Acts 2:7-8 says, “Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?” It is important to realize: a.) The pilgrim Jews in Jerusalem for Shavuot were not “amazed and astonished” that Galilean men were speaking foreign languages fluently. Instead, realize b.) Their amazement was in what was said to them, in their native tongues. The amazement and astonishment was from country bumpkins from Galilee telling them the deep meaning of the Torah. The fact it was clearly understood without anything being lost in translation is secondary in the list of amazing and astonishing things that were said.
The problem that Christian churches face today comes from acting like the congregations understand what is written in the Torah, as well as every other part of the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. There is little that so-called Christians have not heard. Therefore, there is no longer anything that is amazing and astonishing.
“Ho hum.” “Same ole same ole.” “Heard that sermon before.” Yawn.
How about this for your reading amazement: People who say they are Christians are not. How many languages should that be translated into, so everyone can grasp the meaning of that statement?
Paul wrote quite clearly (as heard in the reciting of 1 Corinthians 12:3b), when he wrote, “No one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.” That means, “You cannot claim to be Jesus Christ (a true Christian), unless you have received the Holy Spirit, which brings within one’s being the Christ Mind … the same one Jesus had in him. Therefore, all who proclaim to be Christians are liars, unless they are speaking with the tongue of Christ.
This means anyone who wastes breath telling others that he or she is Christian is lying to cover up the truth. You don’t speak in the tongues of the LORD by self-promotion. You ACT as Jesus did. You ACT as Peter and the other ten Apostles did.
Peter was not yelling at strangers passing by, as if he were telling them, “I am special!” (In some foreign language) Peter and the other Apostles were explaining the prophecies that the Torah held, which foretold of the coming of Jesus as the Messiah, in ways that struck deeply into the hearts of those Jews who heard those explanations. Those pilgrims were touched by those words spoken by the Galileans.
We are told (later) how three thousand listening Jews would also be filled with the Holy Spirit that morning of Pentecost. Now those were real Christians.
When Peter quoted the prophet Joel, he was telling the crowd that God would pour out His Holy Spirit upon all whose heart was opened to belief. There was no real belief then, as John told us in his Gospel, when he wrote, “Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” No one really believed before Jesus came, although many proclaimed their religion to be Judaism. Still, Joel foresaw (through the Holy Spirit) that old men, young men, sons and daughters of Jews, plus slaves of both sexes (Gentiles) would all be capable of receiving that rush of “living waters,” which comes from Jesus the believer.
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Jesus was the believer (said John), because he offered that living water that is the Holy Spirit, which can be poured out to all who welcome God in their hearts … deeply. Modern pew-sitters are like ancient pilgrims, in so far as neither have or had received any of that living water Jesus offered as the Christ.
That is where the ACTING speaks for the individual, rather than the lips proclaiming lies and wished not yet come true. A true Christian has become Jesus Christ, by opening his or her heart with boundless love of God, so God’s right-hand Man can be reborn in an Apostle’s head – the Christ Mind. Once one has become a reborn Jesus, one does not go around boasting about being special. No. One goes about explaining the words of the Holy Bible, so that others will be amazed and astonished … so much so that they listen, learn, and live those words, nourished by the living waters of the Holy Spirit.
David knew the Holy Spirit, such that he ACTED to share his experiences through his songs. In Psalm 104:31 we hear him sing out, “You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth.”
Christians are the creations of God and the Christ Spirit. Those created via the mother’s womb have the breath of mortal life; but those recreated by the Spirit have the living waters of eternal life. We are given a “renewed face” through our rebirth as Christ. The face of the earth has Christians, because of that endless flow of living waters for mankind to drink, poured out freely into welcoming hearts and minds.
Still, you know the saying. “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.” Not everyone is willing to be reborn. Therefore, to have three thousand Jews become true Christians on the Day of Pentecost two millennia ago certainly represented a gush of living waters upon the earth. That rapid flow spread greatly over a thousand years; but then dikes were built and there was more acting (perhaps pretending?) to keep the flood under control. Little today reflects how there is ACTING to fill the world with new Jesus reproductions.
For as little ACTING today, where few realize what it really means to be “in the name of Jesus Christ,” I wonder if there are a total of three thousand Apostles in the whole world today.
If Peter and the other ten Apostles were to stand up in a Christian church today, explaining the true meaning of the words read in the services, there would be more “Christians” embarrassed for them than those amazed and astonished at what they would say; and, undoubtedly, someone would use his or her cell phone to call the police.
But, I can be proved wrong. Let that be a call for all true Christians to ACT Christian. Show your Christianity by sharing those gifts of the Holy Spirit with others. Go to a Bible Study class and speak in the tongues of the LORD, so others can be amazed and astonished at the meaning they had completely missed before. Spend time in fellowship with those who seek to learn more about their religion and need guidance. Share some of those living waters that Christ freely gives through you, intended to quench the thirsts of non-Christians.
Be in the name of Jesus Christ and not simply speaking the name of someone you do not know personally.