6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Dealing with a number of issues at EBC led me to a series by Pastor Jerry Shirley which God has graciously allowed me to revise and use to speak to our congregation.

The Day of The Fire Fell Acts 2:1-2:4

You may be wondering why we are going so slowly through the book of Acts but I promise you that I have a good reason.

You see, what is written in the book of Acts, as in the rest of the Bible, is extremely important to us, here at Elim Bible church and I don’t want to miss one single thing. So let’s see what the Word has in store for us today.

On this day the coming of Holy Spirit would be different from anything the Jews or anyone else for that matter had ever seen or experienced.

On this day, the Holy Spirit would indwell believers (move in), rather than simply “coming upon them,” like He did in the OT.

This would be a permanent filling!

This was the fulfillment of Jesus’ words in [John 14:16-17 NKJV] where He said “16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

You might even say it this way; before Pentecost the Holy Spirit was WITH God’s people, after Pentecost the Holy Spirit is IN God’s people!

In the last message we discovered 3 reasons the Holy Spirit is symbolized by wind…1.Wind is invisible 2.Wind is unstoppable and 3. Wind is essential and that was the miracle of sound!

Today, as we examine the fire of Pentecost, we will see the miracle of sight…

Look at verse 3. READ

This flame settled above the heads of all 120 disciples.

Why is the Holy Spirit symbolized by fire? Let me give you three reasons.

1. Because fire purifies

[Malachi 3:2-3 NIV] 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver;...”

[Numbers 31:23a NKJV] “everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean;…”

There was a group of women who met for Bible study. They were studying in the book of Malachi, chapter three when they came across verse three which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled the women and they wondered how this statement applied to the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out more about the process of refining silver, and to get back to the group at their next Bible study.

The following week, the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest, beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith work, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire, where the flames were the hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot, then she thought again about the verse, that "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the entire time the silver was being refined. The man answered yes, that not only did he have to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on it the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "But how do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that’s easy--when I see my image in it."

God wants to see HIS image in you/me so each of us must stay in the fire long enough for Him to see His image…

Here’s one of those rhetorical questions for you.

What is God’s #1 goal for our lives?

You might say…“I think God really wants me to be happy!” After all is that not what we desire for OUR children?

God does want you to be happy, fulfilled, abundant…but that’s not His #1 goal for your life!

Maybe your answer would be “God wants me to be healthy.” When you ask an expecting mother if she wants a boy or a girl? Most will say they don’t care, as long as it’s healthy!

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