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Miracle Revival Bible Studies
L. E. A.
SERIES 1-THE ACTS OF THE HOLY GHOST
A ND WHEN the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:2-8).
“And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 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: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of 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” (Acts 2:12-17).
[EMPH., PUNCT., AND BRACKETS ADDED]
THE FOUR GOSPELS could aptly be called, “The Acts of the Lord Jesus Christ.” The Book of Acts is a continuation of “all Jesus began both to do and teach” (Acts. 1:1). The Four Gospels are concerned with His ministry before the ascension.
The book of Acts recounts the beginning of His ministry through Spirit-filled disciples.
Before He went away, He promised His disciples, “...He that believeth on me, the Works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12, see John 16:7). “Lo I am with you alway, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD.” (Lit., “age,” Matt. 28:20).
In addition to the twelve who were with Him throughout His earthly ministry, and had heard and seen all that He did and taught, there were hundreds of other disciples (lit., pupils) who had received a part of His course of instruction.
Five hundred of these, when they had learned of His resurrection, gathered about Him again, and were present at the time of His ascension. These He instructed that they should go into Jerusalem and wait there until He sent the Holy Ghost [NOT THE POPE, CATHOLICS!] into the world to take His place as Head of the Church.
During Christ’s earthly life, He remained Head of the disciples. When he went away, He did not urge them to go on out without a leader. Neither did He appoint one of their number to take His place as Head. He asked them rather to wait (“tarry”) until the new leader—the Holy Ghost—arrived (Luke 24:49; John 14:17, 26.)
One hundred and twenty, including both men and women, obeyed His order, and went to the Upper Room to await the arrival of their new leader. WHAT BECAME OF THE THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY? Perhaps they returned to the church later, claiming their seniority as members over the converts on the day of Pentecost and forward. Perhaps they are the ones we find later seeking office, advocating legalism, complaining because favor and provision were not distributed to their satisfaction—never once believing that any decision could have been made by any power higher than man! Of these are they who declare, “Why pray about a decision? There are good men on both sides. All that we can do is present all the evidence and vote on the decision.” There always have been, and always will be, in the visible church, those who are too busy, or too restless to wait to find God’s plan. But they usually consider themselves wise enough to direct not only their own ways, but the activities of the entire church as well!
When the day of Pentecost was fully come (Acts 2:1), the Holy Spirit came, and each one of the faithful 120 were immediately filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with tongues AND prophesy. A new dispensation had opened. A new General had taken command. There is no record that some were required to “tarry” longer. ALL WERE FILLED AT ONCE. There is no record that any person was ever instructed to “tarry” for the baptism with the Holy Ghost after the day of Pentecost. From that time forward, it was just a matter of yielding to Him, His authority, qualifying for, and receiving the “uniform” of His army.
How does one qualify? By submitting completely to His authority (Acts 5:32), and by cleansing himself of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (II Cor. 7:1).
Whit is the uniform? The uniform is that mark by which the Spirit-filled are recognized immediately. It is the mark whereby Peter and six other Spirit-filled Jews, on their first tremulous venture into the great task of carrying the Gospel to the Gentiles, were able to recognize that God had purified those Gentiles’ hearts by faith and baptized them with the Holy Ghost. “THEY HEARD THEM SPEAK WITH TONGUES!” (Acts 10:46, 47). After this, Peter did not hesitate to declare, “The Holy Ghost fell on them, AS ON US AT THE BEGINNING...God gave them the like gift as he did unto us.” (Acts 11:15, 17.)
Have you received this experience? If not, it is for you! “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” (Acts 2:39).
The second chapter of Acts is the beginning, not merely of a book, but of the age in which we live, the “Church age,” the DISPENSATION OF THE HOLY GHOST. Here we have set out the beginning of the pattern God Himself set up for the church throughout the age. As we study the entire book, let us keep constantly in mind that here we shall find:
(1) patterns for worship and conduct; (2) patterns for evangelism, and for church government; (3) examples of success in the early church, as right patterns were followed; (4) examples of failure when men’s ideas superseded the leading of the Holy Ghost.
1. SOUND OF a mighty wind.
2. Tongues of fire.
3. Speaking in other tongues unknown to the ones speaking, but heard and understood by foreigners present.
The one hundred and twenty disciples waiting in the upper room for the “promise of the Father,” saw the tongues of fire over each one of them. We do not know if the multitude saw this manifestation. But when the disciples were so full of the marvelous blessing of the Holy Ghost that they could not be still, they ran out into the street and the multitude saw their rejoicing and heard them speaking in tongues. The crowd also heard the sound of the wind, and it was this that brought them running.
These manifestations produced a three-fold reaction:
1. THE PEOPLE were amazed.
2. They were perplexed (they “doubted”).
3. They criticized (“These men are drunk”).
Later that same day, many of these people were converted, but first they were amazed. That is the purpose of manifestations: to attract the attention of the crowd, to cause people to say “What meaneth this?” Peter might have preached his heart out and had no results if the crowd had not at first been “amazed.” They would not even have stopped to listen.
The Spirit-filled church always shows forth the super-natural. Now, as then, it produces amazement, perplexity, and criticism. If these impressions are not made, it is because the church is not Spirit-filled!
Today, the church does not want to amaze the people. The church is far more concerned with programs, methods, personalities, doctrines, organization, than with being Spirit-filled.
The first witness the church ever made was to make noise, to act like drunk men, and to speak in other tongues. What a strange witness, BUT IT WAS GOD’S METHOD.
THE CROWD had asked a question, “What meaneth this?” Peter answered, “This is that!”
1. Joel prophesied this.
2. He said the Spirit would be poured forth on all flesh.
3. It is Jesus of Nazareth who is doing this thing, the same Jesus YOU delivered up to be crucified.
4. He rose from the dead, and He is doing this which you see and hear.
5. This happened “by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,” “You intended it for evil, but God planned it that way.”
This was not a popular message. Peter is no longer concerned about his reputation, or his safety. Peter is a different man than he was. Something new has been added! He is now baptized with the Holy Ghost.
1. CONVICTION (v. 37).
2. 3,000 converted (v. 41).
3. Steadfast believers, continuing in the faith (v. 46, 47).
Did Peter’s eloquence convict the multitude? If eloquence and good preaching could do it, the whole world would be converted: we have plenty of that. No, it had to be the added anointing of the Holy Ghost on his ministry that caused this unpopular message to bring forth such results.
“TO ALL THAT ARE AFAR OFF”
EIGHT YEARS AFTER this, the same evidence of the Holy Ghost was still occurring (Acts 10). It was this evidence of speaking in other tongues that convinced Peter that the Gentile, Cornelius, and his household, were saved just as were the Jews.
Twenty-three years later, Paul laid hands on some believers in Ephesus, prayed, and they were “filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in other tongues and prophesied.”
After that, he wrote to the church at Corinth concerning the “speaking in other tongues,” which was common among them. This “evidence” was common then, and it continued on in the church for many, many years, becoming more rare only as the spirituality of the church declined.
Now in these last fifty years, God has poured out the Holy Ghost in a mighty outpouring greater than any before. This is the “latter rain” outpouring, spoken of by Joel.
A NEW THING
GOD DID a new thing at Pentecost. He poured out the Holy Ghost in a new way upon man—filling the individual believer so that from now on, the Christian can say, “It is not I that live, but Christ liveth in me,” “I see with His eyes, His mind is my mind,” “It is God that worketh In me to will and to do of His own good pleasure.”
Had the Spirit been absent from the affairs of men previous to this time? No. In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God came upon men for the doing of mighty deeds, for prophecy, for leadership, even inspired some to do unusual work in fashioning gold and silver for the temple of God (Deut. 34:9; Numbers 24:2; Exodus 31:1-5).
This new work of the Spirit is to fill men: causing an identification of the believer with Christ that could not be otherwise acheived; it is the necessary equipment for God’s witnesses: “it is expedient (very important, necessary) for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7).
Now Christ has a new body to work through—the church. Each individual filled with the Holy Ghost should, with Christ’s power, with His mind, and with His zeal and love, be able to work limited, only by God’s power, WHICH HAS NO LIMIT.
IN PETER’S SERMON, he mentions Jesus’ credentials. (Yes, Jesus had credentials.) “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 know.”
The credentials of Jesus were His works. Once He said, “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works.”
How many of today’s ministers would dare to say, “If I do not the works, believe me not” [John 10:37]? Pulpits and pews would empty in a hurry! (See Mark 16:17, 18. These are the credentials that God’s ministers of today are supposed to have.)
Works of the kind that Jesus did are credentials. Why this great stress on works? What about the fruit of the Spirit? Shouldn’t that be our yardstick for judging? Certainly, when it is practical and possible so to judge. BUT WORKS ARE OUTWARD AND VISIBLE ALWAYS. The Bible speaks of false manifestations, and the false prophet will be able to perform strange feats. But the good works of healing and deliverance, according to the Bible, are not done except by men anointed by the Holy Ghost.
A man may do these works [even though he] is not judged as perfect by all who set themselves up as “Judges” (See Romans 14:4, 10, 13). Even Christ was called: a blasphemer (Matt. 9:3), a glutton and a wine bibber (Matt. 11:19; Luke 7:34), a sinner (John 9:24), [and] a deceiver (Matt. 27:63), by the religious leaders of His day. A man does not have to be perfect (i.e. completely perfected) because all men are to “go on unto perfection.” But he will be a man “approved of God.” Blessing and deliverance cannot issue from an evil source (Matt. 12:35).
1. WHAT IS the primary purpose of the Book of Acts?
2. Should we expect that Christians should tarry, as before Pentecost, in order to receive the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, or should we expect immediate filling, as soon as the individual has submitted his own will to that of the Holy Ghost?
3. Does the Holy Ghost act as the controlling force in your own personal life?...In the life and decisions of the church which you attend?
4. Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed (See Acts 19:2)?
5. Have you received power, after you received the Holy Ghost? (See Acts 1:8.)