Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Acts 2: 1-21 Pentecostal Reversal & Revival

KEY TEXT: Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

KEY THOT: From a theological perspective, the Day of Pentecost marks the beginning of the invasion of the eternal Kingdom into our space-time reality and this will be consummated at Christ’s return in glory. While it’s true that this invasion of the kingdom has happened in Jesus’ ministry--“if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt 12:28)--the Day of Pentecost marks the kingdom invasion in a scale and scope that is unprecedented. In the case of Jesus’ ministry, the kingdom of God was present wherever He happened to be. But on the Day of Pentecost, the kingdom of God is present wherever the people of God is found. Jesus came to inaugurate and announce the Age of the Spirit. On the Day of Pentecost, this new age of the Spirit arrived as the Spirit of God took permanent residence on earth through the Church.

Historically, this phenomenon of the Spirit’s visitation upon the Church has always been recognized as a “revival”. But in actuality, this is not an unusual work of the Spirit, but a normal work of God, for accompanying this visitation are visible signs of His presence in the form of spiritual gifts and graces. Jesus associates the kingdom’s coming with the casting out of demons by the Spirit. So also on the Day of Pentecost the coming of the kingdom unveiled the supernatural manifestation of speaking in tongues “as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). While tongue is not the only evidence of the Spirit’s presence, it is one among other manifestations of the Spirit recorded in Acts. The others are wisdom to speak by Peter before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:8), boldness to preach the Gospel (Acts 4:31), healing of Paul’s blindness (Acts 9:17-18), utterance of praise in Cornelius’ household (Acts 10:46) & prophetic utterance among the 12 Jewish men in Ephesus (Acts 19:6). In other words, the supernatural manifestations of the Spirit were not limited to the Day of Pentecost. In fact, it continues throughout Acts and through church history right to the present day whenever revival is recorded. 

(Watch an on-going revival taking place in West Virginia here:) 

We can have revival in any place if we invite the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in our midst and not try to control Him. He comes to reverse the curse of Babel when men with a single tongue tried to exalt themselves. The Spirit of God is poured out to restore God’s glory through the multiplicity of tongues that praise God rather exalt self: 
  • Acts 2:7-11 “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God." 
Wherever the Spirit is, there is freedom and the manifestation of the Father's glory: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord…” (2 Cor 3:17-18). 

May the glory of the Lord endure forever! May the Lord rejoice in all his works! May no man attempt to steal the glory that only belongs to Him! To God be the glory! Great things He has done!

Father, pour out Your Spirit upon Your people. Where there is death, let there be life. Where there is darkness, let there be light. And where there is bondage, let there be freedom. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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