EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 14)

While the unprecedented and astonishing miracle was taking place in the Upper Room with those inside oblivious to the outside world, a great stirring was occurring in the streets below: They had an audience.

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INTRODUCTION   

Ch 1: LESSON 1   LESSON 2   LESSON 3   LESSON 4   LESSON 5   LESSON 6   LESSON 7

Ch 2: LESSON 8  LESSON 9  LESSON 10  LESSON 11  LESSON 12  LESSON 13

LESSON 14

Acts 2:5-11

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”

The Lord said they would be witnesses. I remember many years ago I heard a New Testament studies teacher expounding on the subject. He was a brilliant man and a friend, who has since made the big trip. By this time in my walk I had witnessed to countless people but I had never before heard one particular thing that man spoke forth. It stood out within his teaching and has remained strong in my memory ever since. He said, “Witnessing is a forced option.” What he meant was that Christians are witnesses twenty-four hours a day whether they want to be or not, or whether they think they are or not. We are not witnesses only when we are witnessing.

While that particular thought settles in, let’s think about the mindset of the believers in the midst of the greatest event of their lives. Many had their eyes closed, lost in the Spirit, emotions spilling forth. There were loud voices of praise at various levels, male and female, bass, alto, soprano, all speaking forth in languages they had never spoken before. Most were unaware of their surroundings, being completely focused on the Lord. Tears were streaming. Smiles were beaming. Pure joy was breaking out all over. They had been clothed with power from on high.

And in the midst of it all, those on the streets below, Jews from all over the empire in town for the great Feast of Weeks, were beyond perplexed. It was unprecedented for them as well.

The Upper-Roomers were already fulfilling their call to be witnesses and did not even know it.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] [1]

Every one of those temporary residents of Jerusalem and the city dwellers themselves were receiving a forced witness. They had no choice in the matter. They heard unlearned and ignorant Galileans, given away by their accents, “speaking of the mighty deeds of God,” in their own respective languages. It was the first instance of this “sign for unbelievers,” as Paul mentioned, which would be given again and again—the evidence of a surrendered heart and the fruit of holy speech. It was also an awakening moment for those on the outside looking in.

Pentecost was a reversal of Babel.

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on April 27, 2020, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. There’s never been anything like those first weeks after Pentecost.
    what an exciting time! Peter’s sermon—just that in itself, coming from this rough-and-tumble fisherman, was a miracle! Wouldn’t you love to have been there!

    Like

    • Oh Yeah. Again, I’m so glad the Lord saw fit to tap Luke for the job of writing it all down. Where would we be without the written Word? There is so much that happened that day which laid a foundation for the future. The Lord had it all planned. The people He chose, the words they spoke, the great Upper Room experience… And it continued. It never stopped. We see this all through the Book of Acts. The same experience. The same sign.

      Next to being there we can imagine the scene. We can search for all the written clues. And we can reconstruct what happened that morning. I love the fact that God chose an everyman, a fisherman, a blue collar worker, a tough hombre that no one messed with. What we often don’t realize was that the Lord was the same way, but of course better in every way. Tough as nails with a tender heart. He knew what these men would face and needed a real man to kick it off. He chose well.

      Blessings to you, Linda, and thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your friend and you said it well.

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  3. I’ve never heard or read the point that Pentecost was a reversal of what happened at the Tower of Babel, but it struck and sunk in. How great is our God that He can use a group of people to change history all because they chose to follow Jesus and obey His word! Thank you for sharing. Definitely blessed my day and I’ll be passing it on.

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    • Thank you, Hope. I appreciate the comment and for joining the series. I hope this work will add to your walk. I don’t know if you have time but the previous Lessons contain good information. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you! I appreciate you having the other lessons easily available. As time allows I hope to read more. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

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