesus told Him to share and gave then a constant sense of things to come. Each believer was empowered with their own sense of destiny by the constant courage given by Jesus to persevere the surrender to patient transformation and increasing strength of faith. A sense of awe grew among them as they watch how Jesus added to the New Community daily.
The New Covenant Community, The New Humanity born of the Virgin Mary was The Word become Flesh and Blood: First to save us from our sins and second to feed us until His return. The Divine Flesh and Blood that saves us also feeds us. So all 4 primary activities of the Church being born are centered on feeding on the reality of Jesus.
Their Communion-centric lifestyle was centered on a steadfast continuance in the Lord’s presence in these 4 pillars of Communion-centric praxis, life and worship:
The Apostles' doctrine: (apostolos didache) bringing constant dialog to and understanding to the remembrance of Jesus by the Holy Spirit as one morsel and sip at a time revealing: “Christ in you the hope of glory”.
And fellowship: (koinonia) Communion, Community – sharing as members of the New Covenant Community, they shared everything, spiritually and physically. Koinonia also literally means “Communion” It is a sharing of the bread Jesus gives us individually at His Table with one another. At His Table the bread starts to multiply immediately. What the Lord gives to us in the Communion Bread and Wine in secret we declare from the rooftops. There is an abandonment to the Lord and his people that is intrinsic from the new spiritual reality right down to sharing the Kingdom of God in message, mission and ministry.
And in breaking of bread: (klasis artos) this is the literal partaking of Communion. Literally ‘breaking the raised bread or lifted bread’. Jesus said, “And if I be lifted up, I will draw all people to me.” When we lift the bread and the cup before the Lord for His blessing it is then that the bread and wine presented become something else. The blessing of Jesus on this bread and wine injects, changes or makes something happen to it that Jesus calls His Flesh and His Blood. It may look and taste lie bread and wine, but His blessing changes its nature from being natural bread and wine to becoming super natural bread and wine. If Jesus calls it His Flesh and Blood then it’s probably okay for us to do the same.
And in prayers: (proseuché/euchomai) a place of divine exchange; exchange wishes. To interact with the Lord by switching human wishes (ideas) for His wishes as He imparts faith. A place to meet with the Lord, especially where there may not be sanctuary or a church building. In other words a location that is brought about spiritually. The place where we engage the presence of the Lord to worship in Spirit and truth. Prayer is anything that may happen when we are in the presence of the Lord. We come empty handed to receive what He has prepared for us.
Acts 2:43-47 Selling Out for Communion-centric Community
And a great sense of awe came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And:
all that believed were together, and
had all things common; 45 and
sold their possessions and goods, and
parted them to all according to needs. 46 And
they continued daily with one accord in the temple, and
breaking bread from house to house, and
did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
RESULT: 47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And
the Lord added to the church daily those being saved.
Notice the great sense of awe is placed before and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. The awe came from each person’s encounters with the Lord. The effect of living as a communion-centric (Christ-centric) community intensified the experience of Communion with the Lord every day. When others heard about it and partook of the new life, as the Lord kept adding new people every day, they too experienced the power of the Holy Spirit to lead them into the presence of the Lord through Holy Communion.
Again, this is all new. This is the starting place and what happened in those first few days lit a fuse that would set-off explosions in the hearts of all new believers from Jerusalem to the uttermost parts of the world today. Some were recorded and the press of the Holy Spirit created the wine of the Apostles Creed. That would happen 20-30 years later so until then there was the witness of the 12, the 70 and the 120. The numbers grew quickly but one thing was clear. Those involved gave up everything to become a part. Jesus was accessible 24/7. He was all they talked about. His presence was recreating their lives. Jesus was literally turning them into living stones of praise and worship. He built them together and it was all any one of them wanted. They were constantly having Communion from house to house. They had wonderful meals together filled with praise for the Lord, testimony, love, sharing, caring and a common life that quickly became the hallmark of their lifestyle and existence as Christians.
So great was the love and presence of Jesus among them that they found favor with everyone. The excitement and passion was so great it was as if they were eating and drinking the same meal, and they were! The eternal feast had begun. Breaking bread from house to house, every morsel was Jesus and every sip His blood. This meal blessed constantly by the Lord brought Him into their hearts and lives in an ever more determined way. Jesus had become Lord and King among those who just 8 weeks earlier had cried out for Him to be crucified. In some lives I’m sure the saying could be true that those who mocked Him were conquered by Him as He looked down upon them.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. This was the plan. It always had been. Now it was in full gear and by the thousands they began to worship the Lord in Spirit and truth. As they had and as we have Communion - feasting upon His life and presence, Jesus becomes our Shiloh and Shalom.
Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes.
Joshua 18:9 So the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities in seven divisions in a book; and they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh.
Psalm 122: I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Our feet shall stand within your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together: Where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you. Shalom be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces. For my brethren and sake of my companions, I will now say, Peace be within you. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.