When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” 12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day [9 A.M.] 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants [bondservants] and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
The gift of these tongues is called Xenoglossia, the Church records Xenoglossia helping convert people through all the centuries. Hearing God's mighty works in one's own language, when the person speaking has never been instructed in the language, is a work of the Spirit. It is a sign and a work of God. It is one of many.
We can picture the French hear French when Lazarus, Mary and Martha arrived to live on the French coast. Lazarus became the first bishop and had three tombs. One left empty in Israel upon a visit from Jesus; and one in a Church near Mary and Martha until Lazarus was moved to an altar in Spain. His dust was found in the last sixty years with an ancient sign reading "Lazarus, Friend to Jesus."
An entire Church in Scotland suddenly could speak in different languages in the late 1800s.
We see language seen as a gift of God's to communicate and wonder why God said this:
1 Corinthians 13:8
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
We see John gives us prophecy the burdens of the Church rise and fall. Exactly parallel to Scripture repeats and shows human error again and again. The Kings of Israel were told not to run after foreign gods. God said there are gods in Psalms and we are told there are such powers. The Kings, including Solomon, quickly fell into error seeking other gods to answer prayer.
Why did Tongues largely cease? Let's look at one example of many we could give.
Germanic tribes received fleeing missionaries during Roman persecutions. As in old Scripture, people fled back to old practices seeking answers immediately... Failure to Love and trust.
4th Century and 6th Century Arianism cried Jesus is not the Son of God, God of God, rather that he was a god of His. In the polytheistic Germanic tradition, "If Odin failed, one absolutely could try it with Christ for once." The original Good News had weakened, requiring a new relationship with Jesus to be understood again. Crosses had Thor's hammer etched on them until Jesus was understood to be The Son of God and Savior to the World.
Just like the gods of Scripture God told us not to follow, every ninth year, Oden followrs had people assembled from all over to sacrifice male slaves and males of each species. Men were sacrificed and hung from branches. A ghastly parallel to druid sacrifice.
Arianism can also be extrapolated to worship not exactly the priorities of Jesus. Calling a detour path the holy path of God. Rather a repeat. God never called for mankind and babies to be killed as a spectacular worship drama.
John was telling us why tongues would cease. It's the Trust of Faith, Hope and Love creating relationship. Wonder is for believers. Jesus feeds us, He is the Bread of Life. Jesus is Living Water. Wonders do not cease for believers, yet this is the detail, the relationship is the key.
I can tell modern day stories of people being told in Arabic, not knowing Arabic, proclaiming Jesus is the Son of God. And belief happens. Just as Jesus explained brain healing to a blind man - personal relationship. Wonders are created to begin relationships. Relationship with Jesus sustain and deepen us in Jesus.
Love never ends. Let us Love on another, Love is of God. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Other Scripture for Today Blogspot Posts on Acts 2
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