BPotW The Spirit comes in Wind and Fire (Acts 2)

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Bible Passage of the Week

Mendalla

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Well, I hadn't planned a BPotW this weekend but having had it pointed out multiple times in various places that this is Pentecost Sunday, I figure it can't hurt to explore that story this week. I am including all of Acts 2 since it ends with a bit of a reflection on the early Christian community.


So we open with the dramatic scene of the tongues of fire giving people the gift of speaking in tongues. Many are amazed as they hear their own languages being spoken, but there are also skeptics (are there ever not). Peter addresses the skeptics in a dramatic, scripture-filled speech that fills most of the chapter (14-36). We then learn that about 3000 are converted (does that fit with any of the "magic numbers" of the Bible?), then from 43 to the end, learn about the community that is formed as a result.

So what are you thoughts? This coming of the Spirit is clearly a significant moment in the post-Resurrection development of the Christian community (it is really not yet the Church as we think of it). Is it truly a supernatural event, or a symbolic story about how the early Christians came together and grew their community? And there is much discussion today about what it means to be "filled with the Spirit" or "speak in tongues". How does the Spirit work in your experience? Dramatic moments or something subtler?

And there's so much more to discuss about this marvellous story. Peter's speech has plenty of material for discussion, for starters.
 

Redbaron

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I've often wondered if this chapter shouldn't have ended with the phrase "And they all lived happily ever after." It's just too neat and (overly) simple. They all just converted just like that? I'm not sure I'd buy a used car on that kind of information (though it might lure me into a second look...) Maybe it did happen, that 3000 became members of this new community of faith. It likely didn't happen this smoothly or this quickly; I think this story has been 'sanitized' to cover over the struggles of some, and maybe the disagreements of others, in the process, of forming a new community.
 

BetteTheRed

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And this is a period when they talk about worshipping in the Temple together (verse 46), presumably alongside their fellow Jews. I'm not sure how this relationship might have worked.

But in fact, Acts was written after the destruction of Jerusalem/the Temple.
 

Mendalla

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Which is an interesting point, since it means the writer(s), regardless of what tradition says, were mostly relying on hearsay and oral traditions, perhaps some letters and other documents. Plus whatever axes he/they might have had to grind. So, for instance, is the "3000" in any way reliable or just someone's way of saying "a lot"?
 

BetteTheRed

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So, for instance, is the "3000" in any way reliable or just someone's way of saying "a lot"?

I would assume so. Although if Christianity had become large (population-wise) and mainstream enough to become the official Roman religion by the 4th Century CE, it does imply pretty rapid growth.
 

Waterfall

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I find it interesting that everyone heard those speaking in tongues in their own language.....this sort of resounds with me, because if one cannot understand what someone is saying in tongues, it just becomes a bunch of babbling.
 

unsafe

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My View

Acts 2 is a very important Chapter as it is the Birth of the Church Age ----and the end of the Mosaic Laws for True believers

Acts 1 gives the preparation for the birth of God's Church ---and Acts 2 is the manifestation of the Birth of God's Church ----

To really understand this Chapter it is important to understand the Jewish feast of Pentecost --there were 3 Jewish feasts each year ----Passover celebrated Israel's being delivered from Egypt ----Then the feast of the unleavened bread followed --then Pentecost followed 50 days after Passover ---at Pentecost the Jews were to offer God their first fruits of their new grain ---- all explained in Leviticus 23 -----

This is very interesting to know here -----Jesus was sacrificed on Passover was buried on the day of unleavened bread and Jesus came out of the Grave on the feast of first fruits ----Jesus is the first fruit of all who are resurrected -----

Pentecost in the Greek means 50th

In Acts 1 we have Jesus explaining the coming of the Holy Spirit -----
NKJV -----

The Holy Spirit Promised​

4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

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I say -----So if you do the Math here Jesus walked the earth for 40 days after His Resurrection and Pentecost happens 50 days after Passover so the people who went to the upper room were there waiting for 10 days for the Holy Spirit to come upon them ------

This is quite important because many after a few days of no action might have just gave up and left the room --but they didn't --as they trusted what Jesus Said Would happen -------and it had to be a large room as there were 120 there waiting ------

Now this is interesting because the Disciples had already had the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them in

John 20 :21-22 ----
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that
he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.


Acts 2 says -----NKJV
4 And they were
all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

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I say
So we see that in John they received the Holy Spirit and in Acts which is the beginning of the New Testament really ----they were filled with the Holy Spirit -----2 separate events Folks ------- one can receive the Holy Spirit but not be Filled with the Spirit ------being filled means making one complete with power and ability to do what God wants done ------in this case to Preach the Gospel with power and confidence to bring people to Christ ----

The Speaking in tongues I believed happened to make the unbelievers believe -----God's Breath came with such a power and Might it caused unbelievers to take notice and come to see what was happening ---but this is just my thoughts on this


Peter here is preaching different He is more assertive and speaking with conviction and telling people to take heed ----NKJV


Peter’s Sermon​

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.

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So we see that after People heard the Word ---God opened peoples hearts to allow the word to inbirth the Saving Faith needed to be saved and 3;000 were saved that day -------

I say
Now this is important in Exodus 32 Israel sinned against God by making a golden cafe and they were about to have a feast to honor the golden cafe ------you can read the passage yourselves ----

So in Exodus 3,000 died because of their Disobedience to God and in Acts --3;000 were saved because they obeyed God ----


This is the Title of this post ------The Spirit comes In Wind and Fire -----

The Scripture actually says ------NKJV

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them [b]divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
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So the Spirit didn't come in Wind as we know wind and the tongues were not fire -----Wind here is Breath from God and fire here is used figuratively -----as seen below

Posting here Fire here from strong's
HELPS Word-studies
4442 pýrfire. In Scripture, fire is often used figuratively – like with the "fire of God" which transforms all it touches into light and likeness with itself

God's Spirit
, like a holy fire, enlightens and purifies so that believers can share more and more in His likeness.

Indeed the fire of God brings the uninterrupted privilege of being transformed which happens by experiencing faith from Him. Our lives can become true offerings to Him as we obey this imparted faith from God by His power.

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This Chapter gives us the way People today are saved and become Adopted back into God's Family -
God's Love sent His Son to take all wrath we deserve so those who receive Him will receive the Holy Spirit and have eternal life --all who are in Christ are under one Body with Him ------there is no Jew or Gentile --no male or female -all division has been put to rest -----

Thanks be to God for this great gift ----
 

GordW

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I find it interesting that everyone heard those speaking in tongues in their own language.....this sort of resounds with me, because if one cannot understand what someone is saying in tongues, it just becomes a bunch of babbling.
I actually think that the text can be read not as speaking in tongues but as the disciples speaking the various languages, actual languages that were heard.

Or possibly God is functioning as the Universal Translator....

At the very least one of the things I take fromt he story is how it is VITAL that we try to communicate with people in their own language. This includes using idioms and phrasing natural to them. Shakespeare or KJV is English but if we try to communicate the Gospel to people in that language we are not speaking their language to them.
 

Waterfall

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I actually think that the text can be read not as speaking in tongues but as the disciples speaking the various languages, actual languages that were heard.

Or possibly God is functioning as the Universal Translator....

At the very least one of the things I take fromt he story is how it is VITAL that we try to communicate with people in their own language. This includes using idioms and phrasing natural to them. Shakespeare or KJV is English but if we try to communicate the Gospel to people in that language we are not speaking their language to them.
1 Corinthians 14: 27-29 tells us if anyone speaks in tongues there should be an interpreter and if there isn't one, they should keep it private.
So perhaps it was meant to mean God was the interpreter?
 

unsafe

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The speaking in tongues here could also be that they were going forth to preach the Gospel to all nations and they needed to be able to communicate in the language that people understood --that makes sense to me -----

This paragraph gives us the answer ------NIV

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?
8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?

Verses 9 and 10 gives the places and the people that were there that heard their language ----

9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
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Gift of Tongues is one of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit laid out in------ 1 Corinthians 12 ------

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,

9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,

10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b]

11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
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This is all on Tongues here -----but this is a different tongue of speaking mysteries which is used by the individual person to build themselves up in the body of Christ -----

Chapter 13 says this ----- 13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Chapter 14 says this -----

Intelligibility in Worship​

14 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.

3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.

5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[b] but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues,[c] unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In verse 4 and 5 it uses the word edify -----so we see that tongues here is used by the person in prayer to enhance their Spiritual advancement -----becoming more mature in Christ -----

Strong's Concordance
oikodomé: (the act of) building, a building
Usage: (a) the act of building, met: spiritual advancement, edification.

This Gift is in effect today -----
 
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jimkenney12

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The important part for me is the conversion of a group of hurting, confused, followers of Jesus trapped in a house by their fear to a group of apostles daring to get public attention by what looked like crazy preaching, unafraid and with clear objectives. In the service of the Holy, anything is possible. I used this as my theme for our service yesterday. When I watched it yesterday, I realized I was a little bit too heavy on the story telling. The link to our service is under Worship at our website, drcommunitychurch.ca. it was the second last service for me before our new ministers share in leading the services. They arrived via the Thousand Islands last Thursday at their quarantine site. With luck, I will meet them on June 3.
 

Luce NDs

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If one speaks of vaguely observed science in many churches you will be condemned for queer etudes and using uncommon language. Then when one considers the extend of the world vocabulary that few know little about!

It is said that knowing other tongues opens the mind and heart and thus one will feel less stoned in place or blocked up ... may even pose as poesy ... James Joyce utilized this to a degree of magn*ooze ... little versions found him far out! Differs from the greatest winners ... endowed with avid thoughts of avarice and are not even aware of it! De Noos is thus tossed ... and there are lynching's in the sycamores ...
 

unsafe

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This Chapter is the beginning of Jews and Gentiles coming together and being united as one body under Christ -----this is what the Real Church is ----one under Christ ------

The most important part of this Scripture Folks is the Conversions that were made that day by Peter's Sermon ---3,000 people were saved that day ----by hearing the Gospel Folks and God opening their hearts to receive the inbirthing of Saving Faith ----so they would believe what Peter was saying ----

The True Message of God's Book is Salvation for all who want to receive it by Faith that comes by way of Hearing the Word ------

1 Timothy 2:4-6

Easy-to-Read Version
Read full chapter

4 God wants everyone to be saved and to fully understand the truth.

5 There is only one God, and there is only one way that people can reach God. That way is through Christ Jesus, who as a man 6 gave himself to pay for everyone to be free. This is the message that was given to us at just the right time.


I say
Every Person has a Choice to Receive or Reject God's Graced Gift of Salvation which comes through Faith in Jesus Christ -----Repentance is the first step to Salvation ---that is why John the Baptise came to get people to repent so when Jesus came their hearts were ready to receive the Word by and through Saving Faith which comes by way of hearing God's word ------

Why Saving Faith Is Impossible Without Repentance​

 

Luce NDs

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Here's a criminal icon to the literalist ... Aris once being the word for the messenger ... and thus the topic came up again as Eros ... another varient?
 

revjohn

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I actually think that the text can be read not as speaking in tongues but as the disciples speaking the various languages, actual languages that were heard.
I don't think that the text can be read in any way but for it to mean that the Apostles were speaking in earthly tongues. Their Galilean reality is contrasted with the languages of (relatively) far-flung languages.

I am not sure why obvious Galileans cannot speak other languages. Perhaps they don't have a cosmopolitan reputation those Galileans?
Or possibly God is functioning as the Universal Translator....
That appears to be a later notion. Possibly some charismatic trying to justify their own babbling? Still, Paul, the one author contributing to scripture the reality of tongues prefers 5 words that can be understood to thousands understood by none. And has been pointed out translators are required. In this instance, Peter functions as the translator so clearly he understood what was being said even if it wasn't spoken in a Galilean tongue.
At the very least one of the things I take fromt he story is how it is VITAL that we try to communicate with people in their own language. This includes using idioms and phrasing natural to them. Shakespeare or KJV is English but if we try to communicate the Gospel to people in that language we are not speaking their language to them.
This is why, in Christian history, there has always been an effort to communicate in the vulgar. And that despite the institution demanding that Latin was the only language scripture can be written in. Shades of the KJV only nonsense.
 
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