November 6, 1975
Outside of the Word of God there are no words in any man or woman’s vocabulary to describe the
ineffable greatness of Acts chapter 2. I perhaps have taught this as much as any man living today
and yet every time I teach it I’m tremendously humbled. From a human point of view, feeling totally
unworthy and yet from a spiritual point of view just exuberantly grateful for the privilege of opening
my heart and life and the Word to you in the capacity that God has given us the understanding of this
great record. There is no greater privilege in the world than to share the Word of God with
somebody. How tremendously The Father’s heart must be blessed whenever any of our people share
God’s Word rightly divided.
The record of Acts chapter 2 is the record of the greatest thing God ever did up until this time. It is
the giving of the new birth; Christ in you the hope of glory. It is making available to people, for the
first time, something that God wanted to give ever since Genesis chapter 3.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come” – indicates it was in the process of coming ever
since the fall of man. God has always done His best but the difference between the true God and the
adversary has been through the years that in order for the true God to bring to pass what the
innermost desire is on His part, people have to believe. The adversary is simple a possession. If you
never knew more than that, you would know more than most of the people living in the world today.
In order to receive things from the true God people must get to the point that they believe. Mary gave
those words that every time I think about them it sends spiritual chills through my whole body, when
she said, “Be it unto me according to Thy Word.” What a day of rejoicing in heaven that must have
been among the angels when they heard that one. She knew that if the people got a chance at her that
they’d execute her. She knew that she’d be totally disgraced and defamed and everything else and yet
she made that one statement, “Be it unto me according to Thy Word.” There are no words in any
man’s vocabulary to describe that great woman of God. In Hebrews 12:4 it says,”Ye have not yet
resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” That’s a great one but in relationship to what Mary said it’s
sort of ten percent; knowing that if you really took a stand, you’d have no friends left. They’d spit at
you. Your dad and mom would disinherit you. They’d call you a heretic, a fanatic, if they could get a
hold of you, they’d put you behind bars. Mary went through that and yet God knew that she wouldn’t
budge. What a woman. That’s what brought this day to pass that starts in Acts chapter 2. “When the
day of Pentecost was fully come.” It had been in the process of coming ever since the fall of man.
Through the Old Testament, time and time and time again, you can see some of the greatness
manifested but it never “fully came” till this day.
The best that God could do for His people, up until this time, was to adopt them. He adopted Israel as
His son. On this particular day the adoption is over with and we have birth. That birth has to remain
what it is. In the first birth you are who you are because of the first birth. You cannot change it. You
will always, as long as you live, be that individual. When they were born again, that is a birth and
they always remained that. This alone ringing in the hearts of people across our nation, rightly
divided, would electrify believers today. It’d take a lot of people out of their condemnation and their
“they” – the 12 apostles
“with one accord” – unity of purpose They were there doing the same thing, like we are here doing
the same thing. We’re not all equally intelligent but we are in one accord. That’s what it means. It
does not mean that they stayed there and they prayed until they prayed through, or prayed in, The
Holy Ghost. They were simply at one place, at one time, in one accord. The one accord was the unity
“in one place” - the place was the temple. The hour was the first hour of prayer, corresponding to our
“rushing mighty wind” – heavy breathing
“it” – the sound of this
“filled” – pleroo – filled to capacity
“a sound from heaven” – Heaven is any place above earth You got your head in it. This being in
here, this sound from heaven or sound from above, reminds me of Ephesians 1:20-21, where He said
about Jesus Christ that he set him far above all principalities and powers and then in Ephesians 2:6
He said He did the same for us because we are in Christ. It would be interesting to understand some
things from the Word that I don’t regarding Noah. It says in Genesis 7:20 that the mountains were
covered with fifteen cubits of water over the whole trip. Why fifteen cubits? I don’t know.
Everything in the Word of God has a significance and a reason. I’m just not smart enough to know
yet. Is that where the “far above all principalities and powers” begin? “There came a sound from
heaven as of a heavy breathing.”
I don’t know if we’ll ever find a text, but in accuracy verse 3 occurred before verse 2. “And there
appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And suddenly there
came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind.”
“from heaven” – as if it were from heaven. By what the 12 apostles did; a heavy breathing. Why did
they go into this heavy breathing? Because there appeared unto them cloven tongues.
“cloven tongues” - I don’t know what cloven tongues are. If it was split like a flame like we see in
the pictures, I do not know but I know that Jesus Christ had instructed his apostles before he left that
when this phenomenon would occur, that would be the time. This was their clue; the thing that
triggered it for them.
“like as of fire” – it wasn’t fire but it was like as of fire.
“it sat” – whenever the Bible uses the word sat it means something is completely complete; finished.
On the day after God had finished His work of creation in Genesis 2:2, it says, “and God rested the
seventh day.” The word “rested” in the text is the word “sat.” God did not sit because He was tired.
The word “sat” is used because He had finished what He had endeavored to do. Here on this great
occasion “it sat.” There is no other “sitting” in the Word until the gathering together, when we shall
be seated at His own right hand.
We’re already seated there spiritually but with the gathering together it becomes a concrete reality for
all believers. And so shall we ever be with the Lord. All the fullness of God through Jesus Christ was
made available that day and everything is completely complete.
“the house” – the temple. God had endeavored to do His best for His people through all the centuries.
He had chosen Israel and adopted them. Now He is doing the best He can again for His people. It’s
the day of Pentecost. He did it in the temple, where He had told them that He would meet them
between the cherubims and speak to them. Once more He meets them in that temple but this time, not
between the cherubims because the veil in the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom.
“where they were sitting” – they were descent and in order. When I learned this it was a relief to me.
I just couldn’t picture myself laying in the aisle and rolling; standing on my head or throwing a song
book or standing up and making loud noises like an ox or an ass. I didn’t come out of a family that
does stupid stuff like this and yet I had almost came to the point in my quest where I’d have been
willing to try it. I was so ashamed of being ashamed and yet I was so hungry for the power of God
that I had gotten to the place where I almost said, “Well, I’ll do anything.” I never quite got there but
I almost got there. What a day when I learned that God never expects any of His children to be
laughed at; to be belittled; to be made fun of; to do stupid things that the world could point at which
would be worse than what the world did. How I thank God for the simplicity of His Word and the
beauty and the tenderness of receiving that which God has made available.
Acts 2: 4
“filled” – in verse 2 the word filled is pleroo. Here it is pletho. Pletho is the overflowing. You can
not pletho until you first pleroo.
“began to speak” – they were not possessed. They began to speak. How much different than the
teaching, “just give your tongue over to the Spirit,” “let the Spirit have His way with you,” “let Him
control you,” – not in the Word.
“as the spirit gave them utterance” – they spoke as the spirit gave them utterance. What they spoke
was God’s business, but that they spoke was their business. You have to be born again before you
can speak in tongues therefore if anybody is doing something that sounds like speaking in tongues,
who is not born again of God’s spirit; it’s got to be possession.
“the Spirit” – the pneuma – God. God gave them the utterance, not to their minds but to that spirit
which had just been created within them. God is Spirit and can only speak to spirit, but that spirit in
you is all through you. You can’t see the Christ within, but you can see the lambano-ing. The one
and only manifestation that indicates to anybody that you’re born again of God’s spirit is that you
speak in tongues. Today we have groups investigating people who speak in tongues. What’s the
matter with us? If there’s going to be any investigation, they ought to investigate people who don’t
speak in tongues. I Corinthians 14:5 says, “I would ye all spake with tongues…”, but there’s no
Biblical authority left; nobody believes the Bible; it’s just another book not quite as good as
Shakespeare. I don’t care what you think about the Word – it’s His Word. Line up with what God
thinks about you. Don’t expect God to line up with you.
Get lined up with God and His Word. Someone will say, “Isn’t salvation enough?” Is it? Not if the
Word is right. Salvation is wonderful but it’s not enough. On the day of Pentecost, they were not only
born again they lambano-ed; they manifested; they spoke in tongues. Every major denomination says
the church began on the day of Pentecost, then why don’t we do what the church did? If it went out
when the apostles died then so did the church, then what do we belong to? All we have to do is read
them the Word and say, “Thus saith the Lord.”
“shook off the dust of their feet” – means they had no animosity.
“filled” – pleroo – filled to capacity. They were filled with joy; just happy on the inside. In my
terminology they just sat around and held hands.
How wonderful to learn the difference between the Giver and the gift. The gift is “the promise of the
Father”, in Acts 1:4. It is to be baptized in pneuma hagion – Acts 1:5. The word baptized is use
because it’s a one time deal. Luke 24:49 says this was to “be endued with power from on high.” The
word “endued” means “clothed.” Before this we were naked; no clothes on; dead in trespasses and
sins; without God and without hope; men and women of just body and soul. That makes you
spiritually naked. Now we’re endued, clothed. When you’re clothed, you’re not half naked or two
thirds naked. If you’re clothed, you’re clothed. If it was anything less than eternal life it wouldn’t
have said “endued with.”
The phenomenon of Pentecost was the “cloven tongues” because it’s not guaranteed in the Word that
every time you’re born again you’re going to have cloven tongues like as of fire on you. The miracle
is in what they spoke because on that particular occasion, what Peter spoke Peter did not understand
and yet his hearers understood it perfectly.
“at” – in
“Jews” – Judeans by religion. The word “Jew” was not in existence then. The bloodline of the
Judeans came out of one of the children of Israel only. This one child of Israel had more than one son
and it came out of one of those sons that that child had. The children of Reuben were not Judeans.
The children of Issachar were not Judeans. The children of Benjamin were not Judeans. These
Judeans in verse 5 were not all out of that bloodline but they were Judeans by religion.
“devout” – religious or pious men. The reason they were dwelling in Jerusalem is because it was the
day of Pentecost. Why did God choose Pentecost as the time of the giving of the greatest thing God
ever gave? Because Pentecost represents the new grain, new fruit. It reminds me of where the Epistle
says you were the firstfruits in Achaia. Pentecost was the first ripe grain of barley; was the time for
the feast. Here is the first time anybody is born again and He did at the gathering of the firstfruits of
barley. There are three feasts where the religious or pious or devout men of Judean religion were to
present themselves in Jerusalem at the temple. This does not mean that every Jewish man, so to
speak, was there but if he was a real sincere honest believer, he would be at Jerusalem at this time.
These men made three feasts in Jerusalem yearly and they did not have jets or bicycles or
automobiles. Those Judeans by religion must have put forth a lot of effort to get there three times a
year. That’s why the best of those committed people were there.
“men” – heads of families or households. It is also translated “husband.” These were the devout,
pious or religious men who were heads of families.
“when this was noised abroad” – the text literally reads, “when this voice having come.” I can
understand the translation, “when this was noised abroad.”
“the multitude came together” – the multitude was not there to begin with. The reason the multitude
came later was because the “voice” was “noised abroad.” Peter and the other 11 were speaking in
languages that were not known to themselves and the ones who heard them ran out and they said,
“Come and listen to this. These fellows are doing things that you just can’t do. They’re doing it.”
Estrangelo Aramaic was the “lingua franca” of the whole Middle East. Everyone spoke and
communicated or could read Estrangelo Aramaic. There were tremendous variations in the various
languages or dialects that were in other areas. (You could not put a multitude in an upper room.)
“confounded” – perplexed. They were ‘shook’.
“every man heard them speak” – literally – they heard them speaking, each one.
“speak” – laleo – in I Corinthians 14:34 this word is used regarding women who had the running
off of the mouth. They should have been quiet in the church it says. It means a running off of the
mouth. They were confounded because that every man heard them running off of the mouth in his
own language. The running off of the mouth is the pletho, the lambano-ing, the manifestation of the
Christ in them the hope of glory. As the Spirit gave them utterance, not something they sat and
thought through. They just effervesced it. That’s the word laleo. It means speaking without reference
to that which is spoken.
“heard them speak in his own language” – that’s the miracle of Pentecost.
“language” – dialektos – transliterated into our English word “dialectic”, or “dialect.” The believers,
who do not believe in speaking in tongues, never use the word “language.” They use the word
“dialect” whereby they claim that it was just different shades of expression but they really understood
Verses 8-11 are a parenthesis. Verse 7 could maybe be in the parenthesis but I left it out because of
the “Galilaeans.” You could read from verse 6 to verse 12 but the reason I do not spiritually believe
that verse 7 can be in a parenthesis is because there is a further explanation of truth before an
expounding comes. “Behold are not all these which speak Galilaeans?” – And they were all amazed,
verse 12. Verse 7 says, “they were all amazed.” Verse 12 says, “they were all amazed.”
“amazed” – means flabbergasted. One translation translates it “dumbfounded.” They were amazed at
what they were hearing because all these were Galileans.
“the wonderful works of God” – speaking in tongues is speaking the wonderful works of God.
Doesn’t it seem that all Christians should want to please God by speaking the wonderful works of
God? It’s just logical.
We will get to who the Parthians were and the Medes and why are they here in the book of Acts?
You will find out that none of the Indians from America were there. Noah’s sons were Ham, Shem
and Japheth. You will find in that category, direct descendents of Noah in the listing in Acts chapter
2. It sort of ties a lot of things together when the day of Pentecost was fully come. It was in the
process of coming ever since the beginning of time. I can back it up at least as far as Noah just from
the record of the Word as to who was there that day because the Medes were the Japhethites. The
Elamites were direct descendants of Shem. There’s more here than just names. They’re not there just
to fill space. They’re there to teach us something. We’ll see the immensity and the greatness of that