Lesson 73

Pentecostal Preaching

"And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids
in those days will I pour out my spirit."
Joel 2:29

The unfaithful apostle, Judas, had killed himself in shame for having betrayed Jesus to his enemies. There were only eleven apostles until Paul was chosen to take Judas’ place.

In Jerusalem, the eleven and many other disciples were given the Holy Spirit. They also received many miraculous gifts for the purpose of starting the Christian church. God gave to these humble Christians the talent of speaking in foreign languages so they could preach in various places and the people could understand them.

The crowds were amazed that they could understand the Galileans who were speaking to them in their own tongues (languages). Jesus’ followers could also prophesy the future, heal the sick and the lame, and even raise some of the dead!

They taught the people about Jesus, the Savior, who had died and was resurrected so that all the world might have an opportunity for life in the kingdom.

There were many followers of the Lord at that time, both men and women; however, only the apostles were specially used of God. To them only Jesus said, " . . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:19 Lamsa Translation). The words bind and loose were expressions used in those days which meant forbid and permit.

It was the apostles who were given this instruction and were enabled to understand which things of the Jewish Law were binding upon the church and which things were not. The apostles were God’s mouthpieces, which meant that the things they spoke and wrote were authoritative. The Lord’s overruling would make the apostles safe guides for his church. The instruction was given only to the twelve and does not apply to any other person at any time.

Peter was told in Matthew 16:19 he would receive the keys of the kingdom. These were symbolic keys which Peter could use to open the door of the kingdom message, to the Jewish nation first. Three and a half years after Jesus’ death he would use the second key to open the door to the Gentiles. The first Gentile convert to membership in the body of Christ, the church, was Cornelius.

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