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Acts…Lesson 2: The Day of Pentecost

Memory Verse:I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” Matthew 3:11.

Daily Bible Readings: Numbers 11:16-30; Joel 2:1-32; Acts 2:1–47; Acts 4:23-31; Acts 10:23-48; Acts 19:1-20

Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-13

Introduction:

The lesson today will examine the events that took place on the Day of Pentecost. We will look at whether this fulfilled the “promise of the father” discussed in lesson one. We will look at some of the background stories and teachings from the Old Testament that Jews may have been thinking about as they saw the evidence of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

Finally, we will examine the outpouring of the Holy Spirit fulfilling the prophecy of John the Baptist. In Acts, we see four Pentecost-type events where the outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred: in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2), to the Samaritans (Acts 8:14-17), to Cornelius’ household (Acts 10:44-46), and to the Ephesian believers (Acts 19:1-6). Notice that in each event the baptism of the Holy Spirit falls on all the believers who were present. Also, notice that the outpourings of the Holy Spirit parallel the prediction of the outward movement of the Gospel in Acts 1:8. We see Jerusalem Jews, Judeans, Samaritans, and then Gentile believers, receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. How are we to understand these events? Why did Luke highlight these events?

With this we open what is a controversial subject for some. One of the strengths of the Church of God Seventh Day is the focus on Bible study and a reliance on the word of God for our answers. We strongly believe the Bible and not traditions of men or the teachings of men, to be our authority for our faith and practice. With this focus, the challenge is to remember, in humility, to speak when the Bible speaks and to be silent when it is silent. We cannot have the attitude that we are better than other Christians because of our doctrine. Humbly search the scriptures as you study this lesson.

Lesson Questions:

Acts 2:1-13. The Coming of the Holy Spirit

  1. Was Jesus guided by the Holy Spirit during His ministry? Acts 1:2; 10:38; Luke 4:1, 18. What about before His baptism? Luke 2:39-40, 46-49; 3:22-23.
  2. What prophecy did John the Baptist make about Jesus that was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost? Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 2:4, 33.
  3. Does the reference to baptism with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” in John the Baptist’s prophecy in Matthew 3:11 refer to the tongues of fire on the disciples’ heads in Acts 2:3?
  4. The apostles were commanded to wait for the “promise of the Father. When did the apostles receive this promise? Acts 1:4-5; Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; John 20:22.
  5. What has fire symbolized in the Old Testament? Exodus 3:2-5; 19:18; 24:17; Deuteronomy 4:36; Hebrews 12:18, 29.
  6. What might the sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind” described in Acts 2:2 mean to the Jews? 1 Kings 19:11; Job 38:1; Ezekiel 1:4.
  7. What is the symbolism of the Holy Spirit coming at the time of the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost? Leviticus 23:15-21; Deuteronomy 16:16; Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:13-14.
  8. What could the symbolism of speaking in tongues represent to the Jews? Acts 2:4, 7-11; Genesis 11:6-7; Isaiah 28:11-12; 1 Corinthians 14:21-22.
  9. How was this coming of the Spirit at Pentecost different from the Holy Spirit’s working in the Old Testament? Exodus 4:14-16; 18:18; 1 Samuel 16:13-14; 2 Kings 2:9-10, 15; Joel 2:28.
  10. What does the phrase, filled with the Holy Ghost” mean in Acts 2:4? What were the evidences of this filling?

Question for thought:

Is there a difference between the speaking in other languages as described in Acts 2 and the discussion of speaking in tongues described in other scripture references? Acts 2:4-11; 10:46; 19:6; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 30.