Monday, August 14, 2006

TONGUES Thesis: Part 9

THE FIRST GENTILE PENTECOST

In Acts 10:3-6, and Acts 10:10-16 records the preparation by God, of Peter to go to the gentile house of Cornelius and break bread with him. Peter normally would not eat "unkosher" food, but God told him to eat it anyway, as He had cleansed it. By this lesson, Peter had learned "of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons. But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him." (Acts 10:34-35) Thus, he was able to visit Cornelius' home, and preach to him and his family the Gospel! In the middle of his sermon, "while he yet spoke, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word (Acts 10:44). Word in this passage is from the Greek word "Rhema" which means the actual call from Christ! This was the "inner" call whereby every person who receives salvation faith to believe, gets it, by the word of Christ! The same Greek word is used (Rhema for word) in Romans 10:17 describing how to get faith. "For faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". This, therefore, confirms that Cornelius and his household, were not saved before that moment, even though it had previously stated Cornelius had been a devout man who prayed to God and feared him, and even gave alms to the poor! (Acts 10:2). The fact was, he was not born again until Peter visited his house and preached the Gospel to him! Then, the same thing happened to him and his household that happens always when any member of the elect is converted; they are baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit.

In this case, the gift of tongues had not ceased yet, and Peter, who was a Jew, as well as some Jews with him (it does not state who) needed to witness the sign gift of tongues in order to really be convinced that Gentiles had, and could receive the same Holy Spirit they had received! "And they (Peter and the other Jews with him) of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they (Peter and the Jews with him) heard them speak with tongues (languages), and magnify God." Now, if Peter and the Jews with them understood their tongues because they magnify God, this was still the genuine gift of tongues, the same as the apostles had received at Pentecost! This was the sign used to authenticate, that Gentiles could be received into the new dispensational church, and what better a sign could convince Peter, that Cornelius and his Gentile household had received the same Holy Spirit that he had at Pentecost! He was convinced that God had cleaned them up and made them Kosher! He says "can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." (Acts 10:47,48).This clearly refutes the "second blessing" doctrine in the case of the first Gentile household to be brought into the church, because they were converted, baptized by the Holy Spirit into Christ (1 Cor. 12:13) and as a sign to the Jews present that it was real, God allowed tongues to be manifested, which in this case also, the same as Pentecost, it was real understood miraculous languages being uttered, because they understood them as "magnifying God", vs. 46. This event can be referred to as the "Gentile Pentecost".

Notice, there were no "interpreters" present in this event also. This event took place eight years after Pentecost, and Peter was surprised and said the same thing happened to the Gentiles as on him and the apostles at Pentecost. Notice, he did not say the phenomenon had happened at any other Gentile churches since Pentecost! Therefore, tongues was not a normal evidence of being baptized by the Spirit into Christ, because, obviously, God had added others to the church during that eight years. Pentecost, being a historical event and not a continuing event, became the standard against which every other happening was judged.

THE SAMARIAN PENTECOST

In Acts 8:1, 3-25, is recorded the event of Simon hearing the Gospel preached by Philip, and he believed and was saved. (vs.13). He then joins Philip and goes with him witnessing the signs and miracles from the ministry of Philip. Peter and John joins them on the way to Samaria to" verify whether any Samaritans had been saved yet; from reports they had heard. Let us closely look at the Bible report of this incident. ":Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent into them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. (For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, give me also this power, that whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost." (Acts 8:15-19) Peter then rebuked Simon for trying to buy the power of the Spirit and Simon repented of his sin. Now what actually happened here? What did Simon witness? Whatever the phenomenon was, we have to bring our imagination into it, because it does not say what it was. Pentecostals say it was tongues, but that cannot be proven, and must only be assumed from thee context. Other phenomenon could have been witnessed. They may have fell prostrate when prayed for, or there may have been healings! Whatever it was Simon saw; he recognized it in association with the power of the Holy Spirit. In order to understand why it was necessary for God to send Peter and John to pray for the Samaritans, one has to be familiar with the historical events of the period, realizing the fact of the hate the Jews had for the Samaritans.

The Samaritans were a half breed Jewish race who had intermarried with the heathen, creating a half breed Jewish offspring which were called Samaritans. Naturally, true Hebrew worship had long been infiltrated by all of the pagan worship, due to the heritage of the heathen who had married the Jews who had moved to that part of the country. Therefore, some Samaritans had heard the Gospel from those witnesses who had returned from Pentecost, and in order to convince the Jews that God had also saved the half breed Samaritans, He did not give them the gift of tongues (if that was the phenomenon witnessed) revealing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit authenticating the validity of salvation until Jews were present; in this case, Peter and John! Therefore, the reason there was a delay of the Samaritans receiving the Holy Spirit, in this case only, was due to the crucial transition that was going on in the early church. The gap was there to allow the Samaritans to see that they were under apostolic authority. The gap also helped Jewish believers see that the Samaritans, whom they hated, were in the same church, that they had the same spirit of Christ, the same salvation and acceptance of God they did! So, it is plain to see that in the Samarian episode, God withheld His gift (whatever it may have been) until the apostles should see with their own eyes, and even witness the fact that it was they who were instrumental with their own hands in the importation of the gift of God (vs.20). Notice again, there was no mention of tongues, fire, or wind such as at Pentecost, so this was only the extension of the Pentecostal event to another people, which represented growth, and not the birth of Pentecost!

Pentecost was a one time event, never to be duplicated the same again, because it was the authenticating of the Holy Spirit's ministry in the new era of the church age. Therefore, it can be assumed that there were many Old Testament saints who believed in God, and even had been baptized by John the Baptist, but who had not yet heard that the expected Messiah whom they were waiting for had already actually come! In other words, they were caught in the transition of the introduction and authentication of the new church age. They had to come to the full knowledge of salvation by faith in Christ, before they could actually be baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit! church. The gap was there to allow the Samaritans to see that they were under apostolic authority. The gap also helped Jewish believers see that the Samaritans, whom they hated, were in the same church, that they had the same spirit of Christ, the same salvation and acceptance of God they did! So, it is plain to see that in the Samarian episode, God withheld His gift (whatever it may have been) until the apostles should see with their own eyes, and even witness the fact that it was they who were instrumental with their own hands in the importation of the gift of God (vs.20).Notice again, there was no mention of tongues, fire, or wind such as at Pentecost, so this was only the extension of the Pentecostal event to another people, which represented growth, and not the birth of Pentecost!

CONT.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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