Church, Read The Book Of Acts And Get Ready!
As we begin a brand-new year, I have decided to run a reprint of the first chapter of my book, Church, Read the Book of Acts and Get Ready! for two reasons.
1. As I write this article (October 29), I have no idea of the results of the 2020 presidential election. I pray that the outcome is what I hope it will be. But regardless of the outcome, I still believe that the Lord is going to pour out His Spirit like we have never seen before. Though I am a strong believer that bad government hinders the work of God, I still have to put everything in God’s hand and believe that no matter what, God’s work will go forth. So with that said, this article gives us an overview of that which I believe the Word of God tells us to expect in the future.
2. The second reason for this reprint is to make the book available to all who desire it at a very special discount. This book—hardback and more than 250 pages in length—is normally priced at $30. However, this month it is available to you for just $10. For everyone who does not yet have a copy, I encourage you, don’t miss out on this discounted price (offer good through January 31, 2021).
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
The title of this chapter (and this book) did not come from me but from the Lord through a message in tongues and interpretation. It was during the Saturday morning service of our 2006 Thanksgiving Campmeeting. Just prior to Brother Larson’s message, Dad was leading the congregation in worship. The presence of the Lord was so real as He moved in our midst. Then the Holy Spirit spoke through Sharon Cornell, the wife of Bob Cornell. When the interpretation of the message came forth, the Holy Spirit said three times: “Church, read the book of Acts and get ready.”
You could sense the Spirit of the Lord sweep across the congregation. As I was scheduled to minister that night from the book of Acts, I knew that I was to take the words of the Holy Spirit, “Church, read the book of Acts and get ready,” as the title for my message. That night the Lord moved, with many believers baptized with the Holy Spirit.
As well, just a few days prior to campmeeting, I felt the Lord instructing me to go back and read the book of Acts over again. I believe this happened because the Lord is getting ready to do great things. So, church, read the book of Acts and get ready!
The Day Of Pentecost
This day had to do with the Feast of Pentecost, one of the seven great feasts celebrated by Israel. Pentecost means “fiftieth,” as it was celebrated 50 days after Passover. This is very important to note, for this tells us the following: Passover was a type of Calvary and Pentecost a type of the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Salvation comes first for the believing sinners, and then they are to go on into the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
On the first day of Pentecost to be celebrated, God gave Moses the law on Mount Sinai. On this day 3,000 men died, but on the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, 3,000 were saved. The Holy Spirit brings life. Wherever the Holy Spirit is allowed to move, great things happen. The life of the Spirit ushers in new converts, heals the sick, breaks bondages, brings forth revelation, and glorifies Christ.
The Feast of Pentecost was the second greatest event in human history, with Calvary being the greatest. This event would do more to change the world for good than any other happening outside of Calvary. At this moment, the Holy Spirit came, the church was born, and the world has never been the same.
Since that day, nearly 1 billion people all around the world have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Presently, at least a quarter of the world’s 2 billion Christians embrace the Pentecostal message.
Pew Forum On Religion
In a recent study conducted by the Washington, D.C. based Pew Forum on Religion, it was found that among those in the U.S. who called themselves Pentecostal, 49 percent reported that they do not speak in tongues. What an indictment. However, we must not forget the Lord has the final say in all matters. So, my response is, “Church, read the book of Acts and get ready,” for Acts 2:17 says, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh.”
Suddenly There Came A Sound From Heaven
In the Greek suddenly means “unexpectedly.” The idea is that they didn’t know how the Holy Spirit would come or when He would come. This identifies one of the great workings of the Holy Spirit, and that is the sudden, unexpected outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He can move anytime He desires and anywhere He desires. As Spirit-filled believers, we should desire and appreciate these unexpected blessings. As well, this tells us that the Holy Spirit cannot be controlled by man.
Sound in the Greek means “echo,” as in what happened at Pentecost was an echo of what was happening in heaven in regard to worship. As well, this tells us that as ministers, we are to be an echo of the Word of God.
“From heaven” tells us that the Holy Spirit doesn’t originate from man but from the very throne room of God.
As Of A Rushing Mighty Wind
Rushing in the Greek means “to be driven” or “to rush,” as in a powerful force that drives back the forces of darkness and rushes in the spiritual power of God.
Mighty means “violent.” The Holy Spirit is gentle to the believer but violent to the powers of darkness.
Wind means “respiration, breeze, or breath.” This was the breath of God, symbolized by Jesus breathing on the apostles after the resurrection and saying, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22). When the believer is filled with the Spirit, spiritually, it’s as if the Lord Himself breathes into us.
Tongues Of Fire
Fire speaks of purity and refers to the help and work of the Holy Spirit in the sanctification process. This is what was spoken of in Matthew 3:11-12. Though saved, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in our lives.
They Were All Filled
Notice that all were filled; none were left out. It is the Lord’s will that believers be filled with the Spirit.
Filled means “to influence,” “to supply,” “to accomplish,” “to furnish.” All of these meanings speak of all the help the Holy Spirit can and does give to the body of Christ.
Began To Speak In Other Tongues
Tongues are a divine means of communications as prophesied by Isaiah in chapter 28, verses 9 through 12. It is to be a part of our worship unto the Lord. Paul would state, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all” (I Cor. 14:18). While one certainly can pray and worship in one’s own native tongue, praying and worshipping in the tongue supplied by the Spirit presents a depth of praying, worship, and petition unknown in any other manner.
There Is A River
I believe the best is yet to come, and I believe that which the Lord is going to do in these last days will be ushered in by the Holy Spirit. As a believer, you must desire to be filled with the Spirit by the Spirit. Consider the words of David Sapp’s great song, “There is a River”:
There came a sound from heaven, As a rushing mighty wind,
It filled their hearts with singing, And gave them peace within;
The prophet gave this promise, The Spirit will descend,
And from your inner being, a river with no end.
There is a river that flows from deep within,
There is a fountain that frees the soul from sin.
Come to this water, there is a vast supply,
There is a river that never shall run dry!
What The Church Must Be
“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:16-17).
The book of Acts is meant to portray what the church must be. In other words, the church must be a book of Acts church. In fact, the Holy Spirit is what legitimizes the church. Without Him, there is no reason to gather, but with Him, there is every reason to expect His power and anointing to change hearts and lives.
The book of Acts is a book of doctrine carried out in the actions, ways, and means in the church and, also, through its principal players—the apostles and the rest.
Over fifty times, the title or name Holy Spirit, Spirit, or Spirit of God is used. So, the Holy Spirit is the principal player in this story. It is the Holy Spirit at work carrying out the designs of Christ, the head of the church.
Two Emphatic Statements
In verse 17, the Lord Himself gives two emphatic commands—“It shall come to pass” and “I will.” We are not to read over these statements lightly. They tell us that the Lord has great things in store for His church and His people. What He started is not over; there is yet more to come. Isaiah prophesied 750 years prior to Pentecost that He would pour out His Spirit no matter what Satan tried to do. As well, He is saying, “The best is yet to come.” No matter what Satan does and no matter what the apostate church does, the Lord says, “It shall come to pass” and “I will.” What the Lord says is going to happen will happen because God does not lie.
To you, the reader, perhaps your faith has wearied. I say to you, “Hold on, it shall come to pass.” The Lord says to you, “Don’t despair, I will do mighty works and I will perform miracles for you.” The Lord is not through with the church. The church was born in Pentecostal fire, and it’s going out in Pentecostal fire.
In The Last Days
The last days began on the day of Pentecost and will continue through to the end of the great tribulation. That which happened on the day of Pentecost is called the former rain, and that which began in 1901 and continues on today is called the latter rain. The latter rain will be greater than the former, for the Lord always saves the best for last. I believe the best days are yet to come. I believe the book of Acts is just part of all the great things that are in store for us.
To pour out literally means to “gush out.” It’s like standing in front of a dam when it breaks open. It doesn’t trickle out, but it gushes out. Mark my words, the dam is about ready to break, and nothing can stop it.
The Holy Spirit comes from Christ and only Christ. Man cannot impart or anoint men. That is the providence of the Lord alone. We see preachers today over TV telling people they can impart their anointing upon others. This is false! First of all, they have no anointing, and secondly, you can’t give away what doesn’t belong to you.
Upon All Flesh
What the Lord has and what the Lord is going to do is for all people. It’s not just for a select few, but it is for every nationality on earth.
I don’t know about you, but I want more of the Holy Spirit, and it’s going to happen. So, church, read the book of Acts and get ready!
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