October 16, 1975
Turn tonight to Acts chapter 2, regarding the most momentous occurrence in all history until the
present time. Perhaps the greater will be the return. Perhaps we have not as fully appreciated as we
should the greatness of Acts 2 because it hasn’t cost us very much to get to the knowledge of it. The
experience on the day of Pentecost was so absolutely cataclysmic and here it is written in just four
verses. Only God could have had holy men of God write it in such an abbreviated form. There is
absolutely no parallel in all history or all literature that equals the greatness of these truths in Acts 2.
We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God as workmen. Many times when I get Into the
Word to teach it I feel totally inadequate to handle the greatness of God’s Word. Yet, somebody has
to do the best they can with it. I always feel that way with Acts 2. I’ve taught this many times as you
know, and we wrote our heart out on the book in “Receiving the Holy Spirit Today on this chapter.
“And” = conjunction. The experience of the new birth on the day of Pentecost follows immediately
with Matthias being numbered with the 11 apostles. I shared some things on the tape tonight that
bring me almost to the point of believing that this which occurred here in Acts 1:26 was just the
night before the receiving of the fullness early the next morning. Whether that’s true or not, I can’t
prove, but it’s the last thing that was done before the receiving of the fullness of the spirit on the day
of Pentecost. Tying this together with “and”, which I believe would stand the test of all the Greek
texts, makes it very significant for me -Matthias numbered with the eleven apostles – “and” - I don’t
believe they did this trip in the morning. I do not believe they did the selecting of Matthias in the
morning because the first hour of prayer would not have been apropos for the occasion. Just not quite
like I would like to feel it would be because in the last chapter of Luke (Luke 24:53) where that
statement is made that they were continually in the temple, this specifically refers to the apostles.
Therefore, the first hour of prayer would not be the hour that I feel would have been the time when
they would have selected Matthias. The “about 120” would not have been there at that time.
Hours of prayer were set up in the Bible for the people to spend time everyday. The religious leaders
were to endeavor to keep all of the hours and some religious people kept all of the hours because they
had the time and they liked to do it, so they kept all five hours of prayer. If you had only three
occasions on which you could keep the hours of prayer you’d go the first, at noon and the last hour. I
believe that these apostles were continually in the temple at the hours of prayer because they were the
chosen of the Lord Jesus Christ and they had been instructed as to what was going to occur. They had
not been told when, so I believe that they were there at all five hours. And this is why I believe the
word “and” following upon
“eleven apostles” of verse 26 ties in with the selection of Matthias. Perhaps there should not have
ever been a chapter here, but in the sense that I’m teaching and sharing with you tonight, if one
closed out in the evening at the hour of prayer’, the other opening the next day with the hour of
prayer, I could see putting a beautiful chapter division there. Whichever way it is we do have a
chapter division and it sets this great day of Pentecost by itself.
“Pentecost” - Penta - 5 or 50
“Fully” - indicates that it had been in the process of coming since the fall of man. Few of us have
ever realized the greatness of this because all through the Old Testament the Adversary could have
children whenever he felt like it. God could accept by adoption and here for the first time by the
believing and new birth. This is why Mary was the first woman who believed to the end of bringing
forth the Christ. No woman got to the place of absolute believing as Mary did when the angel came
and she said, ”Be it unto me according to thy Word.” The true God never possesses. God had to wait
for people to believe and that’s why I’m amazed sometimes that our people just don’t believe more
today. We have all of God’s Word available to us, the greatness of this Word, and if we don’t believe
then we’ve got to be of all men and women the most pitied. You can’t wait a lifetime to say, “Well,
I’m having a very unique experience and I’m getting better every day.” Believing is believing and
you just sell out to the Word! You don’t cop out on it. You make a commitment and stay put.
The reason Pentecost did not come any earlier was that man did not believe. He wasn’t at the position
of believing. Mary believed and the thing moved on and it got to the place where God could do what
He wanted to do for many thousands of years. Seldom have we appreciated the greatness of this
record in Acts. Perhaps nobody has ever challenged us to really think about it to begin with. Maybe
because the new birth is so simple to us because it was so difficult for God and we can just receive it
so easily, simply believe.
God has through the centuries always done His best for His people whenever they believe. He has
gone as far as their believing was capable of receiving. This is why we as believers today only limit
ourselves. There is no question about limiting God. God is limitless when we believe. His limitless
ability is our ability when we are in the position of believing to receive.
Pentecost was in the process of coming for all of those years, but it never fully came until this time
recorded in Acts 2. The time was perhaps around 28-30 A. D. I’m not sure. I’ve never been able to
work the dates on some of these things too accurately. Perhaps someday we’ll have greater light.
“they” - refers to the 12 apostles - You really have to drive the “they” into your mind because it’s a
pronoun again and the reason you need to hit this so hard is because of the erroneous teaching that
there were 120 who received the “baptism of the holy ghost”, as they refer to it and that it occurred in
the upper room. You have to drive this in your mind so if necessary you could teach it to someone
It is significant that in Acts 2:7 it says that they are all Galileans - the 11 plus —Matthias were all
Galileans. This was not true for the “about 120.” Therefore, the original outpouring or the original
receiving of the holy spirit when they were all filled was the 12 only. The number “12” 1 guess is
sort of neat - 12 apostles, 12 tribes of Israel - other multiples of 12 in the Word. Acts 2:14 says,
“Peter standing up with the eleven.” 11 plus one makes 12.
“one accord” - Acts 1:14 was first usage of that. Here they were all with one accord in one place.
One accord means unity of purpose. Knowing from the scriptures that they were continually in the
temple the one accord relates itself here to the location. It was an hour of prayer. And it happened to
be the first hour when they were in one accord in one place and the place happened to be the temple.
There should be no need for my proving this to you again from the Word, for I’ve done it so many
God has always done His best for His people. Even at the times when His people did not particularly
desire His best, He would do His best that He could for them. This He did again on the day of
Pentecost because on this particular day basically only Israel or Jews were present. There’s no other
place in the World where God could have come to His people anymore appropriately than in the
Temple. He certainly would not have come to Jack’s bar- that wouldn’t make any sense. He certainly
would not have gone into somebody’s home. He went to the place where God had said that He would
meet His people. Such love on the part of God is absolutely fantastic. His own people who had killed
His only begotten son, just a little handful of believers and yet God does His best in every situation
and He did it here.
“heaven” = any place above earth. I believe that Jesus Christ had instructed the apostles before he left
on some of the things they were to do when this momentous occasion occurred. Even though Jesus
Christ did not know the mystery there were things revealed to him that he did know; therefore they
were better instructed than most of us have been led to believe or they want us to believe. I believe
the apostles had received tremendous instruction and I believe that many disciples were present to
hear the instructions too. So I think they were much more knowledgeable of what to expect and what
to look for than we have commonly accepted or believed.
“rushing mighty wind” – or heavy breathing - was on the part of the apostles when they saw
something. You can’t tell two things at once, or you can’t do two things at once, so this appearance
of the cloven tongues was the great significant thing that occurred that made it possible for them to
breathe in, or triggered it for them, and they breathed in. The breathing In, as they were doing it,
filled all the house, the temple, where they were sitting. The breathing in was just something that
they had been instructed on. In the breathing it’s a believing of it.
“it filled” = pleroo - full potential or capacity - When they breathed in, it filled all the house where
they were sitting. The breathing in filled it, but it also filled – pleroo - them – full capacity. Acts
13:52 — filled = to capacity. It’s one thing to be filled to capacity. It’s another thing to overflow with
the fullness of that capacity.
The new birth is in Acts 2:2. It was decent and in order. We have to keep teaching and teaching and
teaching this or our people will never really see the greatness of all this stuff. Outside of The Way
ministry there is still much indecency and out of order in the holy spirit field and it triggers a great
deal of unbelief in our world. These apostles -it was the first hour of prayer of the day. They were all
in the temple and they were sitting. They were sitting on their prayer rugs or just on the floor and
they were sitting like the Easterners sit, with their legs crossed. As long as it’s decent and in order
that is the importance of it. Here it is an hour of prayer, thus, others are present. When you are out
among the people it has to be decent and in order. Anything God ever does He does decently and in
order. God didn’t have to do it behind closed doors in a little upper room because the true God never
has to be ashamed of what He does when people believe it. We’ve attributed so much to the true God
that the Devil has done. But whenever anything is indecent and out of order it is not of God. You will
always know when it’s indecent and out of order according to the records in God’s Word. Half the
time I’m convinced that you wouldn’t even need God’s Word - all you’d need is some good common
horse sense to know when something is decent and in order. They were decent and in order. That
doesn’t mean that they were cold as cucumbers.
I believe with the expectation and anticipation of the coming of something, these people were high.
They were expecting it at any moment. An hour of prayer can be a real drag for people. On the other
hand, if you are expecting results it can be most exhilarating. And they were looking for something,
awaiting, for they had been told to tarry until. They were every time in the temple, they were
expecting. That’s why when they spoke in tongues they spoke like a house of fire. It’s in the
expectation, in the anticipation, that the exuberance and the joy reside. That’s why this day of
Pentecost is really fantastic here in Acts.
“cloven tongues” – a phenomenon - This is the only place it is used in the Word I believe. I really
don’t know what this means, cloven tongues. I know what the word “cloven” means and I know what
the word “tongues” means, but what does He really mean by cloven? This is what I believe the
instruction was to the apostles.
“There appeared unto them” whatever this “cloven tongues” is. You’ll be surprised to see how this
relates itself to fire. How fire is used in sacrifice and the significance of it. How it is used where God
protected the children of Israel at night so they could sleep with great comfort. “There appeared unto
them” – that’s the phenomenon, and I wonder if it was a miracle to the end that they were the only
ones who saw it. Do you think it would be possible for God to do it? No place in the record does it
ever say that they were impressed with the cloven tongues. That’s not what impressed the Pentecost
visitors. I believe it that it occurred only to the 12. They were the only ones who needed to see it.
Had the rest of the people seen it, they would have thought they were special saints. That’s why Jesus
just must have really instructed them. This did not all happen by accident, unless it’s possession, and
it’s not possession because the true God never possesses, and if He doesn’t possess then for them to
do some of these things somebody had to tell them, teach them, and that somebody was Jesus Christ.
I sometimes wonder what occurred during those 40 days. Man, I’d like to know. Boy the rap sessions
they must have had in those 40 days. Imagine nothing to do but sit and rap. It doesn’t say there was
any holding forth of The Word to Israel at that time. It says he was with the disciples 40 days and
specifically with the apostles.
I believe that we are not reading into the Word at all when we say that these cloven tongues were
only visible to the 12 apostles. That was the phenomenon on the day of Pentecost. And if was true
what I just said, then it would be a miracle too because it was just to the 12.
“like as of fire” - The analogy “like as of fire”. It doesn’t say it was fire, but LIKE AS fire. It’s
interesting. When you get into working that fire business you’ll be back in the time of Israel and the
pillar of fire. You’ll get real interested seeing the relationship here to 12 men of Israel and Israel in
the beginning when God chose them and how He protected them and kept them. You and I know
from reading ahead that this which they received had to be good protection for it was eternal life, the
“sat” = covered, surrounded with
Sat in the Bible always indicates when something is completely, completely, completely complete,
when something is finished. In Genesis 2:2 the word “rested” is the word “sat”.
The visible thing to them was eternal and the invisible was what occurred internally. The full
capacity is Christ in you the hope of glory. That’s what occurred to them here. It sat on each of them.
Nobody got missed, not because these men were so good but because these men believed. They went
to the place where Jesus Christ told them to go and waited. They just literally carried out the Word.
And if you and I just literally carry out God’s Word we’ve got to receive that which God’s Word has
promised when we believe. Everybody was born again, all 12. That is the first part of Pentecost --
you MUST be born again. The Nicodemus record taught this. Other places where Jesus instructed in
the Word taught it. There’s only one name given among men whereby we – what? – must be saved
(Acts 4:12). That’s only one part of Pentecost because this salvation was a spiritual inside job. No
one would have known it was genuine without a manifestation because you can’t see spirit.
Therefore, the experience of the new birth is never complete Biblically without something more than
confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believing God raised him from the dead. A man
could do a great deal of good works and fool people unless there is something so absolutely absolute
at the time of the new birth that nobody can fool anybody when they see the manifestation.
“filled” - pletho – filled to overflowing
The whole experience of the day of Pentecost is two-fold — the receiving spiritually and the
evidence in the senses world of that spiritual reception and all of us got talked out of it or we didn’t
know anything about it to begin with. These two go hand in hand. When you are born again you are
supposed to speak in tongues. Boy, this is why whenever you hear somebody speak in tongues we
ought to get hotter than a firecracker, not just from the interpretation but from the speaking in
tongues itself because that’s the proof to me that they’re born again. The only other way I could
know would be as a man of God by revelation but why should God have to give revelation when you
can speak in tongues? When you hear someone speak in tongues it should just bless your soul. That’s
your sister or brother whether you like it or not.
Don’t get so cold about the things of God whereby the things of God become so normative to you
that you are not excited about it. You ought to get real blessed.
Acts 1:4-5, 8
Verse 4 (chapter 2) is a literal fulfillment of those verses.
Tarry in the city of Jerusalem. It’s beautiful when you put all of this together.
“to be endued with” to be clothed with - Until you get some clothes on you are physically naked.
Until you get some clothes on spiritually you are naked, dead in trespasses and sins, without God and
without hope. But when He clothes you, when you are born you are clothed with inherent power
from God. That is the baptism. The reason it is baptized is because it’s a one time deal. How many
times can you be born - once. How many times can you be born again - once. That’s why the word
baptized is used. And it’s once in the name of Jesus Christ - that name. It’s that great orientalism of
pleading in the name. If you got a big enough benefactor and you plead in his name you can get set
free. Baptized in the name and everything that name represents.
lambano power - This verse is literally fulfilled in pletho of Acts 2:4.
The holy spirit on the day of Pentecost was the gift from the Giver. God is the Giver. God is a lot of
different things in the Word, the Almighty, but the greatest thing that you could say about God is that
He is Holy and He is Spirit. And on the day of Pentecost was the first time when this pneuma hagion
could in-dwell man, not just be upon but in-dwell so that it would be baptized, one time deal, Christ
in you the hope of glory.
If I had been the Devil I would have confused people’s minds on this too. I would have done it as he
did too, putting confusion into it right afterwards. If he can keep people away from the knowledge of
the Word here people will always live below par. They will always say less than what God says In
His Word and they will always believe less than what God says they ought to believe. And this came
to these men not because they were so good but because they believed God. Putting this together
with what you know about Ephesians and other records makes these verses set like a great diamond
in the Word.
They were all filled, pletho, with the gift by the Giver. The reason pneuma hagion is used for the gift
is because it was the greatest thing God is and He gave it for the first time because man was in a
position and capable of receiving it and it’s been here ever since.
The “pletho-ing” in verse 4, was that they spoke with other tongues. They began. There is only one
way to ever get started and that is to start – began.
The pronoun “they” is omitted here in the text before “began”.
People would rather argue than begin. God says begin! We have just tolerated too much disobedience
to God’s Word inside the so-called church. What they spoke in tongues was God’s business, but that
they spoke was their business. By the freedom of their will they had to act, they had to believe God,
they had to do it. When a person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ there is no feeling on the inside
unless it’s phenomenon. But generally there is no guarantee that you are going to get a “cleaned up”
feeling on the inside; therefore, the speaking in tongues has to be entirely by believing. That’s why
that section in I Corinthians 12:3 is so unique. You can’t really say you’ve made him lord because
to make him lord is to believe he meant what he said and said what he meant. “I would you all spake
in tongues” – DO IT! Therefore you’d have to believe he meant what he said and said what he meant.
That’s making him lord.
“as the Spirit gave them utterance” - God’s spirit gave it to their spirit, which is God’s spirit in them,
which is now their spirit by believing. It’s a gift. Man by believing speaks forth that which he has
received and you just walk out on it. How could you have confessed him as Lord and not speak in
There are just no words in anybody’s vocabulary to explain it any greater, you just have to
experience it and know within yourself how great and magnificent and wonderful it is because words
fail to communicate the greatness of that which is written here. There it is in four verses of scripture,
not only the new birth but the manifestation. A lot of people have missed both. Some people have
missed the second. A lot of people who think they are born again are not born again. You don’t get
born again by thinking but by action on God’s Word. We talk about sin. I think we’ve been about as
off on sin as we’ve been off on some of the rest of the Word. To tell a lie we consider is a sin, but to
disbelieve God’s Word and not speak in tongues, we don’t think of that as being sin. I would say that
if a lie is sin, then not speaking in tongues would have to be sin too, same Word of God. Sin is sin,
there are no stages or grades of sin, but looking at it from a worldly point of view I would say that
getting drunk would not be near as bad as rejecting Acts 2:4. But you see, we’ve never been
challenged to think in terms of what sin really is. It depends on what culture you are from or what
location of the world or community. But no one has challenged to think that sin is that which
contradicts God’s Word. Naturally if I had been the Devil I would have done the same thing that he
did, to talk people out of it so they’d be constantly living in sin, and when you’re living in sin, you
live in condemnation. That’s why the Christian church has always been condemned basically because
they’re not living up to God’s Word. It’s only God’s Word that gets you out of the condemnation -
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Those that
believe in the new birth push it, but how many really push the whole Word. We need to push it more
in The Way ministry too. Teach that when you are born again you speak in tongues. Teach it because
you always get the results of what you teach because it doesn’t return void. Well, that’s part of the
greatness of Acts 2:1-4.