Tower of Babel vs Pentecost
Tongues taken away in Babel, tongues restored at Pentecost.
Speaking in tongues still brings out the mockers.
Pentecost – the beginning of the last days?
The Holy Spirit enables :
- – Prophecy
- – Visions
- – Dreams – am I ignoring God while ignoring my dreams?
Call on the name of the Lord and be saved.
The power of God manifesting in Peter’s words through the Holy Spirit. Penetrates hearts and brings conviction.
When we witness / preach or do anything on behalf of God, are we being guided / empowered by the Holy Spirit or are we relying on our own strength/ wisdom ?
What should we do?
- – Repentance – Reject sin, accept God – changing allegiance to God alone (all others are idols) ?
- – Receive the Blood to cleanse from sin – Have Jesus take away my sin – have my sin payed for by Jesus – use the Blood as bail / bond / payment for the wages of my sin.
- – Holy Spirit now has an open door and room to come into our lives.
But there is a place that the Holy Spirit was received first before Baptism(Acts 10 ). This would suggest to me that that salvation is by (the) grace (of Jesus Christ) through faith (in Jesus Christ) by just believing / receiving Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior in my heart and confessing Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior with my mouth (the action / work of faith). In Acts 10:44, the Holy Spirit fell on those who were listening to the testimony of Peter about Jesus. They must have believed in the Word of God being preached to them because Faith comes by hearing and hearing of the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
This settles for me the somewhat controversial issue that – baptism (act of water baptism ) or any other works for that matter is necessary for salvation. No works are necessary for salvation! Salvation is a free gift form God that we receive by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). I receive the Holy Spirit also as a free gift by grace through faith once I believe and receive Jesus as my Lord & Savior. I cannot contribute anything to my salvation by any works. What is of works is therefore not of grace (Romans 11:6).
My understanding of the Faith without works is dead ( James 2:17 ) refers to the works or actions that show that I indeed have faith in Jesus. Confessing Jesus with my mouth is an act of faith showing that I indeed have faith in Jesus. Asking for the free gifts of the Holy Spirit is my act/work of faith. How else can I prove to God (but mostly to my own self) that I indeed have faith? Or another way of looking at it is that the works that show we have faith is a way that we testify of our faith in Jesus to man / world since they may not be able to discern the heart. God on the other hand looks at and discerns our hearts and knows its true condition and intentions, but man may not know the condition of our heart and it therefore has to be demonstrated to them through our actions. (Matthew 12:34-35, Luke 6:44-45, Matthew 15:18 )
The testimony of what is in our hearts is demonstrated to the world through our actions such as what we say, what we do. But in this chapter, Acts 2, we see that God relies on the condition / intention of our hearts alone, not necessarily with a demonstration of the corresponding action, unless for our benefit or for others benefit. Jesus prayer at the tomb of Lazarus was for the benefit of the people standing around (John 11:42). A voice from heaven was heard for the benefit of the crowd – John 12:30.
It is all about Jesus and what He has done and cannot be mixed with anything I have done or can do, and possibly why it is Amazing Grace. ( may the Holy Spirit give me more revelation and clarification on this issue)
# Thank you Lord for calling me into salvation. I believe and receive You Lord Jesus into my heart by grace through faith as I accept the finished work of the Cross over my life and family. You have indeed washed away all my sins by Your Precious Blood and have presented me as the righteousness of God in Yourself. May I receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit & Fire and be saturated in Your power such that out of my belly indeed flows rivers of living water and rivers of fire, all to also be a blessing to others and all for Your Glory. Amen!
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus – 3000 saved
The law of sin and death brought by Moses – 3000 killed – Exodus 32
How to grow a Church?
The Church needs its leadership to be Spirit filled so as to be able to hear and follow the directions of Jesus. It is not our Church ( to do what we think or what we want, or what the majority say ) but the Church of Jesus Christ to do what He thinks and what He wants and what He alone says .
How often we miss that and do things ( in the name of God) without consulting or getting direction from the Lord, our Master. Paul / Saul had that issue of being zealous for the Lord in persecuting the Church of Jesus in the name of the Lord until he was rendered blind by the Lord , heard the voice of the Lord, was filled by the Spirit of the Lord and the scales from his eyes feel off. He was literally set straight at a Street called Straight and shown literally that he was blind to the ways of the Lord despite being a guru of the scripture as a Pharisee of Pharisees – God’s sense of humor?
Being called by the Lord is therefore very important (vs 39), because of the who chooses who power game:
- – If we chose God, we want to call the shots and have God do what we want – our terms and conditions for service in His ministry!
- – If God chooses us , He calls the shots and by accepting Him we accept His terms and conditions for service in His ministry.
Believers devoted themselves to :
- – Apostles teachings – The Word
- – Fellowship – Church
- – Sharing meals – Showing love / care / compassion to one another
- – Prayer
What is my spiritual life devoted to?
The basics of prayer, fasting ( removing focus from self to focus more on spiritual things – love of God- & others – love of others) and the Word of God can be seen.
Miracles signs and wonders occurred in the Church.
- – Met in one place
- – Shared everything they had
- – Worshiped together at the Temple each day
- – Met in homes for the Lord’s Supper
- – Shared their meals with great joy and generosity
- – Shared their wealth with those in need
- – Praised God
- – Enjoying good will of all people
The Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved . The Lord is the one to grow the Church with the people He has called to Himself. Therefore no need for gimmicks to grow a Church – just listen and obey and He shall add.
I have not seen or heard too many churches doing or following the principles found in Acts… But it starts with me!