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THE HOLY SPIRIT PENTECOST EXPERIENCE
EDITED BY GLENN PEASE
Acts 2:4 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit
enabled them.
BIBLEHUB RESOURCES
Baptism Of The Holy Ghost
Acts 2:4
R.A. Redford
Connectwith facts;the position and responsibilities of the Church, the
promise given, the antecedentstate of the world, the need of a Divine power
for the mission of grace, the importance of such a miracle for the confirmation
of faith and the establishmentof Christianity, the uplifting of the agents above
natural infirmities, errors, and sins.
I. A GREAT EPOCHin human history. World filled with many things -
thoughts, speculations, strivings, powers;capable of much, but the greatwant
the Spirit. Truth, love, life, for a false world - a world at enmity with itself, fall
of disorder; a dying world, needing to be renewedand restored.
II. A GREAT GIFT of God to man. "Suddenly bestowed;freely, apart from
man's claims and merits; upon all, without respectof persons, for the selection
of the few believing Jews, witha view to the abolition of Judaism and of all
restrictions;abundantly - all filled," to their own astonishment, with
supernatural powers. Spiritual gifts above all other gifts. Even science points
to a continuous ascentof man. He is only highest when he is filled with the
Spirit of God.
III. A GREAT CHANGE in individuals and in the community. We may
anticipate a similar baptism of the Holy Ghost, not with the same external
manifestation, but with substantially the same elevationof faith and life.
Instances of such a baptism in greatpreachers and workers, in lowly men and
women, in periods of the Church's history. Suddenly the fact may appear, but,
like the first Christians, our duty is to be ready for it, waiting, expecting, with
one accord, oftenin one place. Revival of the Church, conversionof the world,
should be viewed in their relation to this stupendous change, and what came
out of it. Baptism is consecration. The Holy Ghostis not given for signs and
wonders, but to endow the Church for its missionto the world. The powerof
utterance is the greattest of Divine endowment, not in the sense ofhuman
eloquence, but in the fulfillment of the Spirit's work, to "convince the world of
sin, of righteousness, andof judgment" (John 16:8-10). And so -
IV. A GREAT OPENING HEAVEN. The one fact of Pentecostis the pledge of
the future. It is the gate through which we can see endless glory: "angels of
God ascending and descending." "All the families of the earth" blessedin the
true children of Abraham. We must admit of no compromise in the
proclamation of such a message. If Christianity is no more than a moral
doctrine, then Pentecostis lost in the backgroundof a primitive antiquity; if it
is "life from the dead," then we must ceaselesslyrepeatthe watchword, "This
is he that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." We can do nothing without a Divine
Christ, a Divine Spirit, the promise of the Father, a new creation. To this
opened heavenall are alike invited. The conditions of such a baptism were
proclaimed by Jesus himself on the mount, through all his ministry. "Come
unto me;" "Ask, and it shall be given unto you;" "Walk in the light, and be
children of light." - R.
Biblical Illustrator
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:4
The historic movement towards spiritually
J. Parker, D. D.
The successionwhich is indicated by the words Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
is neither nominal nor accidental, it is a philosophicaI progress and
culmination.
1. When we go back towards the origin of things, we are dissatisfiedwith all
mere critical terms, and yearn for something for which we cannot hit the
exactword. Then is suggestedthe Biblical word, Father, and with it comes a
promise of satisfactionin spite of all its difficulties.
2. But fatherhood is an inclusive term, suggesting the idea of childhood, and
childhood is realisedmost impressively in the sonship of Christ; but sonship
such as this, involving visible expression, is besetwith peculiar risks. So He
withdrew Himself immediately that He had securedfor His personality an
unquestioned place in history, as there was nothing more to be gained by His
visible continuance on earth.
3. But what of the future of His work? Then, according to Christian teaching,
was to come manifestation without visibility; instead of bodily presence, there
was to be a new experience of life and spirituality. In one word, the holy Man
was to be followedby the Holy Ghost. This idea of a philosophicalrather than
a merely arbitrary successionis strictly consistentwith the fact that the whole
movement of history, in all that is vital and permanent, is a movement from
the outward and visible to the inward and spiritual.
I. The order of CREATION. The successionruns thus: Light, firmament, dry
land, seas,the fruit-tree yielding fruit, sun, moon, and stars, the moving
creature that hath life, and fowl flying in the open firmament of heaven,
cattle, creeping thing, and beastof the earth; if we pause here we shall be
dissatisfied, because ofa sense ofincompleteness;but to crown the whole
"Godsaid, Let us make man in our image and in our likeness."
II. The order of HUMAN RECOVERY. Beginning with the Levitical ritual,
what could be more objective? The sin-offering, the trespass-offering, the
incenses, etc., representthe most sensuous and exhausting system of
mediation? Could aught be farther from the point of spirituality? In moving
forward to the incarnation, we take an immense step along the line whose
final point is spirituality, yet even there we are still distinctly upon the carnal
line. The final representative of sensuous worshipmust Himself be the
revealerof spiritual life. Jesus Christascended, and henceforth we know not
even Him "afterthe flesh," for the fleshly Christ has Himself placedmankind
under the tuition of a spiritual monitor.
III. The order of WRITTEN TESTIMONY. Frompicture and symbol we pass
to spiritual meanings; through the noise and fury of warwe pass into the
quietness and security of moral civilisation; through the porch of miracles and
mighty signs and wonders we enter the holy place of truth and love. The
quality of John's Gospelrequires the very place that has been assignedto it in
the New Testament. Johnseems to say, "You have heard what the Evangelists
have had to tell, and have seenthe wonderful things of their Master's
ministry; now let me explain the deep meaning of the whole." From Malachi
to Matthew is but a step; but to get from Malachito John, you have to cross
the universe. Matthew shows the fact; John reveals the truth; Matthew
pourtrays on canvas;John puts his word into the heart.
IV. The whole LAW. From the minuteness of microscopic bye-laws men have
passedto a spiritual sense ofmoral distinctions. Every moment of the Jew's
time, and every actof his life, was guarded by a regulation. Amidst our
spiritual light, such regulations could not be re-establishedwithout awakening
the keenestresentment. The greattables of bye-laws have been takendown,
because the spirit of order and of truth has been given. What is true of law is
equally true of all institutionalism.
V. Preciselythe same movement takes place in the experience ofEVERY
PROGRESSIVE LIFE. Every man cantest this doctrine for himself — the
doctrine, namely, that the growthof manhood is towards spirituality. The
child grows towards contempt of its first toys; the youth reviews the narrow
satisfactions ofhis childhood with pity; the middle-aged man smiles, half-
sneeringly, as he recalls the conceits ofhis youth; and the hoary-haired
thinker lives already amid the peace and joy of invisible scenes, orif he go
back, living in memory rather than in expectation, it is so ideally as to divest
his recollections ofall that was transient and unlovely. The spiritual world of
the wise man increases everyday. These suggestions point to the conclusion
that the Holy Ghost is the reasonable completionof revelation, and as such
His ministry is an impregnable proof of the reasonablenessofChristianity. In
the personof Jesus Christ truth was outward, visible, and most beautiful; in
the personof the Holy Ghosttruth is inward, spiritual, all-transfiguring. By
the very necessityof the case the bodily Christ could be but a passing figure;
but by a gracious mystery He causedHimself to be succeededby an eternal
Presence,"eventhe Spirit of Truth, which abideth for ever." It is claimed,
then, on behalf of Christianity, that there is a Holy Ghost, and to this doctrine
is invited not only the homage of the heart but the full assentofthe most
robust and dispassionate understanding.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Filled with the Spirit
Bp. Andrewes.
I. They were filled WITH THE SPIRIT.
1. Men may be filled but not with the Spirit (ver. 13). The audience confessed
they were full, but with wine, a liquor though full of spirit, yet no spirit. It was
false, yet if the Spirit may be taken for a humour, why not a humour for a
spirit. Isaiahsays (Isaiah 29:9) that men may be drunk but not with wine. A
hot humour is takenfor this fire and termed, though untruly, a spirit of zeal,
and men imbued with it are ever mending churches, states, superiors, and all
save themselves.
2. Notevery spirit. "There is a spirit in man," i.e. our own spirit, and many
there be who follow their own ghost, and not the Holy Ghost;for even that
ghosttaketh upon it to inspire, and we know its revelations (Matthew 16:17).
3. blot the world's spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12).
4. But the Holy Spirit, i.e. His gifts and graces.And because these be of many
points they are all included under these two —(l) Under the wind is
representedsaving graces;as necessaryto our spiritual life as breath is to our
natural. This is meant for us personally. Of this Spirit there are nine points
(Galatians 5:22).(2)Under the tongues are setforth the grace meant for the
benefit of others. Tongues serve to teachand fire to warm; and of this spirit
the points are reckonedup in 1 Corinthians 12:7, etc.
II. THEY WERE FILLED with the Spirit.
1. It was not a wind that blew through them, as it does through many of us,
but that filled them.
2. Notthat they were devoid of the Spirit before. Christ had not breathed
upon them (John 20:22)in vain. This shows us that there are diverse measures
of the Spirit, some single, some double portions (1 Kings 2:9). As there are
degrees in the wind — a breath, a blast, a gale, so there are in the Spirit. It is
one thing to receive the Spirit as at Easterand to be filled with Him as at
Whitsuntide. Then but a breath; now a mighty wind; then but sprinkled as
with a few drops (Ezekiel20:46), now baptized with that which was
plenteously poured out (Joel2:20).
III. IN SIGN THAT THEY WERE FILLED THEY RAN OVER. The fire was
kindled in them by this wind, and in sign thereof they spoke with their tongue
(Psalm 39:3). The wind would have servedthem as Christians, but as apostles,
i.e. ambassadors, theymust have tongues.
1. They were filled and then they beganto speak. Some speak, Iwill not say
before they are full, or half full, but while they are little better than empty, if
not empty quite.
2. This beginning to speak argues courage.Any man might see that there was
a new spirit come into them. Before they were tongue-tied. A damsel did but
ask Petera question, and he faltered. But after this mighty wind blew up the
fire, and they were warmed with it, then they were not afraid to testify before
magistrates and kings.
(Bp. Andrewes.)
Filled with the Spirit
H. Arnold Thomas, M. A.
The new era opened at Pentecostwas one in which all God's people were to
have God abiding in them always, the Guest, Comforter and Friend of every
Christian heart. It must be admitted, however, that this Divine ideal has been
very inadequately realised. Let us considersome of the results which may be
expectedto flow from a fuller baptism of the Spirit.
I. SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS.
1. This does not mean that our thoughts should be perpetually running on the
future, that we should ever be debating theologicalquestions, but that we shall
have the powerto appreciate those greatand eternal realities that are about
us.
2. This spiritual mindedness will revealitself —(1) In the estimate we form of
our fellow men.(2) In our appreciation of the greatspiritual end we ought ever
to be seeking in order to do Christian work.(3)In our appreciationof
Christian doctrine caring more about the spiritual substance than the
particular form or fashion by which the truth may have been expressed. For
instance —(a) In all our thought about the death and atonement of Christ, the
imagination will not dwell on the physical blood that was shed, or upon the
physical agonythat was endured, but upon the majesty of God's
righteousness, the wonder of God's love, the mystery of that greatsacrifice on
the Cross, andthe awfulness of the sin which made that sacrifice necessary.(b)
When we think about the secondcoming of Christ, our thoughts will not be
takenup with the external circumstances ofpomp and splendour, but rather
with the triumph' of goodover evil, and truth over falsehood, which is the
consummation to which all devout souls must ever be looking.(c)In thinking
about inspiration we shall not trouble ourselves about theories of it, or about
the mere letter, but our care will be mostly for the Divine truth itself, which
will lift us up in our despondency, and guide us in our perplexity when we
come to the sacredpage.
II. AN ACCESS OF POWER BYWHICH THE NATURALLY TIMID WILL
BE ENABLED TO DO THINGS WHICH WOULD BE OTHERWISE
IMPOSSIBLE TO THE STRONGEST;in regard to —
1. Testimonyfor Christ.
2. Endurance of suffering.
3. Philanthropic work.
III. A CHANGE OF DISPOSITION.
1. The cessationof"jealousies, strifes, anddivisions," which Paul includes
amongstthe "works ofthe flesh."
2. The prevalence of a spirit of mercy and kindness towards others.(1)To
those who in our midst are compelledto live very hard lives.(2) Forthose
multitudes all over the world who are without the knowledge ofGod as
revealedin Christ.
IV. AN ENTHUSIASM OF HOLY FERVOUR IN ALL WORK.
1. In worship.
2. In Church life.
3. In evangelism.
(H. Arnold Thomas, M. A.)
Filled with the Spirit
Cornelius a Lapide.
I. THE FULNESS. There was no part of the complex nature of man that was
not pervaded by the Spirit.
1. The intellect was illumined to know the truths of the Spirit.
2. The affections were purified and inflamed with desires after heavenly
things.
3. The will was strengthenedto obey the motions of the Spirit.
II. ITS MANIFESTATION. Those who are so filled give out only the language
of the life-giving Spirit. Even when they speak ofearthly things it is with a
tongue reminding men of the wisdom and simplicity of the children of God.
When they do aught in the common business of life, their example recalls the
thought of a higher life. All they say or do is to edifying.
(Cornelius a Lapide.)
Filled with the Spirit and receiving the Spirit
W. Arthur, M. A.
The difference is not of kind, but of degree. In the one case,the light of heaven
has reachedthe dark chamber, dispelling night, but leaving some obscurity
and some deep shadows. In the other, that light has filled the whole chamber,
and made every corner bright. This state of the soul — being "filled with the
Holy Ghost" — is the normal antecedentof true prophetic or miraculous
power, but may exist without it; without it, in individuals who are never
endowedwith the gift either of prophecy or of miracles;without it, in
individuals who have such powers, but in whom they are not in action, as in
John the Baptist, before his ministry commenced.
(W. Arthur, M. A.)
Fulness of the Spirit not necessarilymiraculous
W. Arthur, M. A.
Eyesightis the necessarybasis of what is calleda painter's or a poet's eye; the
sense ofhearing, the necessarybasis ofwhat is calleda musical ear, yet
eyesightmay exist where there is no poet's or painter's eye, and hearing where
there is no musical ear. So may the human soul be "filled with the Holy
Ghost," having every faculty illuminated, and every affectionpurified,
without any miraculous gift. On the other hand, the miraculous power does
not necessarilyimply the spiritual fulness: for Paul puts the supposition of
speaking with tongues, prophesying, removing mountains, and yet lacking
charity, that love which must be shed abroad in every heart that is full of the
Holy Ghost.
(W. Arthur, M. A.)
The fulness of the Spirit the need of the Church
T. G. Tarn.
I. WE ARE APT TO FIX OUR THOUGHTS AND DESIRES ON
SUBORDINATE INSTRUMENTALITIES.
1. Goodorganisation. Manyare chiefly anxious to perfectthe ecclesiastical
apparatus of the Church; but without speaking disparaginglyof this, yet
perfect machinery is uselesswithout motive power, a Church may be
organisedto death, and may be only like a stately tomb. The Church's finest
triumphs were gained in days when it had no elaborate organisation.
2. Orthodoxy. Many are distressedby the presentunsettlement of theological
opinion, and regard uniformity of belief as the greatdesideratum. Correct
thinking is much to be desired, and in proportion as any Church departs from
fundamental Christian truth it emasculatesits moral force. But an orthodox
Church may be a scene of mental and spiritual stagnation. It may have a
perfect creedand yet be loveless,lifeless, helpless.
3. Intellectual equipment. Of scholarshipand disciplined thought it is
impossible for a Church to have too much, but a Church that prides itself on
its culture may be as coldas an iceberg and exclusive as a coterie. It may
virtually say to any candidate who cannot be classedamong its "thoughtful,"
or who does not rise to a certainstandard of wealthand socialstatus, what a
deaconis reported to have said to an unwelcome applicant, "There is no
vacancyin our church just now."
4. Liberty, fearless independence of thought and expression. But liberty may
degenerate into license quite as easilyas zeal for truth may pass into bigotry,
and in its sacredname deadly errors and worthless speculations andconceits
may be passedoff as current coin of the realm of truth.
II. WHAT WE WANT SUPREMELYIS THE FULNESS OF THE SPIRIT.
1. Organisation, etc., are goodthings, but there is something more essential.
Might not the Mastersayto-day as He did of old, "Ye are carefulabout many
things, but one thing is needful." With the fulness of the Spirit our
organisationwill be filled with power, our orthodoxy pulsate with love, our
culture have in it no Phariseeism, and our liberty always serve the interests of
truth and godliness.
2. "Filledwith the Spirit."(1) The Church will be guided into all truth, for a
fuller tide of the Spirit means finer spiritual discernment and discrimination,
and deeperinsight into eternalverities.(2) The Church will be "glorious in
holiness," for whereverthe Spirit of God dwells He is as the refiner's fire.(3)
The peace and harmony of the Church will be insured, for brotherly love will
reign supreme, and fidelity to truth will carry no bitterness with it.(4) The
Church will be preservedfrom selfishness,and made missionary and
philanthropic.(5) The Church will not descendto carnal and unworthy
methods of spreading the kingdom of God. It will cease to bow at the shrine of
mammon, disdain the expedients of worldly wisdom, and not measure its
successby statisticaltables or worldly standards.(6)The Church will have an
attractive power. We look too much to the mere accessoriesofreligion — to
music and ritual, intellectual brilliance and sensationalservices, forgetfulof
the factthat the magnetic spell of the Church is the beauty, intensity, and
fulness of its spiritual life. When the fruits of the Spirit abound men will be
drawn as bees to the apple blossom, or steelfilings to the magnet.(7)The
Church will exert a mighty power to perform greatermiracles than those of
Christ, and in their presence the voice of the caviller will be silenced.
Preaching will be "in the demonstration of the Spirit and power," and we
shall rejoice in constantaccessions.
III. How SHALL WE OBTAIN THIS FULNESS OF THE SPIRIT? There
have been seasonswhenthe Spirit has sweptin mighty tides, and we are
tempted to think that the supply of the Spirit is according to some capricious
or arbitrary arrangement. But the supernatural has its laws as wellas the
natural.
1. Everything that grieves the Spirit must be put away, "all malice and all
guile and hypocrisies," etc., and"all unbelief, worldly-mindedness, pride,
selfishness";everything opposedto the simplicity, the charity and purity of
Christ, or there will be fatal hindrances.
2. Earnest, importunate prayer — prayer that is not a mere repetition of
conventionalphrases, that has in it the utmost intensity of desire, that links
togetherthe whole communion of the faithful, and knows no cessationtill the
answercomes. The experience of the disciples before Pentecost, and in Acts
4:31, is a lessonfor all ages.
3. There must be avenues for the Spirit's entrance, a large measure of
receptivity, sensitiveness to His influence, fidelity to the truth. He requires
cheerful response as He calls to duty or sacrifice, and an implicit obedience to
His commands. Luther once said that people cried, "Spirit, Spirit, Spirit!"
and then struck down all the bridges by which the Spirit might enter. At the
moment of his ordination Whitefield says, "I offered up my whole spirit, soul
and body, to the service of God's sanctuary," and the result we know. If the
sacrifice be upon the altar, the fire from heaven will come down.
(T. G. Tarn.)
The soul filled with the Holy Ghost
W. Arthur, M. A.
A piece of iron is dark and cold; imbued with a certain degree of heat, it
becomes almostburning without any change of appearance;imbued with a
still greaterdegree, its very appearance changesto that of solid fire, and it sets
fire to whateverit touches. A piece of water without heat is solid and brittle;
gently warmed, it flows; further heated, it mounts to the sky. An organfilled
with the ordinary degree of air which exists everywhere is dumb; the touch of
the player can elicit but a clicking of the keys. Throw in not other air, but an
unsteady current of the same air, and sweet, but imperfect and uncertain,
notes immediately respond to the player's touch: increase the current to a full
supply, and every pipe swells with music. Such is the soul without the Holy
Ghost, and such are the changes whichpass upon it when it receives the Holy
Ghost, and when it is "filled with the Holy Ghost." In the latter state only is it
fully imbued with the Divine nature, bearing in all its manifestations some
plain resemblance to its God, conveying to all on whom it acts some
impression of Him, mounting heavenwardin all its movements, and
harmoniously pouring forth, from all its faculties, the praises ofthe Lord.
(W. Arthur, M. A.)
Powerof a man when God works by him
Bp. Phillips Brooks.
Look at the artist's chisel;the artist cannot carve without it. Yet imagine the
chisel, conscious thatit was made to carve, and that it is its function, trying to
carve alone. It lays itself againstthe hard marble, but it has neither strength
nor skill. Then we can imagine the chiselfull of disappointment. "Why cannot
I carve?" it cries. Then the artist comes and seizes it. The chisellays itself into
his hand, and is obedient to him. Thought, feeling, imagination, skill, flow
down from the deep chambers of the artist's soul to the chisel's edge. The
sculptor and the chisel are not two, but one; it is the unit which they make
that carves the stone. We are but the chiselto carve God's statues in this
world. Unquestionably we must do the work. But the human workeris only
the chiselof the greatArtist. The artist needs his chisel;but the chisel cando
nothing, produce no beauty of itself. The artist must seize it, and the chisellay
itself into his hand and be obedient to him. We must yield ourselves altogether
to Christ, and let Him use us. Then His power, His wisdom, His skill, His
thought, His love, shall flow through our soul, our brain, our heart, our
fingers.
(Bp. Phillips Brooks.)
And beganto speak with other tongues
The new tongue which ought to fall to our lot by the Spirit of Pentecost
Gerok.
I. WHEREIN IT CONSISTS.
1. Notin a miraculous gift of languages.
2. Norin a formal repetition of pious expressions.
3. But in a heart and mouth opened to thankful praise of Divine grace and
joyful confessionofthe Lord.
II. WHENCE IT PROCEEDS.
1. Notfrom our natural state.
2. Norfrom the arts and sciences.
3. But from above, from the Spirit of God, who touches heart and lips with
fire from heaven.
III. WHAT PURPOSE IT SERVES. Notto vain self-glorificationor worldly
delectation, but to the praise of Godand to the messageofsalvation to the
world.
(Gerok.)
As the Spirit gave them utterance
CharacteristicsofSpirit-inspired speech
Cornelius a Lapide.
They spoke —
I. WISELY, as the Spirit of wisdom moved them.
II. POWERFULLY, as the Spirit of power strengthenedthem.
III. PURELY, as the Spirit of holiness sanctified them.
(Cornelius a Lapide.)
The gospelfor all nations
M. Henry.
The apostles'speaking onthe day of Pentecostto the people in their respective
languages, wasto us a plain intimation of the mind and will of God, that the
sacredrecords should be preserved by all nations in their own tongue;that
the Scriptures should be read, and public worship be performed, in the vulgar
language ofthe nations.
(M. Henry.)
The GreatLessonof the Pentecost
R. Tuck
Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and beganto speak with other
tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
It seems a strange thing that our Lord, when preparing his disciples for the
coming of the Spirit, should set a higher value on that Spirit's work than on
the continuance of his own (John 16:7-11). The only satisfactoryexplanationis
this - that the Spirit's work was the continuance of his own. It continued that
Divine presence whichwas essentialto the stability and culture of the
disciples;for both while he lived among men and when he passedbeyond
human vision, our Savior's words were true, "Without me ye cando nothing.
No longer is Christ outside us, only to be seenby the eye, heard by the ear,
and touched by the hand; we are now the "temples of the Holy Ghost;" he
dwelleth with us, and is in us. We do not rightly apprehend the scene of
Pentecostif we regardit only as the first of a series of separate gifts of the
Spirit, which may be made in answerto prayer. We take a much more
comprehensive and truthful view when we regard it as the entrance of God
the Holy Ghostupon his specialmissionin relation to the full redemption of
mankind. It was, as it were, the opening of the heavens, and the sending forth
of the Divine Spirit, to brood forever over the waters, quickening life. It was
his receptionin the hearts prepared for him, that he might begin a work
which, ever spreading and widening, seeks to enthrone God the Father in
every heart and every life. As God the Sonentered and won first a mother's
heart, that he might get a standing-ground from which to enter the heart of
the whole world; so God the Spirit came into the souls of a few disciples first,
only that he might extend his sway, spreading from heart to heart, entering,
subduing, teaching, and sanctifying, ever working for that glorious day when
the "people shall be all holy." We fix attention on this one point: The disciples
gained, and kept from that day, a deep sense of their entire dependence on
God, and on God as the indwelling, in working Spirit. They could never recall
that "day of Pentecost"without contrasting what they were before it came,
and what they were after it had passed. There was contrastin their measure
of spiritual vision, and contrastin the energy and joy of their work. And so
they learned, in a most effective way, that their sufficiency was of God. The
secretof all moral strength is dependence on God - open-heartedness to
receive, and simple readiness to obey and work out, all the inward impulses
and leadings of his Holy Spirit. Becausethe disciples learnt this lessonof
Pentecostso well, therefore it can be thus reported concerning them, "They
went forth, and preachedeverywhere, the Lord working with them, and
confirming the Word with signs following." Application of this lessonmay be
made to the Christian.
1. We have a Christian life to maintain, culture and growth to watchover,
higher truth to reach, clusters of graces to ripen, and the powerof a holy
example to wield. But we "are not sufficient of ourselves even to think
anything as of ourselves.""Oursufficiency is of God." We too need the
Quickener, Comforter, and Teacher.
2. We too have a conflict to wage, andsufferings to bear for our Master. And
who "dares to do the warfare at his own charges"?We are only strong in God
either to fight or to bear.
3. We too have a work to do for Christ, and a witness to render. And we must
learn to say after the greatapostle, "Ican do all things through him who
strengtheneth me." What we need is spiritual power, Spirit-power, the
Pentecostalpower. Whenshall we fully graspthe inspiring truth - the Holy
Ghostis with us? - R.T.
A New Manifestationof the Divine Spirit
D. Thomas, D. D.
Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord
in one place.…
1. Though we cannot regardPentecostas the birthday of the Church, since the
Church was born centuries before, we are bound to regard it as the grand
crowning period in the development of the plan of redemption. Periods in the
working out of this plan mark the history of four thousand years, one leading
to another. From Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, and from
Moses to Christ, and now from Christ's Advent to Pentecost. To this all the
others pointed, and in it they were all crowned with glory.
2. But we are not to suppose that this was the first time the Divine Spirit
visited this world. He strove with the antediluvians, inspired old prophets, and
dwelt in old saints. But He never came in such a demonstration and plenitude
of power before. Before He had distilled as the dew, now He comes down as a
shower;before He had gleamedas the first rays of morning, now He appears
as the brightness of noon. Note His action —
I. UPON the disciples.
1. Upon their ear. "Wind," an emblem of the Spirit.
(1) Invisible.
(2) Mysterious.
(3) Powerful.
(4) Refreshing.Great,epochs are usually marked by extraordinary
phenomena — e.g., the giving of the Law; the Advent; the Crucifixion, and
now Pentecost.
2. Upon their eye. "Fire" is
(1) Purifying.
(2) Consuming.
(3) Transmuting.
(4) Diffusive.Perhaps these supernatural appeals to the senseswere intended
to express the relationof the Divine Spirit.
(a) To life — "wind" or air is vital, the breath of life.
(b) To speech— "tongues" wouldintimate that the Spirit had given men new
utterances.
(c) To purity — "fire" would indicate that the Spirit had to consume all the
corruptions of the soul.
II. IN the disciples. "Theywere filled with the Holy Ghost." He took
possessionoftheir —
1. Minds, and made them the organs ofDivine thought.
2. Hearts, and filled them with Divine emotions.
3. Bodies, and made them His living temples.
4. Wills, and made them the organs of Divine resolutions. Nothing but the
Divine will fill the .soul Without God there will be a boundless vacuum within.
III. THROUGH the disciples. Your things are observable concerning their
speech.
1. It followedtheir Divine inspiration. It was not until the Spirit had given
them the right thoughts and feelings that utterance came. Betterbe dumb
than express the sentiments of the unrenewed soul. It is when the Spirit comes
that we want speech, and shall have it. A Divinely filled soulmust break forth
in Divine language.
2. It was miraculous. The coming at once into the possessionofa new
language is as greata miracle as the possessionofa new limb.
3. It was unspeakablyuseful. It served to impress the multitude with the
Divinity of Christianity, and enabled the disciples to proclaim without
preparation the gospelto every man. Without it the first age of the Church
would have had a different history.
4. It was profoundly religious. This wonderful gift was employed to speak of
God's wonderful works. Maythe day sooncome when God-givenlanguage,
instead of being the vehicle of erroneous thought, impure feeling, depraved
purpose, shall conveyto men nothing but holiness, goodness, andtruth.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
A New Manifestationof the Divine Spirit
D. Thomas, D. D.
Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord
in one place.…
1. Though we cannot regardPentecostas the birthday of the Church, since the
Church was born centuries before, we are bound to regard it as the grand
crowning period in the development of the plan of redemption. Periods in the
working out of this plan mark the history of four thousand years, one leading
to another. From Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, and from
Moses to Christ, and now from Christ's Advent to Pentecost. To this all the
others pointed, and in it they were all crowned with glory.
2. But we are not to suppose that this was the first time the Divine Spirit
visited this world. He strove with the antediluvians, inspired old prophets, and
dwelt in old saints. But He never came in such a demonstration and plenitude
of power before. Before He had distilled as the dew, now He comes down as a
shower;before He had gleamedas the first rays of morning, now He appears
as the brightness of noon. Note His action —
I. UPON the disciples.
1. Upon their ear. "Wind," an emblem of the Spirit.
(1) Invisible.
(2) Mysterious.
(3) Powerful.
(4) Refreshing.Great,epochs are usually marked by extraordinary
phenomena — e.g., the giving of the Law; the Advent; the Crucifixion, and
now Pentecost.
2. Upon their eye. "Fire" is
(1) Purifying.
(2) Consuming.
(3) Transmuting.
(4) Diffusive.Perhaps these supernatural appeals to the senseswere intended
to express the relationof the Divine Spirit.
(a) To life — "wind" or air is vital, the breath of life.
(b) To speech— "tongues" wouldintimate that the Spirit had given men new
utterances.
(c) To purity — "fire" would indicate that the Spirit had to consume all the
corruptions of the soul.
II. IN the disciples. "Theywere filled with the Holy Ghost." He took
possessionoftheir —
1. Minds, and made them the organs ofDivine thought.
2. Hearts, and filled them with Divine emotions.
3. Bodies, and made them His living temples.
4. Wills, and made them the organs of Divine resolutions. Nothing but the
Divine will fill the .soul Without God there will be a boundless vacuum within.
III. THROUGH the disciples. Your things are observable concerning their
speech.
1. It followedtheir Divine inspiration. It was not until the Spirit had given
them the right thoughts and feelings that utterance came. Betterbe dumb
than express the sentiments of the unrenewed soul. It is when the Spirit comes
that we want speech, and shall have it. A Divinely filled soulmust break forth
in Divine language.
2. It was miraculous. The coming at once into the possessionofa new
language is as greata miracle as the possessionofa new limb.
3. It was unspeakablyuseful. It served to impress the multitude with the
Divinity of Christianity, and enabled the disciples to proclaim without
preparation the gospelto every man. Without it the first age of the Church
would have had a different history.
4. It was profoundly religious. This wonderful gift was employed to speak of
God's wonderful works. Maythe day sooncome when God-givenlanguage,
instead of being the vehicle of erroneous thought, impure feeling, depraved
purpose, shall conveyto men nothing but holiness, goodness, andtruth.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Pentecost
C. H. Spurgeon.
Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord
in one place.…
I. THE SEASON whenthe Spirit was given.
1. In God's appointed time. There is a set time to favour Zion, both to try our
faith and to prove God's sovereignty. If every drop of rain has its appointed
birthday, every gleamof light its predestinated pathway, and every spark of
fire its settled hour for flying upward, certainly the will of God must have
arrangedand settled the period and place of every gracious visitation.
2. After the ascension. The Spirit was not given till after Jesus had been
glorified. Various blessings are ascribable to different parts of Christ's work.
His life is our imputed righteousness;His death brings us pardon; His
resurrectionconfers upon us justification; His ascensionyields to us the Holy
Spirit. "When He ascendedup on high," etc. It was the wont of the Roman
conqueror as he rode along to scatterlarge quantities of money among the
admiring crowd. So our glorified Lord scatteredgifts among men.
3. At Pentecost.Some saythat at Pentecostthe law was proclaimedon Sinai. If
so, it was very significantthat on the day when the law was issued amid
thunders and lightnings, the gospel — God's new and better law — should be
proclaimed with mighty wind and tongues of fire. We are clear, however, that
Pentecostwas a harvest-festival. On that day the sheafwas wavedbefore the
Lord and the harvest consecrated. The passoverwas to our Saviour the time
of His sowing, but Pentecostwas the day of His reaping, and the fields which
were ripe to the harvestwhen He sat on the well, are reapednow that He sits
upon the throne.
4. When there was most need. Vast crowds were gathered. What would have
been the use of the many tongues when no strangers were readyto hear?
Whenever we see unusual gatherings, wheneverthe spirit of hearing is poured
out upon the people, we ought to pray for and expectan unusual visitation of
the Spirit.
5. Where they were all with one accordin one place. Christians cannot all now
be in one place, but they canall be of one accord. When there are no cold
hearts, no prejudices and bigotries to separate, no schismto rend the one
sacredgarment of Christ, then may we expect to see the Spirit of God resting
upon us.
6. When they were earnestabout one grand object.
II. THE MANNER. Eachword here is suggestive.
1. Suddenly. It is the glory of God to conceala thing, and so, though the Spirit
may have been secretlypreparing men's hearts, yet the real work of revival is
done suddenly to the surprise of all observers.
2. There was a sound. Although the Spirit of God is silent, yet His operations
are not silent in their results.
3. As of wind. In Greek and Hebrew the word used for wind and for Spirit is
the same. The wind is doubtless, chosenas an emblem because ofits
mysteriousness:"Thou canstnot tell whence it cometh nor whither it goeth";
because of its freeness:"It bloweth where it listeth"; because ofdiversity of its
operations, for the wind blows a gentle zephyr at one moment, and anon it
mounts to a howling blast. The Holy Spirit at one time comes to comfort, and
at other times to alarm, etc.
4. It was rushing. This pour-trayed the rapidity with which the Spirit's
influences spread— rushing like a torrent. Within fifty years from Pentecost
the gospelhad been preachedin every country of the known world.
5. It was mighty, irresistible, and so is the Spirit of God; where He comes
nothing can stand againstHim.
6. It filled all the place where they were sitting. The sound was not merely
heard by the disciples. When the Spirit of God comes, He never confines
Himself to the Church. A revival in a village penetrates eventhe pot-house.
The Spirit of God at work in the Church is soonfelt in the farm-yard, work-
room, and factory.
7. But this was not all. I must now mention what was the appearance seen — a
bright luminous cloud probably, not unlike that which once rested in the
wilderness over the tribes by night — which suddenly divided, or was cleft,
and separate tongues offire restedupon the head of eachof the disciples.
They would understand that thus a Divine powerwas given to them. Heathens
representbeams of light or flames of fire proceeding from their false deities,
and the nimbus with which RomanCatholic painters always adorn the heads
of saints, is a relic of the same idea. It was saidby the ancients of Hesiod, the
first of all the poets, that whereas he was once nothing but a simple neat-herd,
yet suddenly a Divine flame fell upon him, and he became henceforth one of
the noblestof men. We feelassuredthat so natural a metaphor would be at
once understood by the apostles.
(1) It was a tongue, for God has been pleasedto make the tongue do mightier
deeds than either swordor pen; by the foolishness ofpreaching to save them
that deliver.
(2) It was a tongue of fire, to show that God's ministers speak, not coldly as
though they had tongues of ice, nor learnedly as with tongues of gold, nor
arrogantly as with tongues of brass, nor pliantly as with tongues of willow, nor
sternly as with tongues of iron, but earnestlyas with the tongue of flame; their
words consume sin, scorchfalsehood, enlightenthe darkness, and comfort the
poor.
(3) It satupon them. So the Spirit of Godis an abiding influence, and the
saints shall persevere.
(4) It satupon eachof them, so that while there was but one fire, yet each
believer receivedhis portion of the one Spirit. There are diversities of
operations, but it is the same Lord.
III. THE RESULT. After all this, what are you expecting? Shall the wind
blow down dynasties — the fire consume dominions? No; Spiritual and not
carnalis the kingdom of God. The result lies in three things.
1. A sermon. The Spirit of God was given to help Peterpreach. You turn with
interest to know what sort of a sermon a man would preachwho was full to
the brim of the Holy Ghost. You expect him to be more eloquent than Robert
Hall, or Chalmers; more learned than the Puritans. You expectall the
orations of Cicero and Demosthenesto be put in the shade. No such thing!
Neverwas there a sermon more commonplace. It is one of the blessedeffects
of the Holy Spirit to make ministers preach simply.
2. The people were pricked in the heart, and cried, "Men and brethren, what
shall we do?" What a disorderly thing! Blesseddisorderwhich the Spirit of
God gives. Men then feelthat they have heard something which has gone right
into their inmost nature and receive a wound which only God can heal.
3. Faith and the outward confessionofit in baptism.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
James FreemanClarke.
Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord
in one place.…
I am sitting, on a summer's day, in the shadow of a greatNew England elm.
Its long branches hang motionless;there is not breeze enough to move them.
All at once there comes a faint murmur; around my head the leaves are
moved by a gentle current of air; then the branches begin to sway to and fro,
the leaves are all in motion, and a soft, rushing sound fills my ear. So with
every one that is born of the Spirit. I am in a state of spiritual lethargy, and
scarcelyknow how to think any goodthought. I am heart-empty, and there
comes, I know not where or whence, a sound of the Divine presence. I am
inwardly moved with new comfort and hope, the day seems to dawn in my
heart, sunshine comes around my path, and I am able to go to my duties with
patience. I am walking in the Spirit, I am helped by the help of God, and
comforted with the comfort of God. And yet this is all in accordancewith law.
There is no violation of law when the breezes come, stirring the tops of the
trees;and there is no violation of law when God moves in the depths of our
souls, and rouses us to the love and desire of holiness.
(James FreemanClarke.)
The Baptism of the Spirit Experienced
C. G. Finney, D. D.
Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord
in one place.…
As I turned, and was about to take a seatby the fire, I receiveda mighty
baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectationof it, without everhaving
the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any
recollectionthat I had everheard the thing mentioned by any person in the
world, the Holy Spirit descendedupon me in a manner that seemedto go
through me, body and soul. I could feelthe impression like a wave of
electricity, going through and through me. Indeed, it seemedto come in waves
and waves ofliquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed
like the very breath of God. I canrecollectdistinctly that it seemedto fan me
like immense wings. No words can express the wonderful love that was shed
abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love These waves came overme
and over me and over me, one after the other, until I recollectI cried out: "I
shall die if these waves continue to pass overme." I said, "Lord, I cannotbear
any more";yet I had no fear of death.
(C. G. Finney, D. D.)
The Day of Pentecost, and its Immediate Gifts
P.C. Barker
Acts 2:1-41
And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord
in one place.…
"And when the day of Pentecost... And the same day there were added about
three thousand souls." The day of Pentecostis emphatically the complement
of the greatdays of the New Testament. The visible glories of this day are the
fitting sequel, the almost natural sequel, of the more veiled glories of certain
days that had precededit. The heavenly luster and music of the day of
incarnation, unique as they were, reachedthe eye and ear of but few. The
world was asleep. The dread, tremendous glory of the day of crucifixion,
chargedthough it was with fullest significance, was notseento be such at the
time. The glories of the day of resurrectionundeniably opened eyes and hearts
to the keenestandmost thankful appreciationof them, but their appealwas to
a very limited number. When the calm, sweet, strange gloryof AscensionDay
revealeda vision of literally endless light, the scene undoubtedly began to
widen, if only that it so heightened. And now but a short interval has passed,
and there is a certain manifestationgiven to this day of Pentecostwhich
reflects floods of glory upon the Giver, and pours light and hope, new and
amazing, upon a world well-nigh prostrate. It is the simply told history of this
day that is written for us in this chapter. And it tells us of -
I. THE MAGNIFICENT INTERVENTION OF A SUPERNATURAL
PRESENCE.(Vers. 2-4). Observe:
1. The signs of the presence. It is distinguished by
(1) the sound of wind, apparently without the usual other accompaniments of
it to the feeling.
(2) The sound of wind of irresistible and conquering energy. It is not as when"
the Spirit of God moved on the face of the" archaic "waters"(Genesis1:2),
and it is not "as summer evening's latestsigh, that shuts the rose. No;nor is it
as the stormy wind and tempest." The elements are not in confusion, and the
wind is not furious. But it sweeps along, nevertheless, witha certain
irresistible majesty; rather, it distinctly thus sweeps downfrom heaven. It is
wind that bears itself down, and is full of might."
(3) Its facile pervading and penetrating of "allthe house where" the disciples
"were sitting." St. John, for certain, was there, and learned then the grand
original of his later - nay, much later - Patmos experience, "I was in the
Spirit." All in "that house" were enveloped, bathed, "baptized" in the Holy
Spirit.
(4) An added appearance;an appearance offire, manifold fire, every several
portion of the bright burning shaped as the tongue, and one of these speeding
to settle on eachof the startledassembly of disciples.
2. The first and direct results off, presence.
(1) Those to whom it was vouchsafed, and who "were sitting in the house," are
"all filled with the Holy Spirit." This is the testimony, the assertion, ofthe
historian at a somewhatlaterperiod. Whether those who experiencedthe
wonderful force knew in that same hour what had thus takenpossessionof
them may be a question. If they knew it not in name, they very certainly began
to know it in its marvelous nature. We justly give our imagination some leave
of exercise here, and the more happily if that imagination can assistitselfin
any degree from the materials of our own experience of the quickening,
invigorating influences of the Spirit in our heart. Evidently in degrees,
ranging from little to the largest, does that Spirit vouchsafe his visits and his
work in human hearts. What would it be if we knew him today in some really
large measure!What convictionit would be to the individual heart! What
commanding joy, inexpressible, overflowing to the very life and soul of any
one disciple! But if such a visitation were granted to a gathering of disciples -
just one meeting of Christian people - making accountof the different time of
day, the greaterenlargementof scope of the day, the crowdedpeople around,
millions for thousands, the rapidity and trustworthiness of communication, -
surely England itself would scarce containthe excitement, and the Church
might well be beside herself for very joy. The mere imagination of this will
help to reproduce for us some more vivid idea of the surprise of that moment,
that hour of the day of Pentecost.
(2) Those who were thus filled with the Holy Spirit are not rapt in ecstatic
feeling, do not improvise celestialpsalmand music, but they speak the many
languages ofearth. They speak, but the Spirit gives them the speech. They
speak, but it is now literally fulfilled that the Spirit gives them in that same
hour what they shall speak. The case is one of genuine verbal inspiration.
There is little doubt, perhaps, that these numerous disciples spoke words
which they did not understand the meaning of (1 Corinthians 14:22), nor
could have "interpreted" had they been calledto do so. They uttered sounds,
their faculties of speechbeing subject to the mighty and condescending power
of the Holy Spirit. What of loss of dignity this may at first seemto the
disciples, is far more than counter- balanced, not only by the suggestionsof
honor set on the organs of human speechin the use of them by One who may
for the moment be called the Makerand Giver of them, but also by the gain of
a clearly more impressive result. There was far less mixture of the human
element in the Divine communication that purported to pass from the Spirit to
the earand mind of a large number of various-speaking peoples. It is the
difference to us of a correspondentwho indeed uses an amanuensis, as St.
Paul often did in his Epistles, but who keeps with himself the dictating of
every word. Such a one has not left the selectionof words, or style, or turn of
expressionto another; and this is the chief thing we care about, though we
should have prized his handwriting as well. Norneed it seem at all too far-
fetched an inference, if any one hesitatedto count it a designed arrangement,
that through this speaking being so essentiallythe actof the Holy Spirit, a
very strong suggestionofthe personality of that Spirit should be borne in on
the disciples then, and much more on disciples of succeeding ages. Absolute
speechdoes not come from what is merely an influence, an energy, a power. It
is the function of a person. And it is one of the highest of prerogatives ofthe
human being. The disciples had lost a personalPresence,in the personof
Jesus, whichcould never be replaced, and which never was to be replacedtill
he should "so come" again, "in like manner as they had seenhim go into
heaven." And yet, though the personalpresence of Jesus was notto be
replacedby anotherpersonal presence, itwas most surely to be replacedby
the presence ofa Person. Would it not be calculatedto assistdisciples both to
believe correctlyand to feelgrateful that the ever-invisible Spirit was none the
less a Personage,a Being - not a vague influence nor a phantom? And now
there is probably no cardinal fact of Christianity less honored, less operative,
than that of the personality of the Holy Spirit. It is one of the disastrous causes
of his being too often slighted, sinned against, grieved, and "quenched,"
3. Certain incidents in the presence. It is fitted
(1) to a certaintime. "When the day of Pentecostwas fully come." The time
was certain; it was fore- spokenby Jesus;it was waitedfor by his disciples.
But though certain, alluded to, and awaited, neither "the day nor the hour"
was revealed.
(2) To a certain place. The place certainly was Jerusalem. And the same Being
who told the disciples "not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait" there, was one
who "knew" also "the place," the "one place," of his loved people's loved
meeting, as he had once well known"the place" of his own agony - the garden.
(3) To a certain temper of heart. "They were all with one accord," i.e.
together, "in one place." Juxtapositionand visible associationdo not always
infer the purest of harmony by any means. But they did infer it now; and that
the disciples were all with one accordin one place was the real fruit of their
being all "ofone accord." Since that blessedday, true it is - too true - that
Christ's people have very often been "together" whenthey have not been "of
one accord," "ofone mind," "having the same love," "like-minded." But it
was so now. And if it had not been, the grandeur of the day would either never
have been at all, or would have "setin darkness" and shame.
(4) Of undoubted design, to a congregatebody, and one, comparatively
speaking, numerous. No longerto a woman by herself, no longer to two
disciples alone, no longer to the twelve, or the eleven, but at all events to some
ten times that number (Acts 1:15). The Spirit often whispers silently, stealthily
almost, in the ear of the soul most solitary. Not so now. The sacred
illumination, sacredquickenedfaculty, and sacredjoy shall possess"each"
and "all together" ofthat new style of family, that infant Church - that little
company of fellow-pilgrims, of fellow-voyagers, ofa mere handful of an army.
They need food, and strength, and comfort, and the inspiration of experiences
- never, never to be forgotten- sharedtogether. Grand uses frequently come
of the Spirit's force over one individual, and him the obscurestofthe obscure;
but now grand uses were to come for themselves, for one another, for a world,
in that the disciples were associatedso variously, yet so closely, in ecstatic
privilege, in unbounded surprise, and in the consentaneous joyof the
unwonted inspiration that came "wild-murmuring o'er their raptured souls."
(5) To an occasionthat either admitted of the testimony or invited the
challenge of a large and various multitude. There were present the
comparatively large number of those who experiencedthe powerof the Holy
Ghost, but there were also near at hand a very much larger number of those
who soonbecame spectators ofwhat was transpiring. They were not only a
large number, but a very various number. They hailed from different regions;
they spoke different languages;their objects and their modes of life were, no
doubt, very various. It were inconceivable that any collusionshould obtain
here, so far as spectators,were concerned. In their excitement, and in the open
expressionof it, so natural, some did challenge, though the pitiful challenge
fell stillborn to the ground. "New wine" never wrought such marvel, each
nationality must have felt, when addressedtouching "the wonderful works of
God" in its own language. Buttill then the Parthian, for instance, might set
down to "new wine" the discordantsounds, as they must seemto him, of a
dozen other nationalities. Justso far there was reasonin the "mocking;" and,
at all events, there was use in it. For the "new wine" theory found expression,
got a hearing, and gota verdict too. Mostprofitable was this occasion, when
"the multitude were confounded...were allamazed and marveled... were all
amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?... and
others mocking said, These men are full of new wine." Such awakening, such
spirit of inquiry and investigation, such clearproof of a readiness to challenge
appearances ratherthan succumb too readily and run the chance of delusion,
made for every man that was there a strong, convincedwitness in time to
come, and in the home and country of each. Frombeing excitedspectators,
they became, man for man, so many intelligent and determined witnesses of
"the wonderful works ofGod." From being gaping hearers, they became
instructed and impressive preachers. And the unsettledness oftheir mind gave
place to deep, unmoved conviction. The adaptationof occasionhere gave two
greatadvantages - the advantage ofsatisfactoryand conclusive evidence, and
that of an effective and willing missionary service overlarge portions of the
earth.
II. A GRAND MANIFESTATION-DAYOF PROPHECY. (Vers. 16-21.)This
was a very gala-dayof prophecy. Often distrusted, often mocked, and often
saluted with the taunting question, "Where is the promise of his coming?" -
now the scene which stirred all Jerusalemwas one "in demonstration of that
Spirit and power" which dwelt in it. The day witnessedin matter prophetic
the majestic force of the avalanche, overwhelming doubt and disbelief in deep
destruction indeed, but carrying no other destructiveness with it. The piled
predictions of ages pastno longer toweraloft so proudly and forbiddingly, but
they fall at the feet of an amazed, an astounded, but a revived and gladdened
nation. Or, if the figure be permitted, the leases ofproperty of immeasurable
value fall in this day. And that this was a day of justest pride in the careerof
prophecy, may be testified by the thought:
1. Of the largenessofthe contents of it. The volume is an ample one indeed.
What treasures it unrolled, and all the while seemedto say spontaneously,
"This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your hearing! It was an abounding
harvest that was now gatheredin ripe, - a rich and gladdening vintage. It is
not prophecy fulfilled for an individual king or mighty man, nor for a caste of
priests, nor for a band of prophets, but it includes all flesh,...sonsand
daughters,...young men and old men my servants and my handmaidens." It
proved itself over a wide variety of human characterand condition.
2. Of the intrinsic nature of it. "They shall prophesy. It is a fulfillment in
spiritual sort. The Spirit is the great Worker, and spiritual results are still
what underlie greatouter wonders. Living powers of human nature,
immensely intensified and diversified, - these are the phenomena at all events.
They are marked as the beginning," not of "sorrows," not of "tribulation,"
not of "miracles," but of "signs" that contain an amount and a kind of
signifying powerfar in excessofall which had ever been. Now began -
whateverits duration should prove to be - this world's lastaeon. And strongly
marked are its characteristicsfrom the first. "All flesh" begin to answer
responsive to the might of the invisible Spirit, and in a certainsense the very
presumption of Saul, and of those who were strickenbecause they touched the
sacredark, begins to be the law. Directness ofindividual contactwith
whatevershould be most holy, for eachand all, becomes the established, the
enthroned religion of the world.
III. A GLORIOUS DISCLOSURE AND EMPHATIC PROCLAMATION
COUCHED IN THE VERY WORDS OF ANCIENT REVERED
PROPHECY. (Ver. 21.)That very prophecy that had seemedto cover, now
served to proclaim loudly and distinctly the universal mercy of the one
universal "Lord." The "graciousword" now proceeds from its lip, to begin its
unresting journey. What a word was this, "And it shall come to pass, that
whosoevershallcallon the Name of the Lord shall be saved"!It is the
disclosure in broadestdaylight of the purpose of ages past;yes, of a purpose
that had been purposed before the world began. Mostassuredlyprophecy had
held it, and had made it visible, but to very few who beheld, though it was
before their eyes. The eyes even of those to whom it was given to see "were
holden that they knew" it not. And the vast multitude outside were long time
dying without the knowledge or so much as one glimpse of it. Of the past three
years Jesus had given significant hints of it in some of his works, andhad
whispered it sometimes in the ears of his disciples, and had distinctly uttered
it in his parting commission, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel
to every creature." But to the day of Pentecost"is this grace given," that it
should preachaloud, with a hundred tongues, and a hundred better than
silver trumpets, the riches of the gospelof Christ. Three things mark what
was then in particular, and what must ever essentiallybe the surprising riches
of the proclamation.
1. It is hope to all and every one.
2. It is the callof a human voice alone, no doubt drawn deep from the heart,
that is the method, the one simple method of access to that hope.
3. The hope is that of no mere respite, subterfuge, soothing relief, but of
salvation. Exclusiveness "is finished;" ritual, ceremony, sacrifice, the earthly
priest, - each"is finished; tantalizing expectancy, "is finished;" and
everlasting salvationis to be had free, by any one and by every one, for the
one anguishedor trustful call of the heart "on the Name of the Lord." It is a
fact worthy to be noticed, that, as the gospelof Jesus'ownpublic ministry
beganfrom the quotation of Isaiah's prophecy (Luke 4:17-21;Isaiah 61:1), so
the gospelofthe day of Pentecostbegins its illustrious careerwith the motto of
a quotation from prophecy (Joel2:28-32). These two links - were they the only
ones - how strongly they bind togetherthe Scriptures of the old and new
covenants, and the covenants themselves!
IV. THE FIRST OF THE LONG SUCCESSION OF CHRISTIAN
PREACHERS. (Vers. 14, 29, 38). This honor was reservedfor Peter, to be the
first of that "greatcompany which publish" the glad tidings of salvation
through Jesus Christ. He had been preparing for this place now these three
years. He had passedthrough goodfame and through ill, through not a little
most merited rebuke; he had passedthrough, not the discipline of warning
and correctionalone, but also through that of the genial influences and
constantstimulus of priceless privileges. The memories of the fishing, and the
storm, and the walking on the water, and the death-chamber, and the brilliant
heights of the Transfiguration, and the darkestcontrasts ofthe shades of
Gethsemane's garden, and the judgment hall, and the look vouchsafedfrom
the very cross after the terrible thrice denial, and of all the rest, were now all
upon him. And he has made, at all events, this impression on us - the
impression as of a man of:
1. Native impetuosity of temperament.
2. Imperious moral judgments.
3. Liability to fearful lapse.
4. Unbounded enthusiasm and devotion to a greatand goodMaster
5. And now lastly, of a man with the eye of an eagle for the object dear to his
heart.
V. A MODELTESTIMONYTO "THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS." (Vers.
14-36). The characterof a model Christian sermon may be justly claimed
throughout for this address of Peterto the multitude. The leading features of
it are strongly marked.
1. It is one testimony to Christ; the subjectis variously approached, but it is
one. Whatever the then reason, the subject is not lostsight of nor allowedto
linger. Eachapproach to it, eachconclusionfrom it, becomes more telling, till
the pronounced assertionconfronts the people, "Therefore letall the house of
Israelknow assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whomye have
crucified, both Lord and Christ."
2. It is a summary of indisputable historic facts. The incarnation and birth of
Jesus are, therefore, not adverted to, as perhaps too remote. They did not
come directly within the range of facts patent to the hearers of Peter. "As ye
yourselves know" was anargument Peterloved to use. He didn't beg reliance
on his judgment, opinion, or assertion, but he challengedthe knowledge of
those to whom he spoke. The "Manof Nazareth,... the approved of God by
miracles and signs and wonders... the delivered" (though here Peterdoes
insert the transcendentstatement of Divine "foreknowledge"and "counsel"),
"the takencrucified and slain... the raisedup" from death's kingdom and
dominion, "the exalted by the right hand of God," and the corroborationof
these statements of the Resurrectionand Ascensionfrom the prophecies of
their own prized oracles, - these are the vital facts summarized now by Peter.
The chain breaks nowhere. Peteris strong in his facts.
3. There was an unflinching style in the address. The indiscriminate people of
Judaea and Jerusalemare before Peter, and barely seven weeksare passed
since the Crucifixion, and Peterbrings the guilt home in uncompromising
language to the heart and the hand of those whom he addresses;and also
declares that the wonders of this day of Pentecost, ofwhich the fickle
multitude were no doubt the willing witnesses, are allthe work of that "Man
of Nazareth" whom they had disbelieved, ill treated, crucified. Many men will
bear to be told of their guilt, who won't stand the demonstration of their
exceeding folly. But the hearers of Peter getboth in his faithfulness and
unflinchingness to his subject. "This Jesus...hath shed forth this, which ye
now see and hear."
4. There was intense earnestnessin the address of Peter. This, no doubt, went
naturally a long way to disarm what might otherwise have seemedthe
offensive characterof the matter of his indictment. The instance is an
interesting and a remarkable one of the very severestrebuke consisting with a
kindliness only thinly veiled. And without a word of kindness expressed, the
impression and effectare probably gainedby the manifest intense earnestness
and strongestconvictionof the speaker. These things, so that they are not
abused, are legitimately within the province of the Christian preacher. With
this proviso it is given to him to dogmatize, only not in his own name; to
rebuke in the most uncompromising manner, only not for any offence
personalto himself merely; and to wield the denunciations of the future and
the unseen, only not otherwise than as drawn, both for matter and for
justifiable occasion, andjustly drawn, from the warrant of revelation.
VI. A MODELCONFESSIONALOF THE CHURCH. (Vers. 37-40.)As was
to be expected, in no respectis the transition from Judaism to Christianity
more worthy of interested study than as it offers to view the healthy young
growth of Christian institutions, taking root amid the ruins of the old and
corrupt traditions of the "Jews'religion." Manya site that witnessedlong
time crumbling decay, stones no two of which lay together, and the very
squalidity of disorder, now witnessedthe surprising signs of vigorous,
determined, and beautiful life. It were well if it had been possible to secure
that these should not in their turn succumb, in lapse of time, to the affronts of
human imperfection, and show againthe pitiful sight of diviner growths
within cumbered, choked, and finally killed, by fungus, excrescence, and
merciless blight. Here, however, we have a fine example of the vitality of
roused religious life, its own cries, and the methods of treatment with which it
was blessedto meet. Observe:
1. The central fact - conviction. The conscienceitselfis touched, wakens
responsive to the touch, and takes upon itself to speak for its ownersounds
that have the sounds of life. Men hear, and are "prickedin the heart."
2. The first immediate course resortedto under the circumstances. Those
whose hearts are thus "pricked," whose conscienceis thus touched, begin to
make inquiry, and inquiry of what they "shalldo." They play not the role of
excuse for the past, of moralizing reminiscence, orof any other of the pretexts
for procrastination. It is the moment for undoubted action, for decided action,
and, if honestignorance exist as to the shape of that action, for prompt
inquiry as to the way: "What shall we do?" No doubt, when the men and the
time and the circumstances and those to whom they now addressed
themselves, - when these all are put together, it must be grantedthat there
was here the reality and the best part of genuine confession.
3. Religious interrogatoriesmade, not under the probing of the confessional-
expert; not under the conditions of morbidness, and it goaded;not in secrecy
and solitariness. These, as betweenman and his fellow-creature, maybe often
more than doubtful. But it is in open day that this confessional-scene is placed.
And safetyinvests it, and spiritual health and even symptoms of robustness
are indicated.
4. Preachers notpriest, doctrine not ritual, practice not penance, lively
repentance not remorseful reflection, are the order of that well-omenedhour.
Yet, to speak ofnothing else, if ever remorseful reflection - something short of
remorse itself - might have put in a reasonablyopportune claim, it was surely
now, while Peter's stinging words still rang in their ears:"This Jesus whom ye
crucified" (RevisedVersion). But no; the answerto the questions put at this
honorable, open confessionalis "Repent," altering at once the thing you have
been, though alter you cannot the crucifying thing that you have done;
"Repent," and show it before men, by being "baptized, every one of you,"
actually in that very Name, "the Name of Jesus Christ," whom you rejected
and crucified, acknowledging thereby that you are bounden to him for "the
remissionof sins;" "Repent," and be baptized, and enter at once on the
inheritance of long promise, "the gift of the Holy Ghost." That "gift of the
Holy Ghost," after repentance and offer baptism and after the remissionof
sins, as distinguished from the preeminent quickening effectedby his sacred
breath, would be the conclusive, suresttokenof the absolution of sin. For
them and for ourselves this may sufficiently distinguish the ever-necessary
working of the Holy Spirit in quickening the human heart from death,
necessaryequally with Abel and Enochas with Paul or any man of modern
days, from that specialendowmentof the Spirit for other uses, vouchsafedto
the "new covenant" from the day of Pentecostdownwardto this day. This is
the specialgrace andcrown of the Christian Church, though probably still
little understood, and its conquering force accordinglystill little tested. From
the language ofver. 40 we may understand that we have but a sketchof all
that Petersaid from the moment that he stoodup to vindicate the prophesying
army from the charge of drunkenness, to the moment that the actual
administration of the rite of baptism began. Unstintingly he "testified,"
unweariedly he "exhorted," and this the burden of his enthusiastic and
impassionedappeal, that those who heard should show themselves willing,
anxious, eagerto be rescuedfrom the following and from the belongings of an
inherently "crookedgeneration."
VII. A GLORIOUS AND MOST HEART-GLADDENING HARVEST. (Ver.
41-47). Three thousand were that day added to the hundred and twenty or
thereabout, who began the day as believers in Christ. The multiplication was
twenty-five for every one. They are those who "receivedhis word." It will not
be going beyond chapter and verse if we regardthis as equivalent to
"receiving the Word." Still, this is not the exactmeaning of the historian, and
as it is very possible that some of these very thousands at some subsequent
time were guilty of defection, we may prefer to hold that those who came to be
thus guilty did not receive" withmeekness the engrafted Word, which was
able to save their souls." Theyonly caught a transient enthusiasm as they
listened to Peter. Any way, some then also did not "receive" the word of Peter.
"Some" then also "believedand some believed not. Some tares then also were
mingled with the goodseed." Glorious, therefore, as thatharvest was of the
"latter day," it falls very short of the glory that shall be of" the lastday."
Then no Petershall baptize, and no Church shall charitably judge, and no
adulteration shall be possible. Then"the angels shall come forth,
The Outpouring of the Spirit
J. Parker, D. D.
Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord
in one place.…
(secondsermon): —
I. IT IS IN THE PRESENCEOF THE HOLY GHOST THAT WE FIND
THE TRUE UNION OF THE CHURCH. There are diversities of operation,
and must always be, but such diversity does not impair the unity of the Spirit.
There is one faith, though there be many creeds, one baptism, though there be
many forms of it, one Lord, though He shine in a thousand different lights.
We have been vainly looking for union in uniformity. Considerhow irrational
this is. Is the human race one or many? is there any difficulty in identifying a
man whateverhis colour, form, stature, language? — yet are there any two
men exactly alike? Manhas, say, some sevenfeatures, forehead, eyes, nose,
mouth, chin, form or contour, colouror complexion, yet out of those seven
notes what music of facialexpressionhas God wrought? It is so in the
Christian Church. That is split up into a score of sects, but the Church itself is
one. To those who look upon things from the outside merely, it would seem
impossible that the Arminian and the Calvinist can both be readers of the
same Bible, and worshippers of the same God. But their unity is not found in
formality, in creedalexpression, in propositionaltheology, in ecclesiastical
arrangement; down in the centre of the heart lies the common organic nerve
that unites Christendom in its worship and in its hope; and when the Cross is
touched, the defence never comes from any one section, the whole Church
with unanimous love and loyalty rushes to the vindication. This has been
illustrated by the diversities which occurin the expressions ofsorrow,
worship, and loyalty. The Easternsuffererlies prostrate, crying piteously and
vehemently. The Western is silent and self-controlled. The difference is not in
the sorrow, but in the manifestation of the sorrow. So the Oriental before his
king falls fiat on the ground, and the Briton before his God only kneels. Is
there, then, a difference in the spirit of worship?
II. HAVE WE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST? THE QUESTION DOES
NOT ADMIT OF HESITATION AS TO ITS ANSWER.
1. No man can mistake the summer sun when he sees it; he will not come home
with a half tale of having seensome kind of light, but is not quite sure whether
it was a gas jet, or the shining of an electric light, or a new star. The sun needs
no introduction, has no signature but its own glory, and needs take no oath in
proof of its identity. The shadows know it, and flee away;the flowers, and
open their little hearts to its blessing;all the hills and valleys know it and
quiver with a new joy.
2. We may have the form, and not the spirit. People say the greatthing after
all for a man to do is to do good. That is correct. But what would you think of
me if I saidthe greatthing after all is for a train to go, when the train has not
been attachedto the engine? You are perfectly right in saying that the train is
useless if it does not go, and if the train is going it is all right. But you must
bring within your argument the fact that the engine could not go without the
fire, that the tram cannotgo unless attachedto the engine, that the engine and
the train move, vibrate, fly, under the powerof light — the light that was
sealedup in the bins of the earth ten thousand ages agois driving your great
locomotives to-day I When, therefore, you tell me that a man must do good,
and that is enough, you omit from your statementthe vital considerationthat
we can only do these things as we are inspired by the indwelling Spirit of God.
I see before me at this moment certain pieces of cord. What is wanted is but to
connectthese cords with a motive power, but until the connectionis
establishedthey are but dead useless things. Connectthem, setthe engine
going, let it cause the necessaryrotations to fly, and presently an arrangement
may be made by which from these cords we shall receive a dazzling glory.
They are nothing in themselves, and yet without them the engine might go for
a thousand ages and we should get no light. It is even so with us. We are here,
men educated, intelligent, well-appointed, and what is it that we need but
connectionwith the heavens, direct communication with the source of light
and fire.
III. WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT IS COMMUNICATED TO THE CHURCH,
WE MUST NOT IMAGINE THAT WE SHALL BE OTHER THAN
OURSELVES, ENLARGED, ENNOBLED, AND DEVELOPED. The Spirit
will not merge our individuality in a common monotony. Whatever your
poweris now, the incoming of the Holy Ghostwill magnify and illuminate, so
that your identity Will be carried up to its highestexpressionand significance.
And more than that, there will be a development of latent faculties,
slumbering powers, the existence ofwhich has never been suspectedby our
dearestfriends. Look for surprises in the Church when the Holy Ghostfalls
upon it: dumb men will speak, ineloquent men will attractand fascinate by
the sublimity of their new discourse, timid men will put on the lion, and those
who had hidden themselves awayin the obscurity of consciousfeeblenesswill
come out and offer themselves at the Lord's altar to help in the Lord's service.
The resources ofthe Church will be multiplied in proportion as the Church
enjoys the presence and powerof the Holy Ghost. How the old earth has
continued to keeppace with all our civilisation and science. The electric light
was, as to its possibilities, in Eden, as certainly as it is in the metropolis of
England to-day. The locomotive has not createdanything but a new
combination and a new application and use. It is even so in the Bible. The
Church knows nothing yet about the possibilities of revelation. No new Bible
will be written, but new readers will come. We have learning and ability and
industry enough; what we want is the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
The Gift of the Spirit Dependent Upon Conditions
J. MarshallMather.
Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord
in one place.…
How to realise the immanence, or possessourselves ofthe indwelling of this
Holy Spirit, is purely a question of conditions. Let me illustrate my meaning.
To a man in perfect health an atmosphere impregnated with disease-germs is
comparatively harmless;but should he approacha typhus-stricken patient
with a body exhausted by exercise, orfaint from want of food, the
probabilities are that he will fall a prey to the disease. Again, as a man brings
himself into harmony with all the laws of his being, life assumes a bright and
joyous aspect. Forms, tints, sounds, the shouldering hill, the roseate hues of
dawn, the sweet-voicedsong ofbirds, rouse in him the spirit of devotion, and
appeal to him as revelations of a hand and mind Divine. But if his eye be
jaundiced, his liver torpid, his pulse irregular, his brain congested, then
creationbecomes a blank, the world a wilderness, and life a weariness anda
woe. Or, once more, take mental conditions. Have you never, in reading a
book, marked with pencil some passagethat suddenly flashed its meaning in
upon your mind; and then, some six months later, in re-reading the same
passage, wonderedhow it was you failed to re-experience the inspiration of
the former time? There was no change in the book;the change was in your
mental condition. Have you never, in hearing some strain of music, felt that it
led you into a world of fancy, a realm of strange unutterable delight, and yet,
forsooth, when on a later day the same chords have been touched by the same
hands, to your astonishment they languidly and meaninglesslyfloatedpast
your ear without rousing the imagery of your soul? There was no change in
the music, the change was in the mental conditions of your life; at one time
you were responsive;at the other, dull and inert. In all spheres of our
existence, joy, truth, love, are proportioned to conditions. And so in the realm
of the Spirit. Fulfil the Divine conditions and you are en rapport with the
Divine life. Permit those conditions to go unfulfilled, and the Divine life will be
to you as though it were not. And oh! how simple these conditions are! They
do not consistin lashing yourself into a frenzy, nor in shouting yourself into
hoarseness, norin mutilating yourself. No. The conditions are prayer and
supplication from hearts one in accord. It is prayer, and prayer only, that fits
us for Divine indwelling; it is prayer, and prayer only, that puts us in touch
with God. A prayerless life can no more draw to itself the Holy Spirit than
glass candraw the electric fire; nor cana prayerless Church bring forth the
fruits of holiness any more than the frigid zone can callforth and perfect a
tropical growth. "Ye have not because ye ask not; and ye have not because ye
ask amiss." Live in the atmosphere of prayer; for therein, and therein only,
will you fit yourself for the Divine indwelling; therein, and therein only, will
you be vigorous with the life of God.
(J. MarshallMather.)
The Holy Spirit Needed
C. H. Spurgeon.
Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord
in one place.…
It is as if you saw a locomotive engine upon a railway, and it would not go;
and they put up a driver, and they said, "Now, that driver will just do." They
try anotherand another. One proposes that such and such a wheelshould be
altered; but still it will not go. Some one then bursts in amongstthose who are
conversing, and says, "No, friends; but the reasonwhy it will not go is because
there is no steam. You have no fire; you have no waterin the boiler: that's
why it will not go. There may be some faults about it: it may want a bit of
paint here and there: but it will go well enough with all those faults if you do
but getthe steamup." But now people are saying, "This must be altered, and
that must be altered." But it would go he better unless God the Spirit should
come to bless us. That is the Church's greatwant; and, until that want be
supplied, we may reform and reform, and stiff be lust the same. We want the
Holy Spirit; and then, whateverfaults there may be in our organisation, they
can never materially impede the progress ofChristianity when once the Spirit
of the Lord God is in our midst.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
STUDYLIGHT RESOURCES
Adam Clarke Commentary
To speak with other tongues - At the building of Babelthe language ofthe
people was confounded; and, in consequence ofthis, they became scattered
over the face of the earth: at this foundation of the Christian Church, the gift
of various languages was givento the apostles, that the scatterednations
might be gathered;and united under one shepherd and superintendent
(επισκοπος ) of all souls.
As the Spirit gave them utterance - The word αποφθεγγεσθαι seems to imply
such utterance as proceededfrom immediate inspiration, and included
oracularcommunications.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Acts 2:4". "The Adam Clarke
Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/acts-
2.html. 1832.
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Albert Barnes'Notes onthe Whole Bible
Were all filled with the Holy Ghost - Were entirely under his sacredinfluence
and power. See the notes on Luke 1:41, Luke 1:67. To be filled with anything
is a phrase denoting that all the faculties are pervaded by it, engagedin it, or
under its influence, Acts 3:10, “Were filled with wonder and amazement”;
Acts 5:17, “Filledwith indignation”; Acts 13:45, “Filledwith envy”; Acts 2:4,
“Filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”
Beganto speak with other tongues - In other languages than their native
tongue. The languages whichthey spoke are specifiedin Acts 2:9-11.
As the Spirit gave them utterance - As the Holy Spirit gave them power to
speak. This language implies plainly that they were now endued with a faculty
of speaking languageswhichthey had not before learned. Their native tongue
was that of Galilee, a somewhatbarbarous dialect of the common language
used in Judea - the Syro-Chaldaic. It is possible that some of them might have
been partially acquainted with the Greek and Latin, as eachof those
languages was spokenamong the Jews to some extent; but there is not the
slightestevidence that they were acquainted with the languages ofthe
different nations afterwardspecified. Various attempts have been made to
accountfor this remarkable phenomenon without supposing it to be a miracle.
But the natural and obvious meaning of the passageis, that they were
endowedby the supernatural powerof the Holy Spirit with ability to speak
foreign languages,and languages to them before unknown. It does not appear
that eachone had the powerof speaking allthe languages whichare specified
Acts 2:9-11, but that this ability was among them, and that togetherthey
could speak these languages,probably some one and some another. The
following remarks may perhaps throw some light on this remarkable
occurrence:
(1) It was predicted in the Old Testamentthat what is here statedwould occur
in the times of the Messiah. Thus, in Isaiah28:11, “With … another tongue
will he speak unto this people.” Compare 1 Corinthians 14:21 where this
passageis expresslyapplied to the powerof speaking foreignlanguagesunder
the gospel.
(2) it was promised by the Lord Jesus that they should have this power, Mark
16:17, “These signs shallfollow them that believe … they shall speak with new
tongues.”
(3) the ability to do it existed extensively and long in the church, 1 Corinthians
12:10-11, “To anotherdivers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of
tongues:all these workeththat one and the self-same Spirit”; Acts 2:28, “God
hath setin the church … diversities of tongues.” Compare also Acts 2:30, and
Acts 14:2, Acts 14:4-6, Acts 14:9, Acts 14:13-14;Acts 14:18-19, Acts 14:22-23,
Acts 14:27, Acts 14:39. From this it appears that the power was wellknown in
the church, and was not confined to the apostles. This also may show that in
the case in the Acts, the ability to do this was conferredon other members of
the church as wellas the apostles.
(4) it was very important that they should be endowed with this power in their
greatwork. They were going forth to preachto all nation; and though the
Greek and Roman tongues were extensively spoken, yet their use was not
universal, nor is it known that the apostles were skilledin those languages.To
preach to all nations, it was indispensable that they should be able to
understand their language. And in order that the gospelmight be rapidly
propagatedthrough the earth, it was necessarythat they should be endowed
with ability to do this without the slow process ofbeing compelledto learn
them. It will contribute to illustrate this to remark that one of the principal
hindrances in the spreadof the gospelnow arises from the inability to speak
the languagesofthe nations of the earth, and that among missionaries of
modern times a long time is necessarilyspent in acquiring the language of a
people before they are prepared to preach to them.
(5) one design was to establishthe gospelby means of miracles. Yet no miracle
could be more impressive than the powerof conveying their sentiments at
once in all the languages ofthe earth. When it is remembered what a slow and
toilsome process it is to learn a foreign tongue, this would I be regardedby the
paganas one of the most striking miracles which could be performed, 1
Corinthians 14:22, 1 Corinthians 14:24-25.
(6) the reality and certainty of this miracle is strongly attestedby the early
triumphs of the gospel. Thatthe gospelwas earlyspread over all the world,
and that, too, by the apostles of Jesus Christ, is the cleartestimony of all
history. They preachedit in Arabia, Greece, Syria, Asia, Persia, Africa, and
Rome. Yet how could this have been effectedwithout a miraculous power of
speaking the languages usedin all those places? Now, it requires the toil of
many years to speak in foreign languages;and the recordedsuccessofthe
gospelis one of the most striking attestations to the fact of the miracle that
could be conceived.
(7) the corruption of language was one of the most decidedeffects of sin, and
the source ofendless embarrassments and difficulties, Matthew 28:19 to send
the gospelto all nations, so it is bound to provide that the teachers who shall
be sent forth shall be qualified for their work. Hence, one of the reasons ofthe
importance of training men for the holy ministry.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentaryon Acts 2:4". "Barnes'Notes onthe New
Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/acts-2.html.
1870.
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William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament
WITH THE HOLY GHOST
4. In the old dispensationthe Holy Ghostoperated extrinsically in the people.
It is the crowning glory of the gospeldispensationto be filled with the Holy
Ghost, in which case He operates on us intrinsically. The law must be satisfied
before the glorious Retribution, back to the Edenic state in which God filled
Adam and Eve like angels, cantake place. The incarnation of the Son defeated
the devil and magnified the violatedlaw; thus sweeping every difficulty out of
the wayand lifting the flood-gate of perfect love to pour its Niagaras offull
salvationinto the consecratedbelieving heart. Hence the crowning glory of the
Pentecostaldispensationis the filling of the heart with the Holy Ghost. We
find the gospelstandard uniformly recognizedthroughout the history of the
apostolic church. It was not only the indispensable qualification of the gospel
herald, but it was a sine qua non in the deacon, entrusted with the temporal
interests of the church, as wellas the eldership, chargedwith the graver
responsibilities of the immortal soul. At this point Satanlong ago maneuvered
to derail and thus blast the purity and blight the glory of the Christian
Church; seducing the fair Bride of Christ to receive his black hand in
wedlock, deck herselfin all the ornamentationof the world, and verify the
horrific prophecies pertaining to the harlot of Babylon. Revelation, 12 th and
17th chapters. If the church had remained true to the Pentecostaldoctrines
and experiences she would long ago have enjoyed the honor of conquering the
world and bringing back her glorified spouse to be crownedKing of kings and
Lord of lords. The filling is impossible unless precededby a radical emptying,
a complete evacuationof our spiritual being by all evil. This is the negative
experience under the cleansing blood, the invariable antecedentof the glorious
positive experience, i. e., the impletion of the Holy Ghost. If you are true to the
infallible Monitor, you canalways have at your command the needed
information relative to this glorious and extraordinary experience, as He is
sure to reveal to you an emptiness in your heart, “anaching void” the world
can never fill. Spirit filled people alone constitute the Bridehood of Christ
(Matthew 25). Our Lord proposes to rule the world during the coming
millennial age through the instrumentality of His Spirit-filled, transfigured
Bride (Revelation20:6). He is now depending on the Spirit filled members of
the Bridehoodto preachthe gospelofthe glorious coming kingdom to all
nations, calling out the electand thus preparing the world for His glorious
return to reign in righteousness (Matthew 24:14). Reader, I abjure you, by the
infinite value of your soul and the infinitesimal glories ofthe coming kingdom,
that you gettruly filled with the Holy Ghostand by doubtless faith and
martyr obedience keepfilled, on tiptoe watching and waiting to hail your
Lord descending on a cloud (Revelation1:7).
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesyof BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliography
Godbey, William. "Commentary on Acts 2:4". "William Godbey's
Commentary on the New Testament".
https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/acts-2.html.
return to 'Jump List'
The Biblical Illustrator
Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.
The historic movement towards spiritually
The successionwhich is indicated by the words Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
is neither nominal nor accidental, it is a philosophicaI progress and
culmination.
1. When we go back towards the origin of things, we are dissatisfiedwith all
mere critical terms, and yearn for something for which we cannot hit the
exactword. Then is suggestedthe Biblical word, Father, and with it comes a
promise of satisfactionin spite of all its difficulties.
2. But fatherhood is an inclusive term, suggesting the idea of childhood, and
childhood is realisedmost impressively in the sonship of Christ; but sonship
such as this, involving visible expression, is besetwith peculiar risks. So He
withdrew Himself immediately that He had securedfor His personality an
unquestioned place in history, as there was nothing more to be gained by His
visible continuance on earth.
3. But what of the future of His work? Then, according to Christian teaching,
was to come manifestation without visibility; instead of bodily presence, there
was to be a new experience of life and spirituality. In one word, the holy Man
was to be followedby the Holy Ghost. This idea of a philosophicalrather than
a merely arbitrary successionis strictly consistentwith the fact that the whole
movement of history, in all that is vital and permanent, is a movement from
the outward and visible to the inward and spiritual.
I. The order of creation. The successionruns thus: Light, firmament, dry
land, seas,the fruit-tree yielding fruit, sun, moon, and stars, the moving
creature that hath life, and fowl flying in the open firmament of heaven,
cattle, creeping thing, and beastof the earth; if we pause here we shall be
dissatisfied, because ofa sense ofincompleteness;but to crown the whole
“Godsaid, Let us make man in our image and in our likeness.”
II. The order of human recovery. Beginning with the Levitical ritual, what
could be more objective? The sin-offering, the trespass-offering, the incenses,
etc., representthe most sensuous and exhausting systemof mediation? Could
aught be farther from the point of spirituality? In moving forward to the
incarnation, we take an immense stepalong the line whose final point is
spirituality, yet even there we are still distinctly upon the carnalline. The final
representative of sensuous worshipmust Himself be the revealerof spiritual
life. Jesus Christ ascended, and henceforthwe know not even Him “afterthe
flesh,” for the fleshly Christ has Himself placedmankind under the tuition of
a spiritual monitor.
III. The order of written testimony. From picture and symbol we pass to
spiritual meanings; through the noise and fury of war we pass into the
quietness and security of moral civilisation; through the porch of miracles and
mighty signs and wonders we enter the holy place of truth and love. The
quality of John’s Gospelrequires the very place that has been assignedto it in
the New Testament. Johnseems to say, “You have heard what the Evangelists
have had to tell, and have seenthe wonderful things of their Master’s
ministry; now let me explain the deep meaning of the whole.” From Malachi
to Matthew is but a step; but to get from Malachito John, you have to cross
the universe. Matthew shows the fact; John reveals the truth; Matthew
pourtrays on canvas;John puts his word into the heart.
IV. The whole law. From the minuteness of microscopic bye-laws men have
passedto a spiritual sense ofmoral distinctions. Every moment of the Jew’s
time, and every actof his life, was guarded by a regulation. Amidst our
spiritual light, such regulations could not be re-establishedwithout awakening
the keenestresentment. The greattables of bye-laws have been takendown,
because the spirit of order and of truth has been given. What is true of law is
equally true of all institutionalism.
V. Preciselythe same movement takes place in the experience ofevery
progressive life. Every man cantest this doctrine for himself--the doctrine,
namely, that the growth of manhood is towards spirituality. The child grows
towards contempt of its first toys; the youth reviews the narrow satisfactions
of his childhood with pity; the middle-aged man smiles, half-sneeringly, as he
recalls the conceits ofhis youth; and the hoary-haired thinker lives already
amid the peace and joy of invisible scenes, orif he go back, living in memory
rather than in expectation, it is so ideally as to divest his recollectionsofall
that was transient and unlovely. The spiritual world of the wise man increases
every day. These suggestionspoint to the conclusionthat the Holy Ghostis the
reasonable completionof revelation, and as such His ministry is an
impregnable proof of the reasonableness ofChristianity. In the person of
Jesus Christ truth was outward, visible, and most beautiful; in the personof
the Holy Ghosttruth is inward, spiritual, all-transfiguring. By the very
necessityofthe case the bodily Christ could be but a passing figure; but by a
gracious mystery He causedHimself to be succeededby an eternal Presence,
“eventhe Spirit of Truth, which abideth for ever.” It is claimed, then, on
behalf of Christianity, that there is a Holy Ghost, and to this doctrine is
invited not only the homage of the heart but the full assentofthe most robust
and dispassionate understanding. (J. Parker, D. D.)
Filled with the Spirit
I. They were filled with the spirit.
1. Men may be filled but not with the Spirit (verse 13). The audience confessed
they were full, but with wine, a liquor though full of spirit, yet no spirit. It was
false, yet if the Spirit may be taken for a humour, why not a humour for a
spirit. Isaiahsays (Isaiah 29:9) that men may be drunk but not with wine. A
hot humour is takenfor this fire and termed, though untruly, a spirit of zeal,
and men imbued with it are ever mending churches, states, superiors, and all
save themselves.
The holy spirit pentecost experience
The holy spirit pentecost experience
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The holy spirit pentecost experience

  • 1. THE HOLY SPIRIT PENTECOST EXPERIENCE EDITED BY GLENN PEASE Acts 2:4 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. BIBLEHUB RESOURCES Baptism Of The Holy Ghost Acts 2:4 R.A. Redford Connectwith facts;the position and responsibilities of the Church, the promise given, the antecedentstate of the world, the need of a Divine power for the mission of grace, the importance of such a miracle for the confirmation of faith and the establishmentof Christianity, the uplifting of the agents above natural infirmities, errors, and sins. I. A GREAT EPOCHin human history. World filled with many things - thoughts, speculations, strivings, powers;capable of much, but the greatwant the Spirit. Truth, love, life, for a false world - a world at enmity with itself, fall of disorder; a dying world, needing to be renewedand restored. II. A GREAT GIFT of God to man. "Suddenly bestowed;freely, apart from man's claims and merits; upon all, without respectof persons, for the selection of the few believing Jews, witha view to the abolition of Judaism and of all
  • 2. restrictions;abundantly - all filled," to their own astonishment, with supernatural powers. Spiritual gifts above all other gifts. Even science points to a continuous ascentof man. He is only highest when he is filled with the Spirit of God. III. A GREAT CHANGE in individuals and in the community. We may anticipate a similar baptism of the Holy Ghost, not with the same external manifestation, but with substantially the same elevationof faith and life. Instances of such a baptism in greatpreachers and workers, in lowly men and women, in periods of the Church's history. Suddenly the fact may appear, but, like the first Christians, our duty is to be ready for it, waiting, expecting, with one accord, oftenin one place. Revival of the Church, conversionof the world, should be viewed in their relation to this stupendous change, and what came out of it. Baptism is consecration. The Holy Ghostis not given for signs and wonders, but to endow the Church for its missionto the world. The powerof utterance is the greattest of Divine endowment, not in the sense ofhuman eloquence, but in the fulfillment of the Spirit's work, to "convince the world of sin, of righteousness, andof judgment" (John 16:8-10). And so - IV. A GREAT OPENING HEAVEN. The one fact of Pentecostis the pledge of the future. It is the gate through which we can see endless glory: "angels of God ascending and descending." "All the families of the earth" blessedin the true children of Abraham. We must admit of no compromise in the proclamation of such a message. If Christianity is no more than a moral doctrine, then Pentecostis lost in the backgroundof a primitive antiquity; if it is "life from the dead," then we must ceaselesslyrepeatthe watchword, "This is he that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." We can do nothing without a Divine Christ, a Divine Spirit, the promise of the Father, a new creation. To this opened heavenall are alike invited. The conditions of such a baptism were proclaimed by Jesus himself on the mount, through all his ministry. "Come unto me;" "Ask, and it shall be given unto you;" "Walk in the light, and be children of light." - R.
  • 3. Biblical Illustrator And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:4 The historic movement towards spiritually J. Parker, D. D. The successionwhich is indicated by the words Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is neither nominal nor accidental, it is a philosophicaI progress and culmination. 1. When we go back towards the origin of things, we are dissatisfiedwith all mere critical terms, and yearn for something for which we cannot hit the exactword. Then is suggestedthe Biblical word, Father, and with it comes a promise of satisfactionin spite of all its difficulties. 2. But fatherhood is an inclusive term, suggesting the idea of childhood, and childhood is realisedmost impressively in the sonship of Christ; but sonship such as this, involving visible expression, is besetwith peculiar risks. So He withdrew Himself immediately that He had securedfor His personality an unquestioned place in history, as there was nothing more to be gained by His visible continuance on earth. 3. But what of the future of His work? Then, according to Christian teaching, was to come manifestation without visibility; instead of bodily presence, there was to be a new experience of life and spirituality. In one word, the holy Man was to be followedby the Holy Ghost. This idea of a philosophicalrather than a merely arbitrary successionis strictly consistentwith the fact that the whole movement of history, in all that is vital and permanent, is a movement from the outward and visible to the inward and spiritual. I. The order of CREATION. The successionruns thus: Light, firmament, dry land, seas,the fruit-tree yielding fruit, sun, moon, and stars, the moving creature that hath life, and fowl flying in the open firmament of heaven, cattle, creeping thing, and beastof the earth; if we pause here we shall be
  • 4. dissatisfied, because ofa sense ofincompleteness;but to crown the whole "Godsaid, Let us make man in our image and in our likeness." II. The order of HUMAN RECOVERY. Beginning with the Levitical ritual, what could be more objective? The sin-offering, the trespass-offering, the incenses, etc., representthe most sensuous and exhausting system of mediation? Could aught be farther from the point of spirituality? In moving forward to the incarnation, we take an immense step along the line whose final point is spirituality, yet even there we are still distinctly upon the carnal line. The final representative of sensuous worshipmust Himself be the revealerof spiritual life. Jesus Christascended, and henceforth we know not even Him "afterthe flesh," for the fleshly Christ has Himself placedmankind under the tuition of a spiritual monitor. III. The order of WRITTEN TESTIMONY. Frompicture and symbol we pass to spiritual meanings; through the noise and fury of warwe pass into the quietness and security of moral civilisation; through the porch of miracles and mighty signs and wonders we enter the holy place of truth and love. The quality of John's Gospelrequires the very place that has been assignedto it in the New Testament. Johnseems to say, "You have heard what the Evangelists have had to tell, and have seenthe wonderful things of their Master's ministry; now let me explain the deep meaning of the whole." From Malachi to Matthew is but a step; but to get from Malachito John, you have to cross the universe. Matthew shows the fact; John reveals the truth; Matthew pourtrays on canvas;John puts his word into the heart. IV. The whole LAW. From the minuteness of microscopic bye-laws men have passedto a spiritual sense ofmoral distinctions. Every moment of the Jew's time, and every actof his life, was guarded by a regulation. Amidst our spiritual light, such regulations could not be re-establishedwithout awakening the keenestresentment. The greattables of bye-laws have been takendown, because the spirit of order and of truth has been given. What is true of law is equally true of all institutionalism. V. Preciselythe same movement takes place in the experience ofEVERY PROGRESSIVE LIFE. Every man cantest this doctrine for himself — the
  • 5. doctrine, namely, that the growthof manhood is towards spirituality. The child grows towards contempt of its first toys; the youth reviews the narrow satisfactions ofhis childhood with pity; the middle-aged man smiles, half- sneeringly, as he recalls the conceits ofhis youth; and the hoary-haired thinker lives already amid the peace and joy of invisible scenes, orif he go back, living in memory rather than in expectation, it is so ideally as to divest his recollections ofall that was transient and unlovely. The spiritual world of the wise man increases everyday. These suggestions point to the conclusion that the Holy Ghost is the reasonable completionof revelation, and as such His ministry is an impregnable proof of the reasonablenessofChristianity. In the personof Jesus Christ truth was outward, visible, and most beautiful; in the personof the Holy Ghosttruth is inward, spiritual, all-transfiguring. By the very necessityof the case the bodily Christ could be but a passing figure; but by a gracious mystery He causedHimself to be succeededby an eternal Presence,"eventhe Spirit of Truth, which abideth for ever." It is claimed, then, on behalf of Christianity, that there is a Holy Ghost, and to this doctrine is invited not only the homage of the heart but the full assentofthe most robust and dispassionate understanding. (J. Parker, D. D.) Filled with the Spirit Bp. Andrewes. I. They were filled WITH THE SPIRIT. 1. Men may be filled but not with the Spirit (ver. 13). The audience confessed they were full, but with wine, a liquor though full of spirit, yet no spirit. It was false, yet if the Spirit may be taken for a humour, why not a humour for a spirit. Isaiahsays (Isaiah 29:9) that men may be drunk but not with wine. A hot humour is takenfor this fire and termed, though untruly, a spirit of zeal, and men imbued with it are ever mending churches, states, superiors, and all save themselves.
  • 6. 2. Notevery spirit. "There is a spirit in man," i.e. our own spirit, and many there be who follow their own ghost, and not the Holy Ghost;for even that ghosttaketh upon it to inspire, and we know its revelations (Matthew 16:17). 3. blot the world's spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12). 4. But the Holy Spirit, i.e. His gifts and graces.And because these be of many points they are all included under these two —(l) Under the wind is representedsaving graces;as necessaryto our spiritual life as breath is to our natural. This is meant for us personally. Of this Spirit there are nine points (Galatians 5:22).(2)Under the tongues are setforth the grace meant for the benefit of others. Tongues serve to teachand fire to warm; and of this spirit the points are reckonedup in 1 Corinthians 12:7, etc. II. THEY WERE FILLED with the Spirit. 1. It was not a wind that blew through them, as it does through many of us, but that filled them. 2. Notthat they were devoid of the Spirit before. Christ had not breathed upon them (John 20:22)in vain. This shows us that there are diverse measures of the Spirit, some single, some double portions (1 Kings 2:9). As there are degrees in the wind — a breath, a blast, a gale, so there are in the Spirit. It is one thing to receive the Spirit as at Easterand to be filled with Him as at Whitsuntide. Then but a breath; now a mighty wind; then but sprinkled as with a few drops (Ezekiel20:46), now baptized with that which was plenteously poured out (Joel2:20). III. IN SIGN THAT THEY WERE FILLED THEY RAN OVER. The fire was kindled in them by this wind, and in sign thereof they spoke with their tongue (Psalm 39:3). The wind would have servedthem as Christians, but as apostles, i.e. ambassadors, theymust have tongues. 1. They were filled and then they beganto speak. Some speak, Iwill not say before they are full, or half full, but while they are little better than empty, if not empty quite.
  • 7. 2. This beginning to speak argues courage.Any man might see that there was a new spirit come into them. Before they were tongue-tied. A damsel did but ask Petera question, and he faltered. But after this mighty wind blew up the fire, and they were warmed with it, then they were not afraid to testify before magistrates and kings. (Bp. Andrewes.) Filled with the Spirit H. Arnold Thomas, M. A. The new era opened at Pentecostwas one in which all God's people were to have God abiding in them always, the Guest, Comforter and Friend of every Christian heart. It must be admitted, however, that this Divine ideal has been very inadequately realised. Let us considersome of the results which may be expectedto flow from a fuller baptism of the Spirit. I. SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. 1. This does not mean that our thoughts should be perpetually running on the future, that we should ever be debating theologicalquestions, but that we shall have the powerto appreciate those greatand eternal realities that are about us. 2. This spiritual mindedness will revealitself —(1) In the estimate we form of our fellow men.(2) In our appreciation of the greatspiritual end we ought ever to be seeking in order to do Christian work.(3)In our appreciationof Christian doctrine caring more about the spiritual substance than the particular form or fashion by which the truth may have been expressed. For instance —(a) In all our thought about the death and atonement of Christ, the imagination will not dwell on the physical blood that was shed, or upon the physical agonythat was endured, but upon the majesty of God's righteousness, the wonder of God's love, the mystery of that greatsacrifice on the Cross, andthe awfulness of the sin which made that sacrifice necessary.(b) When we think about the secondcoming of Christ, our thoughts will not be
  • 8. takenup with the external circumstances ofpomp and splendour, but rather with the triumph' of goodover evil, and truth over falsehood, which is the consummation to which all devout souls must ever be looking.(c)In thinking about inspiration we shall not trouble ourselves about theories of it, or about the mere letter, but our care will be mostly for the Divine truth itself, which will lift us up in our despondency, and guide us in our perplexity when we come to the sacredpage. II. AN ACCESS OF POWER BYWHICH THE NATURALLY TIMID WILL BE ENABLED TO DO THINGS WHICH WOULD BE OTHERWISE IMPOSSIBLE TO THE STRONGEST;in regard to — 1. Testimonyfor Christ. 2. Endurance of suffering. 3. Philanthropic work. III. A CHANGE OF DISPOSITION. 1. The cessationof"jealousies, strifes, anddivisions," which Paul includes amongstthe "works ofthe flesh." 2. The prevalence of a spirit of mercy and kindness towards others.(1)To those who in our midst are compelledto live very hard lives.(2) Forthose multitudes all over the world who are without the knowledge ofGod as revealedin Christ. IV. AN ENTHUSIASM OF HOLY FERVOUR IN ALL WORK. 1. In worship. 2. In Church life. 3. In evangelism. (H. Arnold Thomas, M. A.) Filled with the Spirit
  • 9. Cornelius a Lapide. I. THE FULNESS. There was no part of the complex nature of man that was not pervaded by the Spirit. 1. The intellect was illumined to know the truths of the Spirit. 2. The affections were purified and inflamed with desires after heavenly things. 3. The will was strengthenedto obey the motions of the Spirit. II. ITS MANIFESTATION. Those who are so filled give out only the language of the life-giving Spirit. Even when they speak ofearthly things it is with a tongue reminding men of the wisdom and simplicity of the children of God. When they do aught in the common business of life, their example recalls the thought of a higher life. All they say or do is to edifying. (Cornelius a Lapide.) Filled with the Spirit and receiving the Spirit W. Arthur, M. A. The difference is not of kind, but of degree. In the one case,the light of heaven has reachedthe dark chamber, dispelling night, but leaving some obscurity and some deep shadows. In the other, that light has filled the whole chamber, and made every corner bright. This state of the soul — being "filled with the Holy Ghost" — is the normal antecedentof true prophetic or miraculous power, but may exist without it; without it, in individuals who are never endowedwith the gift either of prophecy or of miracles;without it, in individuals who have such powers, but in whom they are not in action, as in John the Baptist, before his ministry commenced. (W. Arthur, M. A.) Fulness of the Spirit not necessarilymiraculous
  • 10. W. Arthur, M. A. Eyesightis the necessarybasis of what is calleda painter's or a poet's eye; the sense ofhearing, the necessarybasis ofwhat is calleda musical ear, yet eyesightmay exist where there is no poet's or painter's eye, and hearing where there is no musical ear. So may the human soul be "filled with the Holy Ghost," having every faculty illuminated, and every affectionpurified, without any miraculous gift. On the other hand, the miraculous power does not necessarilyimply the spiritual fulness: for Paul puts the supposition of speaking with tongues, prophesying, removing mountains, and yet lacking charity, that love which must be shed abroad in every heart that is full of the Holy Ghost. (W. Arthur, M. A.) The fulness of the Spirit the need of the Church T. G. Tarn. I. WE ARE APT TO FIX OUR THOUGHTS AND DESIRES ON SUBORDINATE INSTRUMENTALITIES. 1. Goodorganisation. Manyare chiefly anxious to perfectthe ecclesiastical apparatus of the Church; but without speaking disparaginglyof this, yet perfect machinery is uselesswithout motive power, a Church may be organisedto death, and may be only like a stately tomb. The Church's finest triumphs were gained in days when it had no elaborate organisation. 2. Orthodoxy. Many are distressedby the presentunsettlement of theological opinion, and regard uniformity of belief as the greatdesideratum. Correct thinking is much to be desired, and in proportion as any Church departs from fundamental Christian truth it emasculatesits moral force. But an orthodox Church may be a scene of mental and spiritual stagnation. It may have a perfect creedand yet be loveless,lifeless, helpless. 3. Intellectual equipment. Of scholarshipand disciplined thought it is impossible for a Church to have too much, but a Church that prides itself on
  • 11. its culture may be as coldas an iceberg and exclusive as a coterie. It may virtually say to any candidate who cannot be classedamong its "thoughtful," or who does not rise to a certainstandard of wealthand socialstatus, what a deaconis reported to have said to an unwelcome applicant, "There is no vacancyin our church just now." 4. Liberty, fearless independence of thought and expression. But liberty may degenerate into license quite as easilyas zeal for truth may pass into bigotry, and in its sacredname deadly errors and worthless speculations andconceits may be passedoff as current coin of the realm of truth. II. WHAT WE WANT SUPREMELYIS THE FULNESS OF THE SPIRIT. 1. Organisation, etc., are goodthings, but there is something more essential. Might not the Mastersayto-day as He did of old, "Ye are carefulabout many things, but one thing is needful." With the fulness of the Spirit our organisationwill be filled with power, our orthodoxy pulsate with love, our culture have in it no Phariseeism, and our liberty always serve the interests of truth and godliness. 2. "Filledwith the Spirit."(1) The Church will be guided into all truth, for a fuller tide of the Spirit means finer spiritual discernment and discrimination, and deeperinsight into eternalverities.(2) The Church will be "glorious in holiness," for whereverthe Spirit of God dwells He is as the refiner's fire.(3) The peace and harmony of the Church will be insured, for brotherly love will reign supreme, and fidelity to truth will carry no bitterness with it.(4) The Church will be preservedfrom selfishness,and made missionary and philanthropic.(5) The Church will not descendto carnal and unworthy methods of spreading the kingdom of God. It will cease to bow at the shrine of mammon, disdain the expedients of worldly wisdom, and not measure its successby statisticaltables or worldly standards.(6)The Church will have an attractive power. We look too much to the mere accessoriesofreligion — to music and ritual, intellectual brilliance and sensationalservices, forgetfulof the factthat the magnetic spell of the Church is the beauty, intensity, and fulness of its spiritual life. When the fruits of the Spirit abound men will be drawn as bees to the apple blossom, or steelfilings to the magnet.(7)The
  • 12. Church will exert a mighty power to perform greatermiracles than those of Christ, and in their presence the voice of the caviller will be silenced. Preaching will be "in the demonstration of the Spirit and power," and we shall rejoice in constantaccessions. III. How SHALL WE OBTAIN THIS FULNESS OF THE SPIRIT? There have been seasonswhenthe Spirit has sweptin mighty tides, and we are tempted to think that the supply of the Spirit is according to some capricious or arbitrary arrangement. But the supernatural has its laws as wellas the natural. 1. Everything that grieves the Spirit must be put away, "all malice and all guile and hypocrisies," etc., and"all unbelief, worldly-mindedness, pride, selfishness";everything opposedto the simplicity, the charity and purity of Christ, or there will be fatal hindrances. 2. Earnest, importunate prayer — prayer that is not a mere repetition of conventionalphrases, that has in it the utmost intensity of desire, that links togetherthe whole communion of the faithful, and knows no cessationtill the answercomes. The experience of the disciples before Pentecost, and in Acts 4:31, is a lessonfor all ages. 3. There must be avenues for the Spirit's entrance, a large measure of receptivity, sensitiveness to His influence, fidelity to the truth. He requires cheerful response as He calls to duty or sacrifice, and an implicit obedience to His commands. Luther once said that people cried, "Spirit, Spirit, Spirit!" and then struck down all the bridges by which the Spirit might enter. At the moment of his ordination Whitefield says, "I offered up my whole spirit, soul and body, to the service of God's sanctuary," and the result we know. If the sacrifice be upon the altar, the fire from heaven will come down. (T. G. Tarn.) The soul filled with the Holy Ghost W. Arthur, M. A.
  • 13. A piece of iron is dark and cold; imbued with a certain degree of heat, it becomes almostburning without any change of appearance;imbued with a still greaterdegree, its very appearance changesto that of solid fire, and it sets fire to whateverit touches. A piece of water without heat is solid and brittle; gently warmed, it flows; further heated, it mounts to the sky. An organfilled with the ordinary degree of air which exists everywhere is dumb; the touch of the player can elicit but a clicking of the keys. Throw in not other air, but an unsteady current of the same air, and sweet, but imperfect and uncertain, notes immediately respond to the player's touch: increase the current to a full supply, and every pipe swells with music. Such is the soul without the Holy Ghost, and such are the changes whichpass upon it when it receives the Holy Ghost, and when it is "filled with the Holy Ghost." In the latter state only is it fully imbued with the Divine nature, bearing in all its manifestations some plain resemblance to its God, conveying to all on whom it acts some impression of Him, mounting heavenwardin all its movements, and harmoniously pouring forth, from all its faculties, the praises ofthe Lord. (W. Arthur, M. A.) Powerof a man when God works by him Bp. Phillips Brooks. Look at the artist's chisel;the artist cannot carve without it. Yet imagine the chisel, conscious thatit was made to carve, and that it is its function, trying to carve alone. It lays itself againstthe hard marble, but it has neither strength nor skill. Then we can imagine the chiselfull of disappointment. "Why cannot I carve?" it cries. Then the artist comes and seizes it. The chisellays itself into his hand, and is obedient to him. Thought, feeling, imagination, skill, flow down from the deep chambers of the artist's soul to the chisel's edge. The sculptor and the chisel are not two, but one; it is the unit which they make that carves the stone. We are but the chiselto carve God's statues in this world. Unquestionably we must do the work. But the human workeris only the chiselof the greatArtist. The artist needs his chisel;but the chisel cando nothing, produce no beauty of itself. The artist must seize it, and the chisellay
  • 14. itself into his hand and be obedient to him. We must yield ourselves altogether to Christ, and let Him use us. Then His power, His wisdom, His skill, His thought, His love, shall flow through our soul, our brain, our heart, our fingers. (Bp. Phillips Brooks.) And beganto speak with other tongues The new tongue which ought to fall to our lot by the Spirit of Pentecost Gerok. I. WHEREIN IT CONSISTS. 1. Notin a miraculous gift of languages. 2. Norin a formal repetition of pious expressions. 3. But in a heart and mouth opened to thankful praise of Divine grace and joyful confessionofthe Lord. II. WHENCE IT PROCEEDS. 1. Notfrom our natural state. 2. Norfrom the arts and sciences. 3. But from above, from the Spirit of God, who touches heart and lips with fire from heaven. III. WHAT PURPOSE IT SERVES. Notto vain self-glorificationor worldly delectation, but to the praise of Godand to the messageofsalvation to the world. (Gerok.) As the Spirit gave them utterance
  • 15. CharacteristicsofSpirit-inspired speech Cornelius a Lapide. They spoke — I. WISELY, as the Spirit of wisdom moved them. II. POWERFULLY, as the Spirit of power strengthenedthem. III. PURELY, as the Spirit of holiness sanctified them. (Cornelius a Lapide.) The gospelfor all nations M. Henry. The apostles'speaking onthe day of Pentecostto the people in their respective languages, wasto us a plain intimation of the mind and will of God, that the sacredrecords should be preserved by all nations in their own tongue;that the Scriptures should be read, and public worship be performed, in the vulgar language ofthe nations. (M. Henry.) The GreatLessonof the Pentecost R. Tuck Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and beganto speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
  • 16. It seems a strange thing that our Lord, when preparing his disciples for the coming of the Spirit, should set a higher value on that Spirit's work than on the continuance of his own (John 16:7-11). The only satisfactoryexplanationis this - that the Spirit's work was the continuance of his own. It continued that Divine presence whichwas essentialto the stability and culture of the disciples;for both while he lived among men and when he passedbeyond human vision, our Savior's words were true, "Without me ye cando nothing. No longer is Christ outside us, only to be seenby the eye, heard by the ear, and touched by the hand; we are now the "temples of the Holy Ghost;" he dwelleth with us, and is in us. We do not rightly apprehend the scene of Pentecostif we regardit only as the first of a series of separate gifts of the Spirit, which may be made in answerto prayer. We take a much more comprehensive and truthful view when we regard it as the entrance of God the Holy Ghostupon his specialmissionin relation to the full redemption of mankind. It was, as it were, the opening of the heavens, and the sending forth of the Divine Spirit, to brood forever over the waters, quickening life. It was his receptionin the hearts prepared for him, that he might begin a work which, ever spreading and widening, seeks to enthrone God the Father in every heart and every life. As God the Sonentered and won first a mother's heart, that he might get a standing-ground from which to enter the heart of the whole world; so God the Spirit came into the souls of a few disciples first, only that he might extend his sway, spreading from heart to heart, entering, subduing, teaching, and sanctifying, ever working for that glorious day when the "people shall be all holy." We fix attention on this one point: The disciples gained, and kept from that day, a deep sense of their entire dependence on God, and on God as the indwelling, in working Spirit. They could never recall that "day of Pentecost"without contrasting what they were before it came, and what they were after it had passed. There was contrastin their measure of spiritual vision, and contrastin the energy and joy of their work. And so they learned, in a most effective way, that their sufficiency was of God. The secretof all moral strength is dependence on God - open-heartedness to receive, and simple readiness to obey and work out, all the inward impulses and leadings of his Holy Spirit. Becausethe disciples learnt this lessonof
  • 17. Pentecostso well, therefore it can be thus reported concerning them, "They went forth, and preachedeverywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following." Application of this lessonmay be made to the Christian. 1. We have a Christian life to maintain, culture and growth to watchover, higher truth to reach, clusters of graces to ripen, and the powerof a holy example to wield. But we "are not sufficient of ourselves even to think anything as of ourselves.""Oursufficiency is of God." We too need the Quickener, Comforter, and Teacher. 2. We too have a conflict to wage, andsufferings to bear for our Master. And who "dares to do the warfare at his own charges"?We are only strong in God either to fight or to bear. 3. We too have a work to do for Christ, and a witness to render. And we must learn to say after the greatapostle, "Ican do all things through him who strengtheneth me." What we need is spiritual power, Spirit-power, the Pentecostalpower. Whenshall we fully graspthe inspiring truth - the Holy Ghostis with us? - R.T. A New Manifestationof the Divine Spirit D. Thomas, D. D. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.…
  • 18. 1. Though we cannot regardPentecostas the birthday of the Church, since the Church was born centuries before, we are bound to regard it as the grand crowning period in the development of the plan of redemption. Periods in the working out of this plan mark the history of four thousand years, one leading to another. From Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, and from Moses to Christ, and now from Christ's Advent to Pentecost. To this all the others pointed, and in it they were all crowned with glory. 2. But we are not to suppose that this was the first time the Divine Spirit visited this world. He strove with the antediluvians, inspired old prophets, and dwelt in old saints. But He never came in such a demonstration and plenitude of power before. Before He had distilled as the dew, now He comes down as a shower;before He had gleamedas the first rays of morning, now He appears as the brightness of noon. Note His action — I. UPON the disciples. 1. Upon their ear. "Wind," an emblem of the Spirit. (1) Invisible. (2) Mysterious. (3) Powerful.
  • 19. (4) Refreshing.Great,epochs are usually marked by extraordinary phenomena — e.g., the giving of the Law; the Advent; the Crucifixion, and now Pentecost. 2. Upon their eye. "Fire" is (1) Purifying. (2) Consuming. (3) Transmuting. (4) Diffusive.Perhaps these supernatural appeals to the senseswere intended to express the relationof the Divine Spirit. (a) To life — "wind" or air is vital, the breath of life. (b) To speech— "tongues" wouldintimate that the Spirit had given men new utterances. (c) To purity — "fire" would indicate that the Spirit had to consume all the corruptions of the soul. II. IN the disciples. "Theywere filled with the Holy Ghost." He took possessionoftheir —
  • 20. 1. Minds, and made them the organs ofDivine thought. 2. Hearts, and filled them with Divine emotions. 3. Bodies, and made them His living temples. 4. Wills, and made them the organs of Divine resolutions. Nothing but the Divine will fill the .soul Without God there will be a boundless vacuum within. III. THROUGH the disciples. Your things are observable concerning their speech. 1. It followedtheir Divine inspiration. It was not until the Spirit had given them the right thoughts and feelings that utterance came. Betterbe dumb than express the sentiments of the unrenewed soul. It is when the Spirit comes that we want speech, and shall have it. A Divinely filled soulmust break forth in Divine language. 2. It was miraculous. The coming at once into the possessionofa new language is as greata miracle as the possessionofa new limb. 3. It was unspeakablyuseful. It served to impress the multitude with the Divinity of Christianity, and enabled the disciples to proclaim without preparation the gospelto every man. Without it the first age of the Church would have had a different history.
  • 21. 4. It was profoundly religious. This wonderful gift was employed to speak of God's wonderful works. Maythe day sooncome when God-givenlanguage, instead of being the vehicle of erroneous thought, impure feeling, depraved purpose, shall conveyto men nothing but holiness, goodness, andtruth. (D. Thomas, D. D.) A New Manifestationof the Divine Spirit D. Thomas, D. D. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.… 1. Though we cannot regardPentecostas the birthday of the Church, since the Church was born centuries before, we are bound to regard it as the grand crowning period in the development of the plan of redemption. Periods in the working out of this plan mark the history of four thousand years, one leading to another. From Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, and from Moses to Christ, and now from Christ's Advent to Pentecost. To this all the others pointed, and in it they were all crowned with glory. 2. But we are not to suppose that this was the first time the Divine Spirit visited this world. He strove with the antediluvians, inspired old prophets, and dwelt in old saints. But He never came in such a demonstration and plenitude of power before. Before He had distilled as the dew, now He comes down as a
  • 22. shower;before He had gleamedas the first rays of morning, now He appears as the brightness of noon. Note His action — I. UPON the disciples. 1. Upon their ear. "Wind," an emblem of the Spirit. (1) Invisible. (2) Mysterious. (3) Powerful. (4) Refreshing.Great,epochs are usually marked by extraordinary phenomena — e.g., the giving of the Law; the Advent; the Crucifixion, and now Pentecost. 2. Upon their eye. "Fire" is (1) Purifying. (2) Consuming. (3) Transmuting.
  • 23. (4) Diffusive.Perhaps these supernatural appeals to the senseswere intended to express the relationof the Divine Spirit. (a) To life — "wind" or air is vital, the breath of life. (b) To speech— "tongues" wouldintimate that the Spirit had given men new utterances. (c) To purity — "fire" would indicate that the Spirit had to consume all the corruptions of the soul. II. IN the disciples. "Theywere filled with the Holy Ghost." He took possessionoftheir — 1. Minds, and made them the organs ofDivine thought. 2. Hearts, and filled them with Divine emotions. 3. Bodies, and made them His living temples. 4. Wills, and made them the organs of Divine resolutions. Nothing but the Divine will fill the .soul Without God there will be a boundless vacuum within.
  • 24. III. THROUGH the disciples. Your things are observable concerning their speech. 1. It followedtheir Divine inspiration. It was not until the Spirit had given them the right thoughts and feelings that utterance came. Betterbe dumb than express the sentiments of the unrenewed soul. It is when the Spirit comes that we want speech, and shall have it. A Divinely filled soulmust break forth in Divine language. 2. It was miraculous. The coming at once into the possessionofa new language is as greata miracle as the possessionofa new limb. 3. It was unspeakablyuseful. It served to impress the multitude with the Divinity of Christianity, and enabled the disciples to proclaim without preparation the gospelto every man. Without it the first age of the Church would have had a different history. 4. It was profoundly religious. This wonderful gift was employed to speak of God's wonderful works. Maythe day sooncome when God-givenlanguage, instead of being the vehicle of erroneous thought, impure feeling, depraved purpose, shall conveyto men nothing but holiness, goodness, andtruth. (D. Thomas, D. D.) Pentecost
  • 25. C. H. Spurgeon. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.… I. THE SEASON whenthe Spirit was given. 1. In God's appointed time. There is a set time to favour Zion, both to try our faith and to prove God's sovereignty. If every drop of rain has its appointed birthday, every gleamof light its predestinated pathway, and every spark of fire its settled hour for flying upward, certainly the will of God must have arrangedand settled the period and place of every gracious visitation. 2. After the ascension. The Spirit was not given till after Jesus had been glorified. Various blessings are ascribable to different parts of Christ's work. His life is our imputed righteousness;His death brings us pardon; His resurrectionconfers upon us justification; His ascensionyields to us the Holy Spirit. "When He ascendedup on high," etc. It was the wont of the Roman conqueror as he rode along to scatterlarge quantities of money among the admiring crowd. So our glorified Lord scatteredgifts among men. 3. At Pentecost.Some saythat at Pentecostthe law was proclaimedon Sinai. If so, it was very significantthat on the day when the law was issued amid thunders and lightnings, the gospel — God's new and better law — should be proclaimed with mighty wind and tongues of fire. We are clear, however, that Pentecostwas a harvest-festival. On that day the sheafwas wavedbefore the Lord and the harvest consecrated. The passoverwas to our Saviour the time of His sowing, but Pentecostwas the day of His reaping, and the fields which
  • 26. were ripe to the harvestwhen He sat on the well, are reapednow that He sits upon the throne. 4. When there was most need. Vast crowds were gathered. What would have been the use of the many tongues when no strangers were readyto hear? Whenever we see unusual gatherings, wheneverthe spirit of hearing is poured out upon the people, we ought to pray for and expectan unusual visitation of the Spirit. 5. Where they were all with one accordin one place. Christians cannot all now be in one place, but they canall be of one accord. When there are no cold hearts, no prejudices and bigotries to separate, no schismto rend the one sacredgarment of Christ, then may we expect to see the Spirit of God resting upon us. 6. When they were earnestabout one grand object. II. THE MANNER. Eachword here is suggestive. 1. Suddenly. It is the glory of God to conceala thing, and so, though the Spirit may have been secretlypreparing men's hearts, yet the real work of revival is done suddenly to the surprise of all observers. 2. There was a sound. Although the Spirit of God is silent, yet His operations are not silent in their results.
  • 27. 3. As of wind. In Greek and Hebrew the word used for wind and for Spirit is the same. The wind is doubtless, chosenas an emblem because ofits mysteriousness:"Thou canstnot tell whence it cometh nor whither it goeth"; because of its freeness:"It bloweth where it listeth"; because ofdiversity of its operations, for the wind blows a gentle zephyr at one moment, and anon it mounts to a howling blast. The Holy Spirit at one time comes to comfort, and at other times to alarm, etc. 4. It was rushing. This pour-trayed the rapidity with which the Spirit's influences spread— rushing like a torrent. Within fifty years from Pentecost the gospelhad been preachedin every country of the known world. 5. It was mighty, irresistible, and so is the Spirit of God; where He comes nothing can stand againstHim. 6. It filled all the place where they were sitting. The sound was not merely heard by the disciples. When the Spirit of God comes, He never confines Himself to the Church. A revival in a village penetrates eventhe pot-house. The Spirit of God at work in the Church is soonfelt in the farm-yard, work- room, and factory. 7. But this was not all. I must now mention what was the appearance seen — a bright luminous cloud probably, not unlike that which once rested in the wilderness over the tribes by night — which suddenly divided, or was cleft, and separate tongues offire restedupon the head of eachof the disciples. They would understand that thus a Divine powerwas given to them. Heathens representbeams of light or flames of fire proceeding from their false deities, and the nimbus with which RomanCatholic painters always adorn the heads of saints, is a relic of the same idea. It was saidby the ancients of Hesiod, the first of all the poets, that whereas he was once nothing but a simple neat-herd,
  • 28. yet suddenly a Divine flame fell upon him, and he became henceforth one of the noblestof men. We feelassuredthat so natural a metaphor would be at once understood by the apostles. (1) It was a tongue, for God has been pleasedto make the tongue do mightier deeds than either swordor pen; by the foolishness ofpreaching to save them that deliver. (2) It was a tongue of fire, to show that God's ministers speak, not coldly as though they had tongues of ice, nor learnedly as with tongues of gold, nor arrogantly as with tongues of brass, nor pliantly as with tongues of willow, nor sternly as with tongues of iron, but earnestlyas with the tongue of flame; their words consume sin, scorchfalsehood, enlightenthe darkness, and comfort the poor. (3) It satupon them. So the Spirit of Godis an abiding influence, and the saints shall persevere. (4) It satupon eachof them, so that while there was but one fire, yet each believer receivedhis portion of the one Spirit. There are diversities of operations, but it is the same Lord. III. THE RESULT. After all this, what are you expecting? Shall the wind blow down dynasties — the fire consume dominions? No; Spiritual and not carnalis the kingdom of God. The result lies in three things. 1. A sermon. The Spirit of God was given to help Peterpreach. You turn with interest to know what sort of a sermon a man would preachwho was full to
  • 29. the brim of the Holy Ghost. You expect him to be more eloquent than Robert Hall, or Chalmers; more learned than the Puritans. You expectall the orations of Cicero and Demosthenesto be put in the shade. No such thing! Neverwas there a sermon more commonplace. It is one of the blessedeffects of the Holy Spirit to make ministers preach simply. 2. The people were pricked in the heart, and cried, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" What a disorderly thing! Blesseddisorderwhich the Spirit of God gives. Men then feelthat they have heard something which has gone right into their inmost nature and receive a wound which only God can heal. 3. Faith and the outward confessionofit in baptism. (C. H. Spurgeon.) The Coming of the Holy Spirit James FreemanClarke. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.… I am sitting, on a summer's day, in the shadow of a greatNew England elm. Its long branches hang motionless;there is not breeze enough to move them. All at once there comes a faint murmur; around my head the leaves are moved by a gentle current of air; then the branches begin to sway to and fro,
  • 30. the leaves are all in motion, and a soft, rushing sound fills my ear. So with every one that is born of the Spirit. I am in a state of spiritual lethargy, and scarcelyknow how to think any goodthought. I am heart-empty, and there comes, I know not where or whence, a sound of the Divine presence. I am inwardly moved with new comfort and hope, the day seems to dawn in my heart, sunshine comes around my path, and I am able to go to my duties with patience. I am walking in the Spirit, I am helped by the help of God, and comforted with the comfort of God. And yet this is all in accordancewith law. There is no violation of law when the breezes come, stirring the tops of the trees;and there is no violation of law when God moves in the depths of our souls, and rouses us to the love and desire of holiness. (James FreemanClarke.) The Baptism of the Spirit Experienced C. G. Finney, D. D. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.… As I turned, and was about to take a seatby the fire, I receiveda mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectationof it, without everhaving the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollectionthat I had everheard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descendedupon me in a manner that seemedto go through me, body and soul. I could feelthe impression like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed, it seemedto come in waves
  • 31. and waves ofliquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I canrecollectdistinctly that it seemedto fan me like immense wings. No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love These waves came overme and over me and over me, one after the other, until I recollectI cried out: "I shall die if these waves continue to pass overme." I said, "Lord, I cannotbear any more";yet I had no fear of death. (C. G. Finney, D. D.) The Day of Pentecost, and its Immediate Gifts P.C. Barker Acts 2:1-41 And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.… "And when the day of Pentecost... And the same day there were added about three thousand souls." The day of Pentecostis emphatically the complement of the greatdays of the New Testament. The visible glories of this day are the fitting sequel, the almost natural sequel, of the more veiled glories of certain days that had precededit. The heavenly luster and music of the day of incarnation, unique as they were, reachedthe eye and ear of but few. The world was asleep. The dread, tremendous glory of the day of crucifixion, chargedthough it was with fullest significance, was notseento be such at the time. The glories of the day of resurrectionundeniably opened eyes and hearts to the keenestandmost thankful appreciationof them, but their appealwas to a very limited number. When the calm, sweet, strange gloryof AscensionDay revealeda vision of literally endless light, the scene undoubtedly began to
  • 32. widen, if only that it so heightened. And now but a short interval has passed, and there is a certain manifestationgiven to this day of Pentecostwhich reflects floods of glory upon the Giver, and pours light and hope, new and amazing, upon a world well-nigh prostrate. It is the simply told history of this day that is written for us in this chapter. And it tells us of - I. THE MAGNIFICENT INTERVENTION OF A SUPERNATURAL PRESENCE.(Vers. 2-4). Observe: 1. The signs of the presence. It is distinguished by (1) the sound of wind, apparently without the usual other accompaniments of it to the feeling. (2) The sound of wind of irresistible and conquering energy. It is not as when" the Spirit of God moved on the face of the" archaic "waters"(Genesis1:2), and it is not "as summer evening's latestsigh, that shuts the rose. No;nor is it as the stormy wind and tempest." The elements are not in confusion, and the wind is not furious. But it sweeps along, nevertheless, witha certain irresistible majesty; rather, it distinctly thus sweeps downfrom heaven. It is wind that bears itself down, and is full of might." (3) Its facile pervading and penetrating of "allthe house where" the disciples "were sitting." St. John, for certain, was there, and learned then the grand original of his later - nay, much later - Patmos experience, "I was in the Spirit." All in "that house" were enveloped, bathed, "baptized" in the Holy Spirit.
  • 33. (4) An added appearance;an appearance offire, manifold fire, every several portion of the bright burning shaped as the tongue, and one of these speeding to settle on eachof the startledassembly of disciples. 2. The first and direct results off, presence. (1) Those to whom it was vouchsafed, and who "were sitting in the house," are "all filled with the Holy Spirit." This is the testimony, the assertion, ofthe historian at a somewhatlaterperiod. Whether those who experiencedthe wonderful force knew in that same hour what had thus takenpossessionof them may be a question. If they knew it not in name, they very certainly began to know it in its marvelous nature. We justly give our imagination some leave of exercise here, and the more happily if that imagination can assistitselfin any degree from the materials of our own experience of the quickening, invigorating influences of the Spirit in our heart. Evidently in degrees, ranging from little to the largest, does that Spirit vouchsafe his visits and his work in human hearts. What would it be if we knew him today in some really large measure!What convictionit would be to the individual heart! What commanding joy, inexpressible, overflowing to the very life and soul of any one disciple! But if such a visitation were granted to a gathering of disciples - just one meeting of Christian people - making accountof the different time of day, the greaterenlargementof scope of the day, the crowdedpeople around, millions for thousands, the rapidity and trustworthiness of communication, - surely England itself would scarce containthe excitement, and the Church might well be beside herself for very joy. The mere imagination of this will help to reproduce for us some more vivid idea of the surprise of that moment, that hour of the day of Pentecost. (2) Those who were thus filled with the Holy Spirit are not rapt in ecstatic feeling, do not improvise celestialpsalmand music, but they speak the many languages ofearth. They speak, but the Spirit gives them the speech. They
  • 34. speak, but it is now literally fulfilled that the Spirit gives them in that same hour what they shall speak. The case is one of genuine verbal inspiration. There is little doubt, perhaps, that these numerous disciples spoke words which they did not understand the meaning of (1 Corinthians 14:22), nor could have "interpreted" had they been calledto do so. They uttered sounds, their faculties of speechbeing subject to the mighty and condescending power of the Holy Spirit. What of loss of dignity this may at first seemto the disciples, is far more than counter- balanced, not only by the suggestionsof honor set on the organs of human speechin the use of them by One who may for the moment be called the Makerand Giver of them, but also by the gain of a clearly more impressive result. There was far less mixture of the human element in the Divine communication that purported to pass from the Spirit to the earand mind of a large number of various-speaking peoples. It is the difference to us of a correspondentwho indeed uses an amanuensis, as St. Paul often did in his Epistles, but who keeps with himself the dictating of every word. Such a one has not left the selectionof words, or style, or turn of expressionto another; and this is the chief thing we care about, though we should have prized his handwriting as well. Norneed it seem at all too far- fetched an inference, if any one hesitatedto count it a designed arrangement, that through this speaking being so essentiallythe actof the Holy Spirit, a very strong suggestionofthe personality of that Spirit should be borne in on the disciples then, and much more on disciples of succeeding ages. Absolute speechdoes not come from what is merely an influence, an energy, a power. It is the function of a person. And it is one of the highest of prerogatives ofthe human being. The disciples had lost a personalPresence,in the personof Jesus, whichcould never be replaced, and which never was to be replacedtill he should "so come" again, "in like manner as they had seenhim go into heaven." And yet, though the personalpresence of Jesus was notto be replacedby anotherpersonal presence, itwas most surely to be replacedby the presence ofa Person. Would it not be calculatedto assistdisciples both to believe correctlyand to feelgrateful that the ever-invisible Spirit was none the less a Personage,a Being - not a vague influence nor a phantom? And now there is probably no cardinal fact of Christianity less honored, less operative, than that of the personality of the Holy Spirit. It is one of the disastrous causes of his being too often slighted, sinned against, grieved, and "quenched,"
  • 35. 3. Certain incidents in the presence. It is fitted (1) to a certaintime. "When the day of Pentecostwas fully come." The time was certain; it was fore- spokenby Jesus;it was waitedfor by his disciples. But though certain, alluded to, and awaited, neither "the day nor the hour" was revealed. (2) To a certain place. The place certainly was Jerusalem. And the same Being who told the disciples "not to depart from Jerusalem, but wait" there, was one who "knew" also "the place," the "one place," of his loved people's loved meeting, as he had once well known"the place" of his own agony - the garden. (3) To a certain temper of heart. "They were all with one accord," i.e. together, "in one place." Juxtapositionand visible associationdo not always infer the purest of harmony by any means. But they did infer it now; and that the disciples were all with one accordin one place was the real fruit of their being all "ofone accord." Since that blessedday, true it is - too true - that Christ's people have very often been "together" whenthey have not been "of one accord," "ofone mind," "having the same love," "like-minded." But it was so now. And if it had not been, the grandeur of the day would either never have been at all, or would have "setin darkness" and shame. (4) Of undoubted design, to a congregatebody, and one, comparatively speaking, numerous. No longerto a woman by herself, no longer to two disciples alone, no longer to the twelve, or the eleven, but at all events to some ten times that number (Acts 1:15). The Spirit often whispers silently, stealthily almost, in the ear of the soul most solitary. Not so now. The sacred illumination, sacredquickenedfaculty, and sacredjoy shall possess"each" and "all together" ofthat new style of family, that infant Church - that little
  • 36. company of fellow-pilgrims, of fellow-voyagers, ofa mere handful of an army. They need food, and strength, and comfort, and the inspiration of experiences - never, never to be forgotten- sharedtogether. Grand uses frequently come of the Spirit's force over one individual, and him the obscurestofthe obscure; but now grand uses were to come for themselves, for one another, for a world, in that the disciples were associatedso variously, yet so closely, in ecstatic privilege, in unbounded surprise, and in the consentaneous joyof the unwonted inspiration that came "wild-murmuring o'er their raptured souls." (5) To an occasionthat either admitted of the testimony or invited the challenge of a large and various multitude. There were present the comparatively large number of those who experiencedthe powerof the Holy Ghost, but there were also near at hand a very much larger number of those who soonbecame spectators ofwhat was transpiring. They were not only a large number, but a very various number. They hailed from different regions; they spoke different languages;their objects and their modes of life were, no doubt, very various. It were inconceivable that any collusionshould obtain here, so far as spectators,were concerned. In their excitement, and in the open expressionof it, so natural, some did challenge, though the pitiful challenge fell stillborn to the ground. "New wine" never wrought such marvel, each nationality must have felt, when addressedtouching "the wonderful works of God" in its own language. Buttill then the Parthian, for instance, might set down to "new wine" the discordantsounds, as they must seemto him, of a dozen other nationalities. Justso far there was reasonin the "mocking;" and, at all events, there was use in it. For the "new wine" theory found expression, got a hearing, and gota verdict too. Mostprofitable was this occasion, when "the multitude were confounded...were allamazed and marveled... were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?... and others mocking said, These men are full of new wine." Such awakening, such spirit of inquiry and investigation, such clearproof of a readiness to challenge appearances ratherthan succumb too readily and run the chance of delusion, made for every man that was there a strong, convincedwitness in time to come, and in the home and country of each. Frombeing excitedspectators, they became, man for man, so many intelligent and determined witnesses of
  • 37. "the wonderful works ofGod." From being gaping hearers, they became instructed and impressive preachers. And the unsettledness oftheir mind gave place to deep, unmoved conviction. The adaptationof occasionhere gave two greatadvantages - the advantage ofsatisfactoryand conclusive evidence, and that of an effective and willing missionary service overlarge portions of the earth. II. A GRAND MANIFESTATION-DAYOF PROPHECY. (Vers. 16-21.)This was a very gala-dayof prophecy. Often distrusted, often mocked, and often saluted with the taunting question, "Where is the promise of his coming?" - now the scene which stirred all Jerusalemwas one "in demonstration of that Spirit and power" which dwelt in it. The day witnessedin matter prophetic the majestic force of the avalanche, overwhelming doubt and disbelief in deep destruction indeed, but carrying no other destructiveness with it. The piled predictions of ages pastno longer toweraloft so proudly and forbiddingly, but they fall at the feet of an amazed, an astounded, but a revived and gladdened nation. Or, if the figure be permitted, the leases ofproperty of immeasurable value fall in this day. And that this was a day of justest pride in the careerof prophecy, may be testified by the thought: 1. Of the largenessofthe contents of it. The volume is an ample one indeed. What treasures it unrolled, and all the while seemedto say spontaneously, "This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your hearing! It was an abounding harvest that was now gatheredin ripe, - a rich and gladdening vintage. It is not prophecy fulfilled for an individual king or mighty man, nor for a caste of priests, nor for a band of prophets, but it includes all flesh,...sonsand daughters,...young men and old men my servants and my handmaidens." It proved itself over a wide variety of human characterand condition. 2. Of the intrinsic nature of it. "They shall prophesy. It is a fulfillment in spiritual sort. The Spirit is the great Worker, and spiritual results are still
  • 38. what underlie greatouter wonders. Living powers of human nature, immensely intensified and diversified, - these are the phenomena at all events. They are marked as the beginning," not of "sorrows," not of "tribulation," not of "miracles," but of "signs" that contain an amount and a kind of signifying powerfar in excessofall which had ever been. Now began - whateverits duration should prove to be - this world's lastaeon. And strongly marked are its characteristicsfrom the first. "All flesh" begin to answer responsive to the might of the invisible Spirit, and in a certainsense the very presumption of Saul, and of those who were strickenbecause they touched the sacredark, begins to be the law. Directness ofindividual contactwith whatevershould be most holy, for eachand all, becomes the established, the enthroned religion of the world. III. A GLORIOUS DISCLOSURE AND EMPHATIC PROCLAMATION COUCHED IN THE VERY WORDS OF ANCIENT REVERED PROPHECY. (Ver. 21.)That very prophecy that had seemedto cover, now served to proclaim loudly and distinctly the universal mercy of the one universal "Lord." The "graciousword" now proceeds from its lip, to begin its unresting journey. What a word was this, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoevershallcallon the Name of the Lord shall be saved"!It is the disclosure in broadestdaylight of the purpose of ages past;yes, of a purpose that had been purposed before the world began. Mostassuredlyprophecy had held it, and had made it visible, but to very few who beheld, though it was before their eyes. The eyes even of those to whom it was given to see "were holden that they knew" it not. And the vast multitude outside were long time dying without the knowledge or so much as one glimpse of it. Of the past three years Jesus had given significant hints of it in some of his works, andhad whispered it sometimes in the ears of his disciples, and had distinctly uttered it in his parting commission, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." But to the day of Pentecost"is this grace given," that it should preachaloud, with a hundred tongues, and a hundred better than silver trumpets, the riches of the gospelof Christ. Three things mark what was then in particular, and what must ever essentiallybe the surprising riches of the proclamation.
  • 39. 1. It is hope to all and every one. 2. It is the callof a human voice alone, no doubt drawn deep from the heart, that is the method, the one simple method of access to that hope. 3. The hope is that of no mere respite, subterfuge, soothing relief, but of salvation. Exclusiveness "is finished;" ritual, ceremony, sacrifice, the earthly priest, - each"is finished; tantalizing expectancy, "is finished;" and everlasting salvationis to be had free, by any one and by every one, for the one anguishedor trustful call of the heart "on the Name of the Lord." It is a fact worthy to be noticed, that, as the gospelof Jesus'ownpublic ministry beganfrom the quotation of Isaiah's prophecy (Luke 4:17-21;Isaiah 61:1), so the gospelofthe day of Pentecostbegins its illustrious careerwith the motto of a quotation from prophecy (Joel2:28-32). These two links - were they the only ones - how strongly they bind togetherthe Scriptures of the old and new covenants, and the covenants themselves! IV. THE FIRST OF THE LONG SUCCESSION OF CHRISTIAN PREACHERS. (Vers. 14, 29, 38). This honor was reservedfor Peter, to be the first of that "greatcompany which publish" the glad tidings of salvation through Jesus Christ. He had been preparing for this place now these three years. He had passedthrough goodfame and through ill, through not a little most merited rebuke; he had passedthrough, not the discipline of warning and correctionalone, but also through that of the genial influences and constantstimulus of priceless privileges. The memories of the fishing, and the storm, and the walking on the water, and the death-chamber, and the brilliant heights of the Transfiguration, and the darkestcontrasts ofthe shades of Gethsemane's garden, and the judgment hall, and the look vouchsafedfrom the very cross after the terrible thrice denial, and of all the rest, were now all
  • 40. upon him. And he has made, at all events, this impression on us - the impression as of a man of: 1. Native impetuosity of temperament. 2. Imperious moral judgments. 3. Liability to fearful lapse. 4. Unbounded enthusiasm and devotion to a greatand goodMaster 5. And now lastly, of a man with the eye of an eagle for the object dear to his heart. V. A MODELTESTIMONYTO "THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS." (Vers. 14-36). The characterof a model Christian sermon may be justly claimed throughout for this address of Peterto the multitude. The leading features of it are strongly marked. 1. It is one testimony to Christ; the subjectis variously approached, but it is one. Whatever the then reason, the subject is not lostsight of nor allowedto linger. Eachapproach to it, eachconclusionfrom it, becomes more telling, till the pronounced assertionconfronts the people, "Therefore letall the house of Israelknow assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whomye have crucified, both Lord and Christ."
  • 41. 2. It is a summary of indisputable historic facts. The incarnation and birth of Jesus are, therefore, not adverted to, as perhaps too remote. They did not come directly within the range of facts patent to the hearers of Peter. "As ye yourselves know" was anargument Peterloved to use. He didn't beg reliance on his judgment, opinion, or assertion, but he challengedthe knowledge of those to whom he spoke. The "Manof Nazareth,... the approved of God by miracles and signs and wonders... the delivered" (though here Peterdoes insert the transcendentstatement of Divine "foreknowledge"and "counsel"), "the takencrucified and slain... the raisedup" from death's kingdom and dominion, "the exalted by the right hand of God," and the corroborationof these statements of the Resurrectionand Ascensionfrom the prophecies of their own prized oracles, - these are the vital facts summarized now by Peter. The chain breaks nowhere. Peteris strong in his facts. 3. There was an unflinching style in the address. The indiscriminate people of Judaea and Jerusalemare before Peter, and barely seven weeksare passed since the Crucifixion, and Peterbrings the guilt home in uncompromising language to the heart and the hand of those whom he addresses;and also declares that the wonders of this day of Pentecost, ofwhich the fickle multitude were no doubt the willing witnesses, are allthe work of that "Man of Nazareth" whom they had disbelieved, ill treated, crucified. Many men will bear to be told of their guilt, who won't stand the demonstration of their exceeding folly. But the hearers of Peter getboth in his faithfulness and unflinchingness to his subject. "This Jesus...hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear." 4. There was intense earnestnessin the address of Peter. This, no doubt, went naturally a long way to disarm what might otherwise have seemedthe offensive characterof the matter of his indictment. The instance is an interesting and a remarkable one of the very severestrebuke consisting with a kindliness only thinly veiled. And without a word of kindness expressed, the impression and effectare probably gainedby the manifest intense earnestness
  • 42. and strongestconvictionof the speaker. These things, so that they are not abused, are legitimately within the province of the Christian preacher. With this proviso it is given to him to dogmatize, only not in his own name; to rebuke in the most uncompromising manner, only not for any offence personalto himself merely; and to wield the denunciations of the future and the unseen, only not otherwise than as drawn, both for matter and for justifiable occasion, andjustly drawn, from the warrant of revelation. VI. A MODELCONFESSIONALOF THE CHURCH. (Vers. 37-40.)As was to be expected, in no respectis the transition from Judaism to Christianity more worthy of interested study than as it offers to view the healthy young growth of Christian institutions, taking root amid the ruins of the old and corrupt traditions of the "Jews'religion." Manya site that witnessedlong time crumbling decay, stones no two of which lay together, and the very squalidity of disorder, now witnessedthe surprising signs of vigorous, determined, and beautiful life. It were well if it had been possible to secure that these should not in their turn succumb, in lapse of time, to the affronts of human imperfection, and show againthe pitiful sight of diviner growths within cumbered, choked, and finally killed, by fungus, excrescence, and merciless blight. Here, however, we have a fine example of the vitality of roused religious life, its own cries, and the methods of treatment with which it was blessedto meet. Observe: 1. The central fact - conviction. The conscienceitselfis touched, wakens responsive to the touch, and takes upon itself to speak for its ownersounds that have the sounds of life. Men hear, and are "prickedin the heart." 2. The first immediate course resortedto under the circumstances. Those whose hearts are thus "pricked," whose conscienceis thus touched, begin to make inquiry, and inquiry of what they "shalldo." They play not the role of excuse for the past, of moralizing reminiscence, orof any other of the pretexts
  • 43. for procrastination. It is the moment for undoubted action, for decided action, and, if honestignorance exist as to the shape of that action, for prompt inquiry as to the way: "What shall we do?" No doubt, when the men and the time and the circumstances and those to whom they now addressed themselves, - when these all are put together, it must be grantedthat there was here the reality and the best part of genuine confession. 3. Religious interrogatoriesmade, not under the probing of the confessional- expert; not under the conditions of morbidness, and it goaded;not in secrecy and solitariness. These, as betweenman and his fellow-creature, maybe often more than doubtful. But it is in open day that this confessional-scene is placed. And safetyinvests it, and spiritual health and even symptoms of robustness are indicated. 4. Preachers notpriest, doctrine not ritual, practice not penance, lively repentance not remorseful reflection, are the order of that well-omenedhour. Yet, to speak ofnothing else, if ever remorseful reflection - something short of remorse itself - might have put in a reasonablyopportune claim, it was surely now, while Peter's stinging words still rang in their ears:"This Jesus whom ye crucified" (RevisedVersion). But no; the answerto the questions put at this honorable, open confessionalis "Repent," altering at once the thing you have been, though alter you cannot the crucifying thing that you have done; "Repent," and show it before men, by being "baptized, every one of you," actually in that very Name, "the Name of Jesus Christ," whom you rejected and crucified, acknowledging thereby that you are bounden to him for "the remissionof sins;" "Repent," and be baptized, and enter at once on the inheritance of long promise, "the gift of the Holy Ghost." That "gift of the Holy Ghost," after repentance and offer baptism and after the remissionof sins, as distinguished from the preeminent quickening effectedby his sacred breath, would be the conclusive, suresttokenof the absolution of sin. For them and for ourselves this may sufficiently distinguish the ever-necessary working of the Holy Spirit in quickening the human heart from death,
  • 44. necessaryequally with Abel and Enochas with Paul or any man of modern days, from that specialendowmentof the Spirit for other uses, vouchsafedto the "new covenant" from the day of Pentecostdownwardto this day. This is the specialgrace andcrown of the Christian Church, though probably still little understood, and its conquering force accordinglystill little tested. From the language ofver. 40 we may understand that we have but a sketchof all that Petersaid from the moment that he stoodup to vindicate the prophesying army from the charge of drunkenness, to the moment that the actual administration of the rite of baptism began. Unstintingly he "testified," unweariedly he "exhorted," and this the burden of his enthusiastic and impassionedappeal, that those who heard should show themselves willing, anxious, eagerto be rescuedfrom the following and from the belongings of an inherently "crookedgeneration." VII. A GLORIOUS AND MOST HEART-GLADDENING HARVEST. (Ver. 41-47). Three thousand were that day added to the hundred and twenty or thereabout, who began the day as believers in Christ. The multiplication was twenty-five for every one. They are those who "receivedhis word." It will not be going beyond chapter and verse if we regardthis as equivalent to "receiving the Word." Still, this is not the exactmeaning of the historian, and as it is very possible that some of these very thousands at some subsequent time were guilty of defection, we may prefer to hold that those who came to be thus guilty did not receive" withmeekness the engrafted Word, which was able to save their souls." Theyonly caught a transient enthusiasm as they listened to Peter. Any way, some then also did not "receive" the word of Peter. "Some" then also "believedand some believed not. Some tares then also were mingled with the goodseed." Glorious, therefore, as thatharvest was of the "latter day," it falls very short of the glory that shall be of" the lastday." Then no Petershall baptize, and no Church shall charitably judge, and no adulteration shall be possible. Then"the angels shall come forth,
  • 45. The Outpouring of the Spirit J. Parker, D. D. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.… (secondsermon): — I. IT IS IN THE PRESENCEOF THE HOLY GHOST THAT WE FIND THE TRUE UNION OF THE CHURCH. There are diversities of operation, and must always be, but such diversity does not impair the unity of the Spirit. There is one faith, though there be many creeds, one baptism, though there be many forms of it, one Lord, though He shine in a thousand different lights. We have been vainly looking for union in uniformity. Considerhow irrational this is. Is the human race one or many? is there any difficulty in identifying a man whateverhis colour, form, stature, language? — yet are there any two men exactly alike? Manhas, say, some sevenfeatures, forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, form or contour, colouror complexion, yet out of those seven notes what music of facialexpressionhas God wrought? It is so in the Christian Church. That is split up into a score of sects, but the Church itself is one. To those who look upon things from the outside merely, it would seem impossible that the Arminian and the Calvinist can both be readers of the same Bible, and worshippers of the same God. But their unity is not found in formality, in creedalexpression, in propositionaltheology, in ecclesiastical arrangement; down in the centre of the heart lies the common organic nerve that unites Christendom in its worship and in its hope; and when the Cross is touched, the defence never comes from any one section, the whole Church with unanimous love and loyalty rushes to the vindication. This has been illustrated by the diversities which occurin the expressions ofsorrow,
  • 46. worship, and loyalty. The Easternsuffererlies prostrate, crying piteously and vehemently. The Western is silent and self-controlled. The difference is not in the sorrow, but in the manifestation of the sorrow. So the Oriental before his king falls fiat on the ground, and the Briton before his God only kneels. Is there, then, a difference in the spirit of worship? II. HAVE WE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST? THE QUESTION DOES NOT ADMIT OF HESITATION AS TO ITS ANSWER. 1. No man can mistake the summer sun when he sees it; he will not come home with a half tale of having seensome kind of light, but is not quite sure whether it was a gas jet, or the shining of an electric light, or a new star. The sun needs no introduction, has no signature but its own glory, and needs take no oath in proof of its identity. The shadows know it, and flee away;the flowers, and open their little hearts to its blessing;all the hills and valleys know it and quiver with a new joy. 2. We may have the form, and not the spirit. People say the greatthing after all for a man to do is to do good. That is correct. But what would you think of me if I saidthe greatthing after all is for a train to go, when the train has not been attachedto the engine? You are perfectly right in saying that the train is useless if it does not go, and if the train is going it is all right. But you must bring within your argument the fact that the engine could not go without the fire, that the tram cannotgo unless attachedto the engine, that the engine and the train move, vibrate, fly, under the powerof light — the light that was sealedup in the bins of the earth ten thousand ages agois driving your great locomotives to-day I When, therefore, you tell me that a man must do good, and that is enough, you omit from your statementthe vital considerationthat we can only do these things as we are inspired by the indwelling Spirit of God. I see before me at this moment certain pieces of cord. What is wanted is but to connectthese cords with a motive power, but until the connectionis
  • 47. establishedthey are but dead useless things. Connectthem, setthe engine going, let it cause the necessaryrotations to fly, and presently an arrangement may be made by which from these cords we shall receive a dazzling glory. They are nothing in themselves, and yet without them the engine might go for a thousand ages and we should get no light. It is even so with us. We are here, men educated, intelligent, well-appointed, and what is it that we need but connectionwith the heavens, direct communication with the source of light and fire. III. WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT IS COMMUNICATED TO THE CHURCH, WE MUST NOT IMAGINE THAT WE SHALL BE OTHER THAN OURSELVES, ENLARGED, ENNOBLED, AND DEVELOPED. The Spirit will not merge our individuality in a common monotony. Whatever your poweris now, the incoming of the Holy Ghostwill magnify and illuminate, so that your identity Will be carried up to its highestexpressionand significance. And more than that, there will be a development of latent faculties, slumbering powers, the existence ofwhich has never been suspectedby our dearestfriends. Look for surprises in the Church when the Holy Ghostfalls upon it: dumb men will speak, ineloquent men will attractand fascinate by the sublimity of their new discourse, timid men will put on the lion, and those who had hidden themselves awayin the obscurity of consciousfeeblenesswill come out and offer themselves at the Lord's altar to help in the Lord's service. The resources ofthe Church will be multiplied in proportion as the Church enjoys the presence and powerof the Holy Ghost. How the old earth has continued to keeppace with all our civilisation and science. The electric light was, as to its possibilities, in Eden, as certainly as it is in the metropolis of England to-day. The locomotive has not createdanything but a new combination and a new application and use. It is even so in the Bible. The Church knows nothing yet about the possibilities of revelation. No new Bible will be written, but new readers will come. We have learning and ability and industry enough; what we want is the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
  • 48. (J. Parker, D. D.) The Gift of the Spirit Dependent Upon Conditions J. MarshallMather. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.… How to realise the immanence, or possessourselves ofthe indwelling of this Holy Spirit, is purely a question of conditions. Let me illustrate my meaning. To a man in perfect health an atmosphere impregnated with disease-germs is comparatively harmless;but should he approacha typhus-stricken patient with a body exhausted by exercise, orfaint from want of food, the probabilities are that he will fall a prey to the disease. Again, as a man brings himself into harmony with all the laws of his being, life assumes a bright and joyous aspect. Forms, tints, sounds, the shouldering hill, the roseate hues of dawn, the sweet-voicedsong ofbirds, rouse in him the spirit of devotion, and appeal to him as revelations of a hand and mind Divine. But if his eye be jaundiced, his liver torpid, his pulse irregular, his brain congested, then creationbecomes a blank, the world a wilderness, and life a weariness anda woe. Or, once more, take mental conditions. Have you never, in reading a book, marked with pencil some passagethat suddenly flashed its meaning in upon your mind; and then, some six months later, in re-reading the same passage, wonderedhow it was you failed to re-experience the inspiration of the former time? There was no change in the book;the change was in your mental condition. Have you never, in hearing some strain of music, felt that it led you into a world of fancy, a realm of strange unutterable delight, and yet, forsooth, when on a later day the same chords have been touched by the same
  • 49. hands, to your astonishment they languidly and meaninglesslyfloatedpast your ear without rousing the imagery of your soul? There was no change in the music, the change was in the mental conditions of your life; at one time you were responsive;at the other, dull and inert. In all spheres of our existence, joy, truth, love, are proportioned to conditions. And so in the realm of the Spirit. Fulfil the Divine conditions and you are en rapport with the Divine life. Permit those conditions to go unfulfilled, and the Divine life will be to you as though it were not. And oh! how simple these conditions are! They do not consistin lashing yourself into a frenzy, nor in shouting yourself into hoarseness, norin mutilating yourself. No. The conditions are prayer and supplication from hearts one in accord. It is prayer, and prayer only, that fits us for Divine indwelling; it is prayer, and prayer only, that puts us in touch with God. A prayerless life can no more draw to itself the Holy Spirit than glass candraw the electric fire; nor cana prayerless Church bring forth the fruits of holiness any more than the frigid zone can callforth and perfect a tropical growth. "Ye have not because ye ask not; and ye have not because ye ask amiss." Live in the atmosphere of prayer; for therein, and therein only, will you fit yourself for the Divine indwelling; therein, and therein only, will you be vigorous with the life of God. (J. MarshallMather.) The Holy Spirit Needed C. H. Spurgeon. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecostwas fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.…
  • 50. It is as if you saw a locomotive engine upon a railway, and it would not go; and they put up a driver, and they said, "Now, that driver will just do." They try anotherand another. One proposes that such and such a wheelshould be altered; but still it will not go. Some one then bursts in amongstthose who are conversing, and says, "No, friends; but the reasonwhy it will not go is because there is no steam. You have no fire; you have no waterin the boiler: that's why it will not go. There may be some faults about it: it may want a bit of paint here and there: but it will go well enough with all those faults if you do but getthe steamup." But now people are saying, "This must be altered, and that must be altered." But it would go he better unless God the Spirit should come to bless us. That is the Church's greatwant; and, until that want be supplied, we may reform and reform, and stiff be lust the same. We want the Holy Spirit; and then, whateverfaults there may be in our organisation, they can never materially impede the progress ofChristianity when once the Spirit of the Lord God is in our midst. (C. H. Spurgeon.) STUDYLIGHT RESOURCES Adam Clarke Commentary To speak with other tongues - At the building of Babelthe language ofthe people was confounded; and, in consequence ofthis, they became scattered over the face of the earth: at this foundation of the Christian Church, the gift of various languages was givento the apostles, that the scatterednations might be gathered;and united under one shepherd and superintendent (επισκοπος ) of all souls.
  • 51. As the Spirit gave them utterance - The word αποφθεγγεσθαι seems to imply such utterance as proceededfrom immediate inspiration, and included oracularcommunications. Copyright Statement These files are public domain. Bibliography Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Acts 2:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/acts- 2.html. 1832. return to 'Jump List' Albert Barnes'Notes onthe Whole Bible Were all filled with the Holy Ghost - Were entirely under his sacredinfluence and power. See the notes on Luke 1:41, Luke 1:67. To be filled with anything is a phrase denoting that all the faculties are pervaded by it, engagedin it, or under its influence, Acts 3:10, “Were filled with wonder and amazement”; Acts 5:17, “Filledwith indignation”; Acts 13:45, “Filledwith envy”; Acts 2:4, “Filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” Beganto speak with other tongues - In other languages than their native tongue. The languages whichthey spoke are specifiedin Acts 2:9-11. As the Spirit gave them utterance - As the Holy Spirit gave them power to speak. This language implies plainly that they were now endued with a faculty of speaking languageswhichthey had not before learned. Their native tongue was that of Galilee, a somewhatbarbarous dialect of the common language used in Judea - the Syro-Chaldaic. It is possible that some of them might have been partially acquainted with the Greek and Latin, as eachof those languages was spokenamong the Jews to some extent; but there is not the slightestevidence that they were acquainted with the languages ofthe different nations afterwardspecified. Various attempts have been made to
  • 52. accountfor this remarkable phenomenon without supposing it to be a miracle. But the natural and obvious meaning of the passageis, that they were endowedby the supernatural powerof the Holy Spirit with ability to speak foreign languages,and languages to them before unknown. It does not appear that eachone had the powerof speaking allthe languages whichare specified Acts 2:9-11, but that this ability was among them, and that togetherthey could speak these languages,probably some one and some another. The following remarks may perhaps throw some light on this remarkable occurrence: (1) It was predicted in the Old Testamentthat what is here statedwould occur in the times of the Messiah. Thus, in Isaiah28:11, “With … another tongue will he speak unto this people.” Compare 1 Corinthians 14:21 where this passageis expresslyapplied to the powerof speaking foreignlanguagesunder the gospel. (2) it was promised by the Lord Jesus that they should have this power, Mark 16:17, “These signs shallfollow them that believe … they shall speak with new tongues.” (3) the ability to do it existed extensively and long in the church, 1 Corinthians 12:10-11, “To anotherdivers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:all these workeththat one and the self-same Spirit”; Acts 2:28, “God hath setin the church … diversities of tongues.” Compare also Acts 2:30, and Acts 14:2, Acts 14:4-6, Acts 14:9, Acts 14:13-14;Acts 14:18-19, Acts 14:22-23, Acts 14:27, Acts 14:39. From this it appears that the power was wellknown in the church, and was not confined to the apostles. This also may show that in the case in the Acts, the ability to do this was conferredon other members of the church as wellas the apostles. (4) it was very important that they should be endowed with this power in their greatwork. They were going forth to preachto all nation; and though the Greek and Roman tongues were extensively spoken, yet their use was not universal, nor is it known that the apostles were skilledin those languages.To preach to all nations, it was indispensable that they should be able to understand their language. And in order that the gospelmight be rapidly
  • 53. propagatedthrough the earth, it was necessarythat they should be endowed with ability to do this without the slow process ofbeing compelledto learn them. It will contribute to illustrate this to remark that one of the principal hindrances in the spreadof the gospelnow arises from the inability to speak the languagesofthe nations of the earth, and that among missionaries of modern times a long time is necessarilyspent in acquiring the language of a people before they are prepared to preach to them. (5) one design was to establishthe gospelby means of miracles. Yet no miracle could be more impressive than the powerof conveying their sentiments at once in all the languages ofthe earth. When it is remembered what a slow and toilsome process it is to learn a foreign tongue, this would I be regardedby the paganas one of the most striking miracles which could be performed, 1 Corinthians 14:22, 1 Corinthians 14:24-25. (6) the reality and certainty of this miracle is strongly attestedby the early triumphs of the gospel. Thatthe gospelwas earlyspread over all the world, and that, too, by the apostles of Jesus Christ, is the cleartestimony of all history. They preachedit in Arabia, Greece, Syria, Asia, Persia, Africa, and Rome. Yet how could this have been effectedwithout a miraculous power of speaking the languages usedin all those places? Now, it requires the toil of many years to speak in foreign languages;and the recordedsuccessofthe gospelis one of the most striking attestations to the fact of the miracle that could be conceived. (7) the corruption of language was one of the most decidedeffects of sin, and the source ofendless embarrassments and difficulties, Matthew 28:19 to send the gospelto all nations, so it is bound to provide that the teachers who shall be sent forth shall be qualified for their work. Hence, one of the reasons ofthe importance of training men for the holy ministry. Copyright Statement These files are public domain.
  • 54. Bibliography Barnes, Albert. "Commentaryon Acts 2:4". "Barnes'Notes onthe New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/acts-2.html. 1870. return to 'Jump List' William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament WITH THE HOLY GHOST 4. In the old dispensationthe Holy Ghostoperated extrinsically in the people. It is the crowning glory of the gospeldispensationto be filled with the Holy Ghost, in which case He operates on us intrinsically. The law must be satisfied before the glorious Retribution, back to the Edenic state in which God filled Adam and Eve like angels, cantake place. The incarnation of the Son defeated the devil and magnified the violatedlaw; thus sweeping every difficulty out of the wayand lifting the flood-gate of perfect love to pour its Niagaras offull salvationinto the consecratedbelieving heart. Hence the crowning glory of the Pentecostaldispensationis the filling of the heart with the Holy Ghost. We find the gospelstandard uniformly recognizedthroughout the history of the apostolic church. It was not only the indispensable qualification of the gospel herald, but it was a sine qua non in the deacon, entrusted with the temporal interests of the church, as wellas the eldership, chargedwith the graver responsibilities of the immortal soul. At this point Satanlong ago maneuvered to derail and thus blast the purity and blight the glory of the Christian Church; seducing the fair Bride of Christ to receive his black hand in wedlock, deck herselfin all the ornamentationof the world, and verify the horrific prophecies pertaining to the harlot of Babylon. Revelation, 12 th and 17th chapters. If the church had remained true to the Pentecostaldoctrines and experiences she would long ago have enjoyed the honor of conquering the world and bringing back her glorified spouse to be crownedKing of kings and Lord of lords. The filling is impossible unless precededby a radical emptying, a complete evacuationof our spiritual being by all evil. This is the negative experience under the cleansing blood, the invariable antecedentof the glorious positive experience, i. e., the impletion of the Holy Ghost. If you are true to the
  • 55. infallible Monitor, you canalways have at your command the needed information relative to this glorious and extraordinary experience, as He is sure to reveal to you an emptiness in your heart, “anaching void” the world can never fill. Spirit filled people alone constitute the Bridehood of Christ (Matthew 25). Our Lord proposes to rule the world during the coming millennial age through the instrumentality of His Spirit-filled, transfigured Bride (Revelation20:6). He is now depending on the Spirit filled members of the Bridehoodto preachthe gospelofthe glorious coming kingdom to all nations, calling out the electand thus preparing the world for His glorious return to reign in righteousness (Matthew 24:14). Reader, I abjure you, by the infinite value of your soul and the infinitesimal glories ofthe coming kingdom, that you gettruly filled with the Holy Ghostand by doubtless faith and martyr obedience keepfilled, on tiptoe watching and waiting to hail your Lord descending on a cloud (Revelation1:7). Copyright Statement These files are public domain. Text Courtesyof BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission. Bibliography Godbey, William. "Commentary on Acts 2:4". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/acts-2.html. return to 'Jump List' The Biblical Illustrator Acts 2:4
  • 56. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. The historic movement towards spiritually The successionwhich is indicated by the words Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is neither nominal nor accidental, it is a philosophicaI progress and culmination. 1. When we go back towards the origin of things, we are dissatisfiedwith all mere critical terms, and yearn for something for which we cannot hit the exactword. Then is suggestedthe Biblical word, Father, and with it comes a promise of satisfactionin spite of all its difficulties. 2. But fatherhood is an inclusive term, suggesting the idea of childhood, and childhood is realisedmost impressively in the sonship of Christ; but sonship such as this, involving visible expression, is besetwith peculiar risks. So He withdrew Himself immediately that He had securedfor His personality an unquestioned place in history, as there was nothing more to be gained by His visible continuance on earth. 3. But what of the future of His work? Then, according to Christian teaching, was to come manifestation without visibility; instead of bodily presence, there was to be a new experience of life and spirituality. In one word, the holy Man was to be followedby the Holy Ghost. This idea of a philosophicalrather than a merely arbitrary successionis strictly consistentwith the fact that the whole movement of history, in all that is vital and permanent, is a movement from the outward and visible to the inward and spiritual. I. The order of creation. The successionruns thus: Light, firmament, dry land, seas,the fruit-tree yielding fruit, sun, moon, and stars, the moving creature that hath life, and fowl flying in the open firmament of heaven, cattle, creeping thing, and beastof the earth; if we pause here we shall be dissatisfied, because ofa sense ofincompleteness;but to crown the whole “Godsaid, Let us make man in our image and in our likeness.”
  • 57. II. The order of human recovery. Beginning with the Levitical ritual, what could be more objective? The sin-offering, the trespass-offering, the incenses, etc., representthe most sensuous and exhausting systemof mediation? Could aught be farther from the point of spirituality? In moving forward to the incarnation, we take an immense stepalong the line whose final point is spirituality, yet even there we are still distinctly upon the carnalline. The final representative of sensuous worshipmust Himself be the revealerof spiritual life. Jesus Christ ascended, and henceforthwe know not even Him “afterthe flesh,” for the fleshly Christ has Himself placedmankind under the tuition of a spiritual monitor. III. The order of written testimony. From picture and symbol we pass to spiritual meanings; through the noise and fury of war we pass into the quietness and security of moral civilisation; through the porch of miracles and mighty signs and wonders we enter the holy place of truth and love. The quality of John’s Gospelrequires the very place that has been assignedto it in the New Testament. Johnseems to say, “You have heard what the Evangelists have had to tell, and have seenthe wonderful things of their Master’s ministry; now let me explain the deep meaning of the whole.” From Malachi to Matthew is but a step; but to get from Malachito John, you have to cross the universe. Matthew shows the fact; John reveals the truth; Matthew pourtrays on canvas;John puts his word into the heart. IV. The whole law. From the minuteness of microscopic bye-laws men have passedto a spiritual sense ofmoral distinctions. Every moment of the Jew’s time, and every actof his life, was guarded by a regulation. Amidst our spiritual light, such regulations could not be re-establishedwithout awakening the keenestresentment. The greattables of bye-laws have been takendown, because the spirit of order and of truth has been given. What is true of law is equally true of all institutionalism.
  • 58. V. Preciselythe same movement takes place in the experience ofevery progressive life. Every man cantest this doctrine for himself--the doctrine, namely, that the growth of manhood is towards spirituality. The child grows towards contempt of its first toys; the youth reviews the narrow satisfactions of his childhood with pity; the middle-aged man smiles, half-sneeringly, as he recalls the conceits ofhis youth; and the hoary-haired thinker lives already amid the peace and joy of invisible scenes, orif he go back, living in memory rather than in expectation, it is so ideally as to divest his recollectionsofall that was transient and unlovely. The spiritual world of the wise man increases every day. These suggestionspoint to the conclusionthat the Holy Ghostis the reasonable completionof revelation, and as such His ministry is an impregnable proof of the reasonableness ofChristianity. In the person of Jesus Christ truth was outward, visible, and most beautiful; in the personof the Holy Ghosttruth is inward, spiritual, all-transfiguring. By the very necessityofthe case the bodily Christ could be but a passing figure; but by a gracious mystery He causedHimself to be succeededby an eternal Presence, “eventhe Spirit of Truth, which abideth for ever.” It is claimed, then, on behalf of Christianity, that there is a Holy Ghost, and to this doctrine is invited not only the homage of the heart but the full assentofthe most robust and dispassionate understanding. (J. Parker, D. D.) Filled with the Spirit I. They were filled with the spirit. 1. Men may be filled but not with the Spirit (verse 13). The audience confessed they were full, but with wine, a liquor though full of spirit, yet no spirit. It was false, yet if the Spirit may be taken for a humour, why not a humour for a spirit. Isaiahsays (Isaiah 29:9) that men may be drunk but not with wine. A hot humour is takenfor this fire and termed, though untruly, a spirit of zeal, and men imbued with it are ever mending churches, states, superiors, and all save themselves.