The Great ExchangeIn 1988, the Spirit of the Lord came to me saying, "I have called you to minister to My ministers. You will write by the unction of My Spirit and say only those things, which I give you to say; you will write without revision for the Words I give to you are perfect. They will be water to quench the thirsty; they will be strength to those grown weary. They will cause the parched land to spring forth with produce bringing forth My great harvest."
Acts chapter two is a favorite passage among believers today, generally with the focus on speaking in other tongues as the disciples of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit of God Himself. But the work of the Holy Spirit, begun at Pentecost and growing in the hearts of men and women since that time is so much more than speaking in other tongues. Let's look at this chapter in seeking fullness of the truths there.
In reference to these Christians speaking in the foreign languages of all nations of the world, telling of the mighty deeds of God, Peter explains to the huge crowd that has gathered. He says, "this is 'that' as prophesied by the prophet Joel" as a demonstration of the Spirit of God resting on men through the completed work of Jesus Christ (when He died on the cross and rose again). Peter went on to teach that Jesus was alive and seated in heaven with God Almighty. Jesus, Who not only took our place but also took us to the cross and then seated us in heavenly places with Him, speaks through the prophecy of King David when He says in verse 25 "I was always beholding the Lord in my presence. For He is at my right hand and I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices! More so, even my flesh rests in hope (of receiving the abundant life that springs forth from His resurrection) because God will not abandon my soul to hell nor allow His Holy One to decay. God has made known to me the paths of life and God will fill me with joy in His presence!"
We understand and know that everything Jesus accomplished through His obedience to God in suffering, dying and then being raised from the dead and seated in heaven with God, was for us. We also have come to know that when we accept His work we are redeemed with Him. Everything that Jesus was and is has been given to us in full rights and authority, by God. We are "in Him". We were "crucified together with Him". We are now "seated in heavenly places with Him".
Therefore, the words that Peter speaks stirs the hearts of all who listened, in the reminder of the cross and the resulting benefits accomplished for our sakes. His Spirit poured out on us! So that we would have the mind of Christ (anointed thoughts), that we would know things to come and not be caught off guard, that we would have dreams and visions to keep our steps on His path, that through His Spirit in us signs, wonders and miracles would bring salvation to the people of God, Judgement against evil, authority over demons and the very presence of God's Kingdom ruling and reigning on the earth today.
It is as Peter unfolds the mystery of what has and is taking place on that spectacular day of Pentecost, that all who heard his words were 'cut to the heart' (their human minds understood the spiritual) and they cried out for forgiveness of their sins and to receive salvation. Such great numbers that about three thousand people were baptized and added to the church that day. These new converts devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to eating together and to prayer. And everyone was filled with awe and amazement as wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were as one. One with each other and one with God. (The prayer Jesus prayed in John 17 was answered on this day!) They had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to each other so that everyone had all their needs met. Everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts and in homes. They enjoyed each others company ~ the very Spirit of God dwelling in each one so much that they even ate together everyday with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all people. "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved". Is this what our hearts are crying out for? Is this not why we are in ministry today, with this goal of God in our hearts?
In breaking this passage down and applying it to our lives and our church body today, we must remember these basic truths. That through the cross Jesus bore our pain, our suffering, our insufficiency, our inability, our sins, our sorrows, our anguish of mind (broken heart and crooked ways of thinking), our poverty, our sickness and our weakness. By His stripes we have been healed and made whole. (Isaiah 53 is worth reading again along with this teaching!)
Because Jesus took us and spiritually seated us with Him, we too partake of the awesome truth of Acts 2:25 and say 'I see the Lord always before me! Because He IS at my right hand, I shall not be shaken! Therefore my heart (thoughts, feelings and emotions) is glad and my tongue rejoices in exuberant praise to my God! My body also will live each day in this truth of God's promises being fulfilled in my life! God will never abandon me to failure, discouragement, loss or shame. God will not let me, His Holy One, see decay! God has already made known to me the paths of life ~ abundant life, free and full life! And God Himself fills me with joy in His presence!"
Dear friend, the pouring out of God's Spirit on the day of Pentecost is the precious gift of His Spirit dwelling in us and making us one with Him. That we no longer belong to ourselves but through the redemption of the cross, we belong to Him and He truly does perfect ALL things that concern our lives. When we believe this then we expect it to happen. And when we expect to live our lives in freedom, joy, health and financial independence, our faith brings His plan to pass! It is the desire, the joy and the delight of God to see every one of His children partaking in the reason for Jesus' suffering and death. Jesus came with a purpose and that purpose is far above saving us from the penalty of sin. God has provided for us the great exchange! In place of our sorrows, He gives us joy! In place of our rags, He gives us royal robes of His righteousness! In place of our lost dreams and aborted plans, He gives us hope and direction and success! In place of unfulfilled desires He becomes everything we need! He heals restores, revives and reconciles everything in our lives to the degree that believe the Holy Scriptures!
We give God access into our souls through hope in His Word. "Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body too will live in this hope." Through expectancy (hope and faith) our tongues will praise and worship Him and He will revive what He planted in us. He will revive the plans He has for our lives. He will revive what He ordained and we will not fall short of His glory! We don't live broken lives. We have nothing missing that is needful for us to complete the call on our lives. We don't lack in any area of life.
Does the past have you bound? Are you tied to mistakes? Do you have insecurities, fears, anger and rejection? Then you must be willing to partake in all the benefits of the cross and you will be completely delivered and totally set free! How? God HAS poured out His Spirit on all flesh. Believe that you are a part of 'all flesh'! Believe that God HAS done this. Believe His Word that His Spirit has destroyed every yoke of bondage. Don't be afraid of living this new and abundant life! Only believe!
The benefits have nothing to do with your past, your social status, your financial situation, your education or the country where you live. Your daily mercies from God have nothing to do with your government or your occupation. Believe that God is God and that you are His. That settles everything! Believe that when you come to Him in expectancy for Him to fulfill His Word in your life, you will be changed! He will reward you for your childlike faith. He desires above all things that you prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.
As you meditate upon these scriptures today and allow His Spirit to lead and guide you into all truth, your soul will prosper! And to the degree that your soul prospers, your health, your family, your church, your city, your nation etc. will increase and prosper! This is God's way. This is God's plan. He desires to do an exchange in your life but He will not force His will on you. You must come to Him and believe that He is God and that His way is the only way for you. You must allow your soul to be healed from the past and grasp hold of the truths in this letter, to benefit from the completed work of Jesus, when He bled, suffered and died so that you could live life abundantly. Nothing broken. Nothing missing. Allow His blessed Spirit to rest upon you today! Let this be your day of Pentecost!