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The Day of Pentecost, pt. 2 [the fire!]

Acts 2:1-4

 

Meticulously we continue for a purpose…this is so important to our church!

 

We’ve looked at the Price for Pentecost, in great detail, because we want it right here so badly! [don’t we?]

        From an OT perspective we looked at the Feast of Pentecost, and now we need to understand from a NT perspective that this was the day it was fully come…Pentecost was fully come, yes, but more specifically, the Holy Spirit was fully come.

        On this day the Holy Spirit would come and indwell believers, filling them up, rather than simply “coming upon them”, as in the OT.  This was now a permanent filling, it was fully come!

 

This was the fulfillment of Jesus’ words in Jn. 14, spoken just before His death:

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

 

Before Pentecost the Holy Spirit was WITH God’s people, after Pentecost the Holy Spirit is IN God’s people!

 

Last week, 3 reasons the Holy Spirit is symbolized by wind…invisible/irresistible/indispensable…that was in v. 2  A miracle of sound!

 

Today, the fire, a miracle of sight…v. 3

 

A flickering flame settled above each of their 120 heads, making them look like human candles!  Talk about being on fire for God!

 

Why is the Holy Spirit symbolized by fire?

  1. Because fire purifies

Num. 31: 23

Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean:

He’s talking about burning out the impurities, much like a silversmith putting the precious metal on the fire.

 

Ezekiel 22:

18

Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross [impure]: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. .

22:19

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you…

“I’m gonna burn out the sin that doesn’t belong in you!”

 

Question:  What is God’s #1 goal for our lives?

“I think He wants me to be happy!” [that’s how we feel about our children, right?]

        Yes, he wants for us to be happy, fulfilled, abundant…but that’s not His #1 goal for our lives!

 

“Healthy?”  We say to expecting parents, do you want a boy or a girl?  Oh, we don’t care, as long as it’s healthy!

        Yes, he cares about our physical well being, so much that He often heals or gives the grace needed to cope!…but that’s not His #1 goal for our lives!

 

God’s #1 goal for your life and mine is that we be “Holy.

        More than He wants you to be happy He wants you to be holy!  [healthy]

 

Talking about living a pure life, getting victory over sins which once bound us/a life not bound by sinful addictions/habits/thoughts/actions!

 

Lev. 11:45

For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

Luke 1:75

In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

II Cor. 7:1

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Heb. 12:14

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

I Pet. 1:16

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

II Pet. 3:11

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness…

 

Why is the Holy Spirit symbolized by fire?  Because one of His great ministries is to burn out the impurities in our lives!/help us live Holy!

 

He does this in 2 ways:

  • Ministry of Conviction

        What is it?  That still, small voice inside of you that makes you feel uncomfortable when you sin.

 

John R. Rice/great evangelist, after being saved for many many years was asked if he had gotten to the place where he no longer sinned, said, no, but I’ve gotten to the place where I can’t enjoy it!

 

As a believer, if you can live in sin w/ no conviction/compulsion/remorse, you had better take a long hard look at your salvation, whether it’s the real thing!

 

A true Christian cannot be content w/ known sin in their life, because the Holy Spirit will bring conviction!  He’s the “invisible fence” in the life of a believer.

 

Ill.—anyone here have one of those devices to keep a pet in the yard? 

[how many want your dog to stay in your yard?/to leave?!]

        It’s a wire buried around the perimeter of your yard, or a wireless electric signal which communicates to dog’s collar / when he gets close, a beeping sound warns him, if he crosses the line he receives a mild electrical shock!  [some may want it for your husband]

 

The Holy Spirit gives the same kind of warning:

I Cor. 10:13

God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

And if we ignore His warning, we will be sorry, for then we get chastised [spanked].

 

Ill.—Focus on Family magazine [man named Ed]

        In-dash computer gps/woman’s voice/low on fuel, low on fuel!/knew he had enough to go 30 miles to next town/kept repeating [bad enough to have a wife that nags as you drive!]/pulled over, yanked out wires, laughed…was still laughing when car sputtered to a stop short of town!/said he knew it was all in his head, but he was sure he could hear that woman’s voice laughing!

 

Clear lesson:  you can ignore that nagging conviction of the Holy Spirit if you want to, but you’ll be sorry!

 

As a believer, when we go somewhere we don’t belong, we’ll hear that voice/think something/say something/act on something/crave something/prepare to watch that movie/go to that website/tell that joke/…tempted to stay in bed/justify holding back that tithe/start to repeat that rumor!  We’ll hear the voice of the Spirit and feel the fire of conviction.

 

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry of conviction…

 

  • Ministry of Empowerment

This is so wonderful…He doesn’t just tell us what’s wrong, but then He tells us how to fix it, and empowers us/strengthens us to get it right!

Ezekiel 36:27

And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

“but I just can’t give it up!”

        True, but He can!!

 

Ill.—Franklin Graham/as a teen, very rebellious/but God brought him back years later/said when he got right w/ God, he realized he had some baggage to deal w/…he was addicted to tobacco/wanted to do right, but it was chemical in nature, his body wanted it!/turned to Holy Spirit for help/prayed that for a while/one day he lit up and it tasted terrible/quit/won’t try one again…afraid it might taste good! [some of you have shared similar testimonies]

 

The Lord helped him thru His Ministry of Empowerment.

 

Do you WANT to give it up?  That’s the bigger question…once you do…He’ll empower you to!

 

We need to work on our “wanters”…eventually you’ll find He wants you to be holy even more than you do!

 

Fire purifies…and the Holy Spirit is symbolized by fire…

 

  1. Because fire energizes

“on fire for God”

        It’s one of the greatest compliments you can ever give a fellow Christian, to say they are on fire for God!

 

The Bible word for this is “Zeal”.

 

II Kings 10:16

King Jehu said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.

Ps. 69:9

King David said, For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up…

Gal. 4:18

But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

Would people say you are on fire for God?  If not, you need to ask God for that zeal, fanned by the flames of the wind driven Holy Spirit of God!

 

  • In the area of Soulwinning

Acts 1:8—after the Holy Ghost comes upon you “ye shall be witnesses!”

 

Ask God today to set your heart on fire for souls!

 

Listen to a true story told by a man from Nazi Germany in his own words:

"I lived in Germany during the Nazi holocaust.  I considered myself a Christian.

I attended church since I was a small boy.   We had heard the stories of what was happening to the Jews but we tried to distance ourselves from the reality of what was really taking place.  What could anyone do to stop it?

A railroad track ran behind our small church, and each Sunday morning we would hear the whistle from a distance and then the clacking of the wheels moving over the track.  We became disturbed when on Sunday we noticed cries coming from the train as it passed by.  We grimly realized that the train was carrying Jews.  They were like cattle in those cars!

Week after week that train whistle would blow.  We would dread to hear the sound of those old wheels because we knew that the Jews would begin to cry out to us as they passed our church.  It was so terribly disturbing!  We could do nothing to help these poor miserable people, yet their screams tormented us.  We knew exactly at what time that whistle would blow, and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to start singing our hymns.  By the time that train came rumbling past the church yard, we were singing at the top of our voices.  If some of the screams reached our ears, we'd just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more.  Years have passed and no one talks about it much anymore, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep.  I can still hear them crying out for help.  God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.

We don’t just need a zeal that will get us to sing out in church, but one that will compel us to go out into the highways and hedges of the lost world, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ!

 

We need the kind of zeal of: [Moses: blot me!/Paul: wish myself accursed from Christ!]

George Whitfield – “Lord, give me souls, or take my soul!”

 

General Wm. Booth of Salvation Army – “I am so tired, but I must go on…a fire is in my bones…oh, God, what can I say, souls, souls, souls, my heart hungers for souls!”

 

R.A. Torrey – “I would rather win souls than be the greatest king on earth/greatest general that ever commanded an army/greatest poet that ever walked the earth…my one ambition in life is to win as many souls as possible!”

 

What’s your ambition?  Are you on fire for soulwinning?  When is the last time you won a soul to Christ?  Ever?  Even witnessed to someone?  Entry level of just inviting someone to church so they could hear the gospel?

 

Ask God today to set your heart on fire for souls!

 

 “Set my soul afire Lord…” [sing]

 

For soulwinning…also

  • In the area of service

Acts 2:14 [read] “standing”

2:2   “sitting”

        The Holy Spirit of God will get you up off of your seat and onto your feet! [getting involved, doing something!/volunteering/jr. church]

The Holy Spirit is symbolized by fire because: Fire Purifies/energizes…

 

Fire purifies, energizes…

 

  1. Because fire spreads!

It happens out west especially…if the conditions are right!

        It should all start w/ the Pastor.

John Wesley said, let the preacher get on fire and people will come to watch him burn!

 

And ideally it spreads to every member!

If there’s one thing FBC needs is the fire/make sure the conditions are favorable for a spreading wildfire!/fanned by the wind of the Spirit!…A Roaring Blaze!

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