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STUDIES IN ACTS

STUDIES IN ACTS

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Published by glennpease
These 33 messages give you a great insight into the early church and its teachings.
These 33 messages give you a great insight into the early church and its teachings.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 25, 2009
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10/21/2011

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STUDIES IN ACTS
BY GLENN PEASECONTENTS
1. PENTECOSTAL POWER Based on Acts 2:1-22. THE THRONE OF DAVID Based on Act 2:22-363. PROPHECY FULFILLED Based on Acts 2:22f 4. PENTECOSTAL RESULTS Based on Acts 2:37f 5. LAYMAN AND EVANGELISM Based on Acts 8:1-13
6. AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE Based on Acts 8:26-407. DORCUS THE DOER Based on Acts 9:36-438. RACISM Based on Acts 10:289. BARNABAS THE ENCOURAGER Based on Acts 11:19-3010. JAMES THE MARTYR Based on Acts 12:1-311. GUARDIAN ANGELS Bases on Acts 12:1-1112. LYDIA THE BUSINESS WOMAN Based on Acts 16:11-1513. EARTHQUAKES EXAMINED Based on Acts 16:22-3414. THREE BABIES AND A MAN Based on Acts 17:1-1515. A BABY MAKER based on Acts. 17:1-1516. COMPLICATIONS OF THE NEW BIRTH Based on Acts 17:1-1517.
 
PRACTICING THE PRESENCE
Based on
ACTS 17:22-3118. FATALISM OR FAITH Based on Acts 17:16-3419. IDOLATRY IS NOT DEAD Based on Acts 17:16-2320. EDUCATIONAL EVANGELISM Based on Acts 17:16-2821. INTELLECTUAL FOR CHRIST Based on Acts 18:23-2822. PAUL-A VICTIM OF SLANDER Based on Acts 21:1-3223. SECULAR SALVATION Based on Acts 21:27-3224. REJECTING REJECTION Based on Acts 21:27-4025. CHRISTIAN COURTESY ACTS 22:1-1126. PAUL'S UNIQUE EXPERIENCE Based on Acts 22:1-1127. SPIRITUALITY AND SPEED Based on Acts 22:128. THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE Based on Acts 22:1-2129. LEARNING TO LISTEN Based on Acts 22:1-2230. OUR LORD AND OUR LAND Based on Acts 22:25-2931. THE POWER OF OBSERVATION Based on Acts 23:1-1132. CHRISTIAN CLEVERNESS Based on Acts 23:1-1133. DIFFERENCES MAKE A DIFFERENCE Based on Acts 23:1-11
1. PENTECOSTAL POWER Based on Acts 2:1-21
 
 
One of the oldest festival days in history is the Festival of Pentecost. It was one of the favorites of the Jews for centuries before Christ, and it has been a significant day in the church for two thousandyears. It became the third great Christian feast after Christmas and Easter. It marks the anniversaryof the coming of the Holy Spirit. Liturgical churches call it Whitsunday because of the early customof wearing white clothes on this day to symbolize the illumination which the Holy Spirit brought.Welcome, white day, a thousand suns,Though seen at once, were black to thee;For after their light, darkness comes,But thine shines to eternity.In spite of the importance of this day it has been greatly neglected by many Christians. Most of us would not even know it was Pentecost Sunday, which means 50 days after the resurrection of Christ. The early church celebrated this day long before they did Christmas. If we are unaware of this day it is due to the lack of understanding of the place of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church.Dr. Norman Maclean was teaching the Apostle’s Creed to some students, and he had them stand in arow and each repeat a line. One morning they began and the first student said, “I believe in God theFather Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” The next said, “I believe in Jesus Christ His only Sonour Lord.” This went on through all the doctrines, and then there was silence. The boy who wasnext in line said, “Please sir, the boy who believes in the Holy Ghost is absent today.” Dr. Macleanremarked, “Lots of folks are absent when it comes to that clause.”E. Stanley Jones referring to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit said, “It is the undiscovered countryof Christianity, the dark continent of the Christian life. The land where our spiritual resources lie but undeveloped.” The great need of the church, and of each individual Christian, is the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the power to do the task for which we exist, and so we want to look at this firstPentecostal experience of the disciples in the light of their reception of power.I. THE SECRET OF THEIR RECEPTION OF POWER. v. 1Jesus had commissioned His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, but Hetold them that they must first tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high.For 10 days after Jesus ascended they waited in obedience to His command. Peter had finallylearned to wait on the Lord. He had finally learned to take orders and obey them with perfectconfidence that Jesus knew what He was doing. Ordinarily Peter’s nature would have caused him tosay, “Wait! What do you mean wait! We know Christ is alive now, for we have seen Him with our own eyes. Why wait? Let’s go tell the world right now.” He would have gone out and instead of turning the world upside down, would have become an utter failure trying to do a supernatural work in his own natural powers. But Peter knew better now. He had tried his own power and discoveredit was weakness. He learned that you can have natural powers around you and behind you, butwithout supernatural power from above you, you can do nothing. Like his Lord, he learnedobedience by the things which he suffered.This was the secret of their reception of power. They were all with one accord in one place.There was unity in obedience to Christ. No longer were the 12 anxious about who was going to setwhere in the kingdom. All they knew was that Jesus had promised them power, and so in perfectharmony and in complete confidence they waited. They were on the launching pad of preparation
 
waiting for God’s countdown to reach the zero hour and send them soaring out into all the worldwith the Gospel. After 10 days you would think that some division would arise. It would have beeneasy for some to get impatient and begin to doubt the promise. It is not easy to wait.Themistocles, the famous Athenian general, once kept his men waiting during a navel battle.At sunrise they were all ready to advance, but the order did not come. As the hours passed the men became impatient. Talk spread that he was not going to fight because he was afraid. Themistoclesknew what he was doing. He knew there was a wind that came up in that region at a certain time of the day. He waited for it to give the command so that he did not need as many men at the oars, butcould have them in arms to fight. He was waiting for greater power. This is what the church wasdoing on that first Christian Pentecost. They did so without questioning the wisdom of their Lord.They obeyed because they had learned to take Him at His word with complete trust. They madethemselves available to receive the promised power.Someone has said that it is not only your ability, but your availability that Jesus needs if He isto use you with power, and here we see them being available for the Master’s use. If the church is tohave power in any age, it must have these characteristics. It must be united in allegiance to Jesus,and completely confident that He is able to do all things, and they must be available to be used as Hesees fit. This means every local church must ask itself constantly, why do we exist? What does Godwant us to do, and are we making ourselves available to be used? A proper response to thesequestions will lead us, like the first believers, to the discovery of the secret of receiving power fromon high.II. THE SIGNS OF THEIR RECEPTION OF POWER. v. 2-3God always gives signs when He performs a mighty act in history on behalf of men. He appealsto the ears and eyes that men might know the work is of a divine and supernatural nature. WhenGod gave the law to Moses there was a loud voice of thunder and the terror of consuming fire.When Jesus comes again there will be the blast of the trumpet, the great shout of the archangel, andthe terrible fire that will melt the elements with fervent heat. Sound and sight play a role in thesegreat events, and so also in the Pentecostal event. Pay careful attention to the language here. Thesound of the wind and the sight of the fire were real but not actual. They were signs of the reality of the power they had received. In verse 2 came a sound as of a rushing mighty wind. In verse 3appeared tongues like as fire. There was no actual wind or fire, but the sound and the sight werereal, and they symbolized the presence of God in power.What could be a better symbol of the Holy Spirit than wind? What else in the material world is present with such power, and yet it is invisible? Jesus used wind as an illustration of the Spirit whenHe was talking to Nicodemus. He said that you hear the sound of it but you cannot tell where itcomes from and where it goes, and so it is with everyone born of the Spirit. If God had not giventhis sign of the sound of wind, the Holy Spirit could have entered the believers in silence, and therewould not have been this great outward evidence. It was given here that the church might alwaystrace its source of power to the Holy Spirit, and not to some psychological emotion within. Thewind symbolizes a power beyond man. When God spoke to Job He spoke out of a whirlwind, andwhen God gave life to the dry bones in Ezekiel He did it with a wind. Now at Pentecost He fills thehouse with the sound of a rushing mighty wind, but the filling of the house with sound is only a signof the greater fact that He filled their hearts with the Spirit. Now that the Spirit has come to abide

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