Tag Archives: Pentecost



William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” Heb 12:22-24.
There is much to glean from these verses of scripture. They center on the contrast between the law, and the church as expressed by “church of the firstborn.” Here, the Old Testament world of shadows and symbols, and the New Testament world of realities come together in a most thrilling way.
It begins in the Hebrews’ exodus from Egypt. God purchased to Himself the firstborn by the blood of the Passover Lamb. He emphatically proclaimed to the Hebrews that the firstfruits of man, beast, the field, etc. belonged to Him, and such must be yielded to Him or redeemed with fair price. Soon a census was taken and the tribe of Levi almost matched in number the total of firstborn saved from death by the blood. Whereupon, God traded the firstborn back to the Hebrews for the entire tribe of Levi who would produce the priests and minister about holy things. It is important to connect the dots here. The Old Testament priests then became representative of the firstborn ones from Egypt.
The Levitical priesthood was destined to cease, giving way to another priesthood, and another high priest after the order of Melchizedec Who would serve the covenant people of God without end. He, of course, is Jesus. Who is THE FIRST BORN from the dead among many brethren.
When the New High Priest fulfilled every jot and title of the Mosaic Law, He redeemed His people of covenant out from under the Old and into the New. The expression of the New Covenant among men is the New Testament Church (purchased with holy blood) and the pillar and ground of the truth. Soon after the empowerment of the church by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, gentiles were added as it grew by leaps and bounds under the missionary efforts of the Apostle Paul and others. The people of this New Covenant are called the “Israel of God,” Gal. 6:16. Moreover, Peter calls them “a royal priesthood.” I Peter 2:9. Consequently, the writer of Hebrews emphasizes that we are no longer under the law. We have not come to Mt. Sinai, but to Mt. Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem . . . To the church of the firstborn…. But while we have this blessed status and enjoy the understanding and spiritual maturity it affords us, there is much greater personal responsibility regarding personal submission to the instructions of Christ Jesus, our eternal high priest. We must not turn away from Him Who has spoken to us. We must learn to worship and serve God acceptably. While it is sweet to enjoy our relationship with Him as our Loving Heavenly Father, we must hear the following verses as well, and know that our God is indeed a consuming fire.
The church of the firstborn! What a lofty position to which we have been elevated in Christ Jesus!

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William Andrew Dillard

Hyper-evangelism and the great debates of a couple of generations ago have produced in some an all encompassing point of spiritual completion in the experience of the spiritual new birth. For this reason, a host of scriptures that speak to the salvation of the mind-life are simply written off as applicable to the spiritual new birth which is thought to be the sum and substance of New Testament Christianity. Little thought is attributed to spiritual salvation by grace being 4,000 years old when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Such a mindset produces error in rightly dividing and interpreting scriptures. For example, it is assumed that 3000 people were spiritually saved on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2. The Bible says no such thing! What it says is that 3,000 were added to them (the church). Of course some may have been saved on that day, but doubtless most of them were of old, saved Jews, and others under the ministries of John and those in the limited commission. At one time there was some controversy about that. John 4:1 records, When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,). It is evident that a great number of people were saved and baptized who did not have the privilege of accompanying Jesus and the apostles during His earthly ministry. Referencing those, Jesus said, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” John 10:16.
Inasmuch as Jesus’ prayer in John 17 was adamant in several expressions that His church body be one, even as He and the Father were one, it is reasonable to believe His statement in John 10:16 was referencing the many disciples who were to be coalesced into the one fold prior to the great, initial outreach. Pentecost and the days following, as in Acts 4:4, then would be. in a manner of thinking, a roundup of the sheep into one fold under one shepherd.
While this reasoning alone is not proof of the state of those added to the church on Pentecost, when coupled with the fact that the Bible pointedly does not say those 3000 did not all experience spiritual salvation on that day lends heavy credence to that being the case of their being already saved disciples, rejoicing over the New Testament message, and being brought into the one fold.
It is not good to build theology on an “assumed, thus add to the Word” mentality. It is better to coalesce reasonable, bible support, than to change what is said to fit an accepted line of theology. Either way, what difference does it make? Not much except one way is right and another is wrong, just the difference between right and wrong!

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Peter Learned To Stand


Acts 2:22-24


Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know,” Acts 2:22.


Peter Learned To Stand


Have you ever had enough and finally had to stand up for the real truth? Peter found himself in this very situation.


The filling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost came forty days after Christ’s ascension. The ability to speak a language other than one’s own happened as the result of the Holy Spirit blessing. In God’s plan, the gospel could be spread into multiple nations at one time during this gathering of nations. But someone always has to put a damper on the Lord’s work even when it is going great.


Soon the naysayers found fault with the preaching and began to accuse the speakers as being full of new wine or in other words intoxicated. Peter had had enough and he stood up and began to preach. The religious people of Jerusalem thought they had a monopoly on the gospel, but Peter quickly shattered that thought. He reminded them of a prophecy in Joel and preached to them concerning Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.


Peter dared to preach the truth to a group of religiously nice but lost people and the Holy Spirit convicted their hearts. On that day about three thousand people believed the gospel and were baptized.





Our responsibility as believers is to speak the truth and let the Holy Spirit convict.


Beverly Barnett



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The last post make, we looked at the work of John the Baptist and how he prepared the way for Jesus Christ. John had the material ready and waiting for Jesus to call from the shores of Galilee and begin His church. Take note that this is a physical work that can be seen and observed. Just a side note here – if there ever were a universal invisible church, surely it was here because these people were saved and baptized and for religious liberals today, salvation is the only requirement for membership in that mystical body of believers they say is the universal invisible church.

Jesus operates contrary to this popular misconceived heresy. Jesus knew there was not a universal invisible church, therefore He called these men from the seashores of Galilee, from their occupation of fishermen; Jesus then established them in a visible, local church. Here is the beginning of the church. Man has to arbitrarily move the beginning of the church to the day of Pentecost to allow for the heresies of – universal invisible church, close and open communion, believers baptism. Man wants what man wants and God and His Son become irrelevant in the Church that Jesus built. Matt. 16:18 – “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Many people bandy this passage about but do not be mislead. This passage makes the statement that the church was built upon Jesus. Notice the terminology, “I”. The day of Pentecost is too late for Jesus to use the word “I”. Note “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The church Jesus built never went out of existence and never protested and came out of the church of Rome, therefore the church Jesus built is NOT any protestant denomination.

Here is what the bible teaches – The church is a visible church of Christ and is a congregation of baptized believers; associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel of Christ; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only scriptural officers are bishops or pastors and deacons; whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

1. John the Baptist was sent to prepare the material (Isa. 40:3; Matt. 3:1-3; Luke 1:17).
2. Jesus took the material prepared by John and set up His church. Peter and Andrew were called out (Matt. 4:18-22; Acts 1:20-23).
3. The church is the executive in the Kingdom of God (Matt. 16:19).
4. Jesus and John preached that the kingdom was at hand (Matt. 3:1,2; 4:17).
5. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 9:35).
6. The kingdom was suffering violence then (Matt. 11:12).
7. The kingdom was in the midst of men (not hearts) (Luke 17:20,21).
8. Some refused to enter, and hindered others from doing so (Matt. 23:13).
9. Jesus said there was no doubt the kingdom “is come upon you” (Luke 11:20).

1. They had authority to baptize before Pentecost (John 4:1,2; Matt 28:19,20). No authority to do anything was given at Pentecost; there was an exercise of previously given authority.
2. They had a law of discipline before Pentecost (Matt. 18:15-17).
3. They had the Lord’s Supper before Pentecost (Luke 22:19).
4. They had heard Jesus sing in the church (Psalm 22:22; Matt. 26:30; Heb. 2:12).
5. They transacted business (Acts 1:15-26). Elected Matthias to take Judas’ place.
6. They had a church treasurer, Judas.

1. The church in Jerusalem was local (Acts 1:12-26).
2. There was a local church in Antioch (Acts 11:26; 13:1).
3. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth” (I Cor. 1:2).
4. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth” (II Cor. 1:1).
5. “Unto the churches of Galatia” (Gal. 1:2; plural number – local).
6. “Unto the saints which are at Ephesus” (Eph. 1:1; Acts 20:17).
7. “To all the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse” (Col. 1:2).
8. “To the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” (Phil. 1:1).
10. “John to the seven churches whichare in Asia” (Rev. 1:4).
11. “Tell it unto the church” (Matt. 18:17).

All of the above scriptures speak of a local church at a given place. There are some statements of general character in Ephesians which speak of things pertaining to any local church, but there are no scriptures that speak of an invisible or a universal church.

JESUS PROMISED PERPETUITY TO HIS CHURCH (Matthew 16:18; 28:20; Ephesians 3:21).

His churches have continued to this day having been know by different names in history: Christians, Montanists, Novations, Donatists, Paulicians, Albigenses, Petro-Brussians, Waldenses, Ana-Baptists, Baptists.


1. That the message of salvation might be perpetuated (Matt. 16:18-20).
2. That He might have a people contending for the faith system (Jude 3).
3. That He might have a people to call His own name and claim as His bride (Acts 15:14; Eph. 5:22-33).Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,