Today we start the 7th stream: The Church. We read about Pentecost and the Early Church.
Reading from the NIV.
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Holy Spirit, we are overwhelmed with how you showed up on the scene and you show up today in a major way. You definitely are there. We see you in the Old Testament but now we see you fully in the story of Pentecost. And we just ask that you would continue to reveal to us the hidden nuggets that you have in scripture and help us to make these links and connect these threads as we are sailing through the scriptures this year. We thank you for saving us. We thank you for being with us and making it all possible through Jesus. Amen.
In the beginning of this we see that there is the baptism by fire that they were talking about that being baptized by the Holy Spirit. And we talked about this just yesterday because John baptized Him [Jesus] with water. So back in Acts 1:5 – “for John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” So let’s talk about the timing of Pentecost. There’s 40 days between the Resurrection and the Ascension of Jesus and then there is another 50 days after that that is the time of the Pentecost. Now Pentecost took time during the Feast of First Fruits or the Feast of Harvest and it so happened that that would be the time that there will be all these people that would be coming into Jerusalem. And so it was by no accident that Jesus coordinated with the Holy Spirit to have this take place right at this time because they knew there would be all these people that would be in Jerusalem. Pentecost is one of the most amazing aspects of what we experience in the church today because this literally is the baptism of the church. So out of this event is the church age. It’s the time of the Gospel era. And what you see here is the reverse of what happened at Babel. Now we haven’t gotten to the story yet either. But in the story of Babel – that is when the languages were divided from one into many – it was fractured in to many. But in this one moment, you see that everybody who came to Jerusalem heard this message in their own language so it was like reverse of Babel. And that is amazing because that right there signifies that this message that they had wasn’t just for people who spoke their dialect – their Galilean dialect – of Hebrew or Aramaic or whatever they were speaking it was for the whole world. And then second, the Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit does so many things for us first of all and I couldn’t go into all of them today – there’s so many. But the Holy Spirit reveals the message of Salvation to us. The Holy Spirit gives us knowledge just as it gave them the knowledge to speak in languages in tongues and the Holy Spirit gives courage. I mean Peter was a courageous guy but not only did stand up courageously and speak but you can see that in what he was saying he was recalling prophetic messages from the Old Testament. And so he had the courage and then the knowledge of what he was supposed to say just freely flowed from him. I don’t think he had time to grab a papyrus or something and write down a few notes. He just got up and spoke. So I think it’s an amazing thing when a person is surrender to what the Holy Spirit wants them to do that they are able to do exactly what they should do at the exact right time. And then Peter succinctly sums it up in chapter 2 verse 38, “repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the Forgiveness of your sins.” The Gospel message is so simple and so many people were at it. So if you remember earlier in the reading today we saw that Peter stood up among the Believers chapter 1 verse 15 saying that there was a group numbering about 120. So it was a relatively small group. And then when you get done with Peter’s message you see that it grew to 3000. That’s significant growth! And that is by the divine timing of the Holy Spirit. So isn’t it amazing to read the very beginning of it? At Pentecost? I think so. So we’ve completed the first week. We have gone through each stream. We have launched each stream. And for this next week I won’t be describing about each book because I’ve already done that. So I’ll just be launching right into the reading and taking it from there. And we’ll be going into a new translation tomorrow.
Now one thing that I promised to do was to find a Common Thread through all the streams. So the common thing that we see amongst the streams, and I alluded to this yesterday, is that we see something that’s really good and is going along great and then gets derailed.
The creation and then the fall.
The nation goes into Jericho and next week we’re going to see that they disobey and Ai, they fall to Ai. Minor fall but still a fall nonetheless.
And in wisdom, Job has a great wonderful family, home, everything and then he everything is taken away from him.
We see in Isaiah that he has been given a position of being a prophetic authority and and yet he’s bringing out all of this condemnation against the nation of Israel.
And then the Exile – well that’s a whole lot of peril. Everybody is under scrutiny it during that time. And even though God is preserving them it’s a tenuous situation.
And then you have in Matthew the savior is born and immediately his life is in peril.
And then here the church. Pentecost came everything had a great beginning. Peter had a great sermon and not long after this in the most serious in the coming weeks – his life is in danger.
And really this week for me was an issue of obedience versus Disobedience because we see the consequences of disobedience and also the consequences of obedience. And I know that that it’s an important thing to the Lord. To obey is better than sacrifice.
As I have mentioned before there are bookmarks that are available to go along with The Seven Streams and those are available at SevenStreamsMethod.com. And we have them in digital format you can get those by signing up for a newsletter and you can print them out on your own printer and use them however you wish to use them. Or you can order the book marks that we had printed up and we will send them to you in the mail. So that’s all for today that’s all for this week. We’ve completed the initial voyage down each stream. Thank you so much for joining me and being a part of this. Until tomorrow, I’m Serena, sailing with you down The Seven Streams.