Jerusalem: The Epicenter of the Judgment or the Promise of the Father

















Today’s selected passage continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah and more specifically is found in the twenty-fourth chapter. In this chapter we find another transition taking place within the prophetic writing of Isaiah as the prophet’s attention is now directed from the nations, lands and peoples of the earth to the very earth itself. If you want to successfully understand the prophetic writing of Isaiah beginning with the opening chapter through to this chapter it is imperative that you view the judgment of the Lord as beginning in the land of Judah and city of Jerusalem and then moving beyond the borders of Judah to the surrounding nations. The prophetic book of Isaiah is actually quite interesting—especially when you consider it in light of the words of Jesus which He spoke to His disciples at the beginning of the book of Acts. In the prophetic book of Isaiah we find the judgment of the Lord beginning in Judah and Jerusalem and then moving beyond those borders to the surrounding nations, lands and peoples. The prophetic book of Isaiah reveals how the judgment of the Lord begin in Jerusalem like a droplet of water in the ocean and then causing a ripple effect to move beyond the initial point of impact. If you pay attention to a drop of water in a larger body of water you will notice the ripple effect which takes place as the force of the drop moves beyond the point of impact. The judgment of the Lord would begin in Jerusalem—essentially in the house of the Lord—but would quickly be felt among the surrounding nations, lands and peoples. The judgment of the Lord would begin in the city of Jerusalem and would move throughout the land of Judah, but it would not remain within the confines of those borders. The judgment of the Lord would fall like a drop of water in the sea of nations and would create a ripple effect of judgment that would be felt among the nations which surrounded the house of Israel. This is perhaps one of the most interesting realities surrounding the house of Israel, for while it is true that Israel has been set among the nations and is surrounded by enemies and adversaries to the north, to the south, and to the east with the Mediterranean Sea forming its western border. While it is true that Israel is surrounded by enemies and adversaries, that also puts such nations, lands and people in a very unique place when the judgment of the Lord begins to be manifested in the earth. The prophet Isaiah perfectly describes and outlines how the judgment of the Lord would begin in the house of Israel—and was first felt in the northern kingdom of Israel and its capital city of Samaria. The northern kingdom of Israel was the first to experience the tremendous weight and force of the judgment of the Lord as the Assyrians invaded the land, took the capital city of Samaria, and took captive the inhabitants therein. After successfully invaded the northern kingdom of Israel, taking the capital city of Samaria, and taking captive its inhabitants, it then proceeded to turn its sights toward Jerusalem and Judah. In fact, the prophet Isaiah even includes a section within his writing that describes the attempted invasion of Sennacherib king of Assyria into the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. The account goes on to describe how during the night the angel of the Lord proceeded to slaughter one-hundred and eighty-five thousand men. If you continue reading the historical account of Israel and Judah you will discover that while Jerusalem and Judah experienced the salvation of the Lord during the reign of Sennacherib king of Assyria, they would eventually reach the point where they would face a new threat—a threat that would come from a completely different adversary and foe. Eventually Nebuchadnezzar would rise to power over the Babylonian empire and would invade the land of Judah on three successive campaigns—each campaign taking captive various individuals from among their inhabitants. Nebuchadnezzar’s terror upon Judah would eventually culminate in a siege lasting more than two years which produced famine and pestilence among the inhabitants of the city. Eventually a breach would be made in the wall of the city and the Babylonians were able to enter the city—either putting men to the sword, or taking them captive. The judgment of the Lord would come upon Judah and Jerusalem in the form of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian army. The judgment of the Lord would be felt and experienced within the city of Jerusalem and Judah, yet the effects of that judgment would not remain within the southern kingdom of Judah. The judgment of the Lord would have its starting point in the land of Judah, but it was just that—a starting point. Eventually the judgment of the Lord would move beyond Judah and Jerusalem and would spread to the surrounding nations, lands and peoples of the earth—including Babylon itself which took Judah captive and in whose land they remained captive for seventy years.

 Consider Jesus’ words which He spoke to His disciples just prior to His ascension unto the right hand of the Father atop the Mount of Olives: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME BOTH IN JERUSALEM, AND IN ALL JUDEA, AND IN SAMARIA, AND UNTO THE UTTERMMOST PART OF THE EARTH” (Acts 1:7-8). With these words Jesus revealed the scope of the message of the gospel, and how it would first begin being preached in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit would be poured out upon the one-hundred and twenty who were in the Upper Room in the city of Jerusalem, yet the power and presence of the Holy Spirit would not be limited to Jerusalem, nor to that Upper Room. Eventually the power, person and presence of the Holy Spirit would move beyond the Upper Room, and even beyond the city of Jerusalem itself as according to Jesus’ words it would spread to Judea, to Samaria, and eventually to the uttermost part of the earth. What is absolutely incredible about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is that it didn’t even begin in the Temple of the Lord—this in spite of the fact that historically the it was in the Holy of Holies where the presence and glory of the Lord would reside. I am convinced that one of—if not the greatest reason for the rending of the veil in the Temple of the Lord was to demonstrate that the glory and presence of the Lord was no longer limited to the Holy of Holies behind the veil. How absolutely incredible it is that when the eternal Son released the promise of the Father from on high He didn’t release it behind and beyond the veil within the Temple, for the veil itself was torn in two from top to bottom. The promise of the Father wasn’t even released in the Temple of the Lord itself, but was released in an Upper Room where one-hundred and twenty men and women gathered together. This is absolutely and incredibly powerful when you take the time to think about and consider how once the veil in the Temple was torn in two, the glory and presence of the Lord moved beyond that place and even out of the very Temple itself. The power, person and presence of the Holy Spirit was released upon those one-hundred and twenty in the Upper Room, yet it would not remain in the Upper Room, nor would it remain in Jerusalem itself. What is so absolutely remarkable about the book of Acts is that both the church and the person of the Holy Spirit would spread and move beyond Jerusalem and would eventually and ultimately reach the surrounding nations, lands and peoples. Jesus’ words would indeed come true, for the early Church began in the city of Jerusalem, yet would spread throughout Judea, would then spread to Samaria through the ministry of Philip, and through the apostle Paul and his companions would ultimately reach as far as Rome itself. How absolutely astounding it is that the Church would be founded and experience its origin in Jerusalem, yet through the person, power and presence of the Holy Spirit would eventually reach Rome itself.

 Pausing for a moment and taking a side note, I feel it necessary to describe the incredible significance of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in an Upper Room in Jerusalem rather than in the Holy of Holies, or even the courts of the Temple. The veil being torn in two from top to bottom not only signified and suggested that the glory and presence of the Lord of hosts would no longer dwell behind and beyond the veil. From the time of Moses and the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness the presence and glory of the Lord would be confined beyond and behind the veil in the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was—where the mercy seat with the two cherubim were. When the Holy Spirit was poured out and released in the earth—the very presence and person of God upon the earth—He wasn’t released behind the veil where only the high priest could come once a year. When the Holy Spirit was poured out and released in the earth He was released upon one-hundred and twenty ordinary men and women who gave themselves to prayer and fellowship before the Lord their God. The Holy Spirit being released outside the Temple of the Lord, and outside the Holy of Holies signified and suggested that one would not need to come to the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to experience the person, the power and the presence of Almighty God. The release of the promise of the Father—the release of the person of the Holy Spirit—revealed to men and women that the glory and presence of God was no longer confined to the Holy of Holies, nor even to the Temple of the Lord. I am convinced that there are far too many times when we attempt to confine the presence and glory of the Lord to the Temple—to the house of the Lord and to the Holy of Holies. There are far too many times when we attempt to limit the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit to the Upper Room without desiring it to move through “Jerusalem.” Or, there are those who may be willing to allow the person of the Holy Spirit to move throughout Jerusalem, yet we limit His movement into the surrounding region of Judea. There are those who would limit the movement of the Spirit to the Upper Room; there are those who would limit the movement of the Spirit to the city of Jerusalem; there are those who would limit the movement of the Spirit to Judea; there are still others who would limit the movement of the Spirit to Samaria. Much like Pharaoh who attempted to strike different bargains with Moses concerning who and what would leave the land of Egypt, we attempt to make bargains with the Holy Spirit to limit His movement. The very fact that the Holy Spirit was released in an Upper Room outside the Temple of the Lord suggests that His presence, person and power would not be limited to that Temple. The Holy Spirit needed to be released outside the Temple of the Lord, for men and women would no longer need to journey to the Temple to experience the Spirit, nor experience or be part of the Church of Jesus Christ.

 When speaking of the disciples being witnesses in the earth, He spoke of how they would begin their witness in Jerusalem, but how that witness was never intended to remain in Jerusalem. The witness of Christ would begin in Jerusalem, yet it would eventually move beyond Jerusalem and into the land of Judea and region of Samaria. The ultimate goal of the witness of the Church was to move beyond the city of Jerusalem and eventually to the uttermost parts of the earth. In other words—both the person and presence of the Holy Spirit and the Church itself were destined to move beyond Jerusalem and spread to the uttermost parts of the earth. When the Holy Spirit was released upon the one-hundred and twenty in the Upper Room in the city of Jerusalem He was released like a mighty drop of water that would become a rushing tidal wave that would spread throughout the surrounding regions. The Holy Spirit was released in the Upper Room like a mighty rushing wind—a wind whose direction would blow in whatever direction the Father directed it to go. The witness of the Church and the power and presence of the Holy Spirit would be released in Jerusalem at first, yet eventually both would move to the uttermost parts of the earth. The reason I mention this is because it appears that what took place on the Day of Pentecost was somewhat of a reversal of what was written and declared in the prophetic book of Isaiah. In the prophetic book of Isaiah we read of judgment essentially “beginning in the house of the Lord,” as the judgment of the Lord would come upon the city of Jerusalem and would consume the land of Judah. The judgment of the Lord would begin in the city of Jerusalem where “the house of the Lord” was, as the Temple of the Lord would be consumed with fire, the prominent houses and palaces would be destroyed, the wall broken through and the gates broken down, and the people taken captive. That judgment, however, would not simply be felt in Jerusalem alone, for it would eventually spread to the surrounding nations and lands. The prophet Isaiah delivers prophetic utterances concerning Tyre, concerning Damascus, concerning Egypt, concerning Moab, and the like. When the judgment of the Lord was released upon the earth, it wouldn’t simply be felt or experienced in Judah and Jerusalem, but would be felt by nations and kingdoms alike. The judgment of the Lord would begin at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, yet that would merely be the starting point of His judgment—judgment which would spread to and through the surrounding nations. While it is true the judgment of the Lord would begin at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem it would eventually spread until it reached the very gates and city of Babylon itself. The Lord would indeed judge His people, and He would indeed begin in Jerusalem, but the surrounding nations and kingdoms would not escape that judgment.

 When you read the twenty-fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah you will see that the judgment which began in Jerusalem would not only spread and consume the surrounding nations, lands and kingdoms, but would eventually spread to the uttermost parts of the earth. As I am sitting here right now I can’t help but think that there are two realities that will begin at the house of the Lord and spread throughout the earth to the uttermost parts of it—the judgment of the Lord or the promise of the Father. There are two experiences that will begin at the house of the Lord and will eventually spread and be felt by the inhabitants of the earth—either the Lord’s judgment upon them, or the Promise of the Father. Perhaps the single greatest question I can’t help but ask at this juncture is whether or not we are spreading to and among the nations, lands and peoples of the earth. Are we conduits and vessels of the judgment of the Lord, or are we conduits and vessels of the Promise of the Father? Are you taking and spreading the judgment of the Lord throughout the earth and every place you touch, or are you spreading the promise of the Father? When studying the history of the city of Jerusalem and the house of Israel, it is necessary to know that Jerusalem was the origin and starting point of two different and distinct realities. The first would indeed be the judgment of the Lord, which would begin at the Temple of the Lord, while the second would be the Promise of the Father and the spread of the body of Christ. Jerusalem would be the center of the judgment of the Lord in the Old Testament as the judgment which was carried out by Babylon would eventually spread to the nations of Ammon and Moab, Philistia and Egypt, Tyre and Damascus. Eventually and ultimately the judgment of the Lord which began in one city would spread until it reached the very gates of Babylon. Eventually—even Babylon itself would face and experience the judgment of the Lord, as the Lord of hosts would stir up the spirit of the Medes and Persians and bring them against Babylon. It was during the days of the reign of Belshazzar that the Lord would bring the Medes and Persians up against the city ultimately killing Belshazzar and taking the city of Babylon itself.

 The more I spend time considering this reality, the more I can’t help but see the tremendous reversal which took place within the city of Jerusalem. If you read the Old Testament book of Psalms you will find a powerful description concerning the city of Jerusalem: “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge” (Psalm 48:-1-3). Pay close attention to that phrase “the joy of the whole earth,” for it reveals the ultimate destiny and purpose of Jerusalem as it was set among the nations. Jerusalem was set among the nations to stand as the joy of the whole earth—the city of our God, and the mountain of His holiness. To give you an idea of the type of influence the city of Jerusalem was to have within and upon the face of the earth it is necessary to read the ninth chapter of the book of Second Chronicles. It is in this particular chapter we find the queen of Sheba journeying from her land upon the report she heard concerning Solomon, and especially the Temple of the Lord. “And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the houses that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: Howbiet I believed not their words until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on His throne, to be king for the Lord thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made He thee king over them, to do judgment and justice. And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave king Solomon” (2 Chronicles 9:1-9).

 The queen of Sheba came from a land afar off from Jerusalem because of the report which she had heard—a report of the reign of Solomon, as well as of the Temple of the Lord which stood in the midst of Jerusalem. To help illustrate this point even further we must journey to the second chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah—a passage which speaks directly to the mountain of the house of the Lord and its fame and influence in the earth. “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and saw, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:1-4). It is quite clear from the visit of the Queen of Sheba as well as the words of the prophet Isaiah that Jerusalem was placed among the nations to be a blessing to the inhabitants of the earth, and to be the joy of the whole earth. Jerusalem—the place of the Temple of the Lord and the throne of David—was to be a source of blessing, joy, encouragement and hope for the surrounding nations. When the Temple of the Lord was built in the midst of the city, and with the throne of David having already been established in midst of it, Jerusalem was to be a source of great blessing for the nations and peoples of the earth. The tragic reality, however, is that Jerusalem would not remain as that great and glorious place in the earth—a reality which was expressed by the prophet Jeremiah in the prophetic book of Lamentations.

 “How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not His footstool in the day of His anger! The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: He hath thrown down in His wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; He hath brought them down to the ground: He hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof. He hath cut off in His fierce anger all the horn of Israel: He hath drawn back His right hand from before the enemy, and He burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about. He hath bent His bow like an enemy: He stood with His right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: He poured out His fury like fire. The Lord was as an enemy: He hath swallowed up Israel, He hath swallowed up all her palaces: He hath destroyed His strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. And He hath violently taken away His tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: He hath destroyed His places of the assembly: the Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of His anger the king and the priest. The Lord hath cast off His altar, He hath abandoned His sanctuary, He hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the Lord, as in the day of a solemn feast. The Lord hath purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: He hath stretched out a line, He hath not withdrawn His hand from destroying: therefore HE made the rampart and the wall to lament; they languished together. Her gates are sunk into the ground; He hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the Lord. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and keep silence: they have cast dust upon their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: the virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground. Mine eyes do fail with tears, my bowels are troubled, my liver is poured upon the earth, for the destruction of the daughter of my people; because the children and the sucklings swoon in the streets of the city. They say to their mothers, Where is the corn and wine? When they swooned as the wounded in the streets of the city, when their soul was poured out into their mothers’ bosom. What thing shall I take to witness for thee? What thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? For thy breach is great like the sea: who can heal thee? Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment. All that pass by clap their hands at thee; they hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men call THE PERFECTION OF BEAUTY, THE JOY OF THE WHOLE EARTH?” (Lamentations 2:1-15).

 Notice that there were two uses of the phrase “the joy of the whole earth”—one which described how Jerusalem was blessed to be the joy of the whole earth, while the other was a lamentation how Jerusalem had drifted far from that blessing which was the joy of the whole earth. The day would come when the judgment of the Lord would come upon the city of Jerusalem and would be like the epicenter of an earthquake whose force would be felt far from the point of impact. Judgment would begin in Jerusalem at the house of the Lord—a judgment which would sweep through and consume the nations surrounding the house of Israel. Eventually the judgment of God would touch Moab and Ammon which directly bordered the house of Israel. The judgment of God would even reach Tyre to the north, as well las Damascus of Syria which also bordered the house of Israel. Egypt and Edom would experience the judgment of the Lord as well, for His judgment would quickly move to their land and territory as well. Even Philistia would experience the judgment of the Lord, for the Lord would not leave a single nation unpunished and without judgment. Ultimately and eventually the judgment of the Lord would come upon Babylon itself—Babylon which invaded the inheritance of the people of God, would destroy the Temple of the Lord, would break down its gates and its wall, and would take the Lord’s people captive. When the seventy years of the captivity of Jacob was fulfilled and completed the Lord would rise up in judgment against Babylon itself, as the Lord would bring against Babylon the Medes and the Persians. It would be through the Medes and Persians the Lord would bring judgment upon the instrument He used to bring judgment upon the nations of the earth, thus the judgment of the Lord would begin at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, and would continue to be felt among the nations of the earth until it would eventually reach Babylon. In the New Testament we read not of judgment beginning in Jerusalem but rather the promise of the Holy Spirit and the body of Christ. I still find it incredibly intriguing that Jerusalem was either the origin of the judgment of the Lord, or the blessing of the Father. In all reality, this perfectly describes the life which we have been called to live, for our lives are either the origin of the judgment of God, or it is the origin of the promise of the Father and the ministry of the body of Christ.

 What we read in the twenty-fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah is a declaration that as surely as the Lord would hold Judah and Jerusalem accountable for their actions and would judge them, the Lord would hold the nations and lands around Judah accountable as well. The twenty-fourth chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah brings us face to face with the fact that the judgment of the Lord will eventually encompass and envelop the entire earth. The New Testament book of the Revelation of Jesus confronts us with this reality as the angels of God pour out seven bowls, pour out seven vials, and blow seven trumpets—all which unleash the judgment of the Lord upon the face and inhabitants of the earth. “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof” (Isaiah 24:1). “The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: For the Lord hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left” (Isaiah 24:3-6). “Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise against. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days they shall be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously” (Isaiah 24:17-24).

 It’s befitting that this chapter ends with the prophet declaring the Lord of hosts reigning gloriously n mount Zion, and in Jerusalem before His ancients, for it directly connects with everything that has been written thus far. Eventually the day will come when the Lord will reign from Jerusalem and from His holy mountain upon the throne of David as He is joined together with His host. Judgment upon the whole face of the earth is absolutely inevitable, and the inhabitants of the earth will be judged. The reason I mention the city of Jerusalem is because Jerusalem was either the origin of the judgment of the Lord in the earth, or it was the origin of the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Judgment upon the nations of the earth was inevitable, yet Jerusalem could either be the joy of the whole earth, or it would be a byword and scorn among the nations. I am utterly and completely convinced that there is a powerful prophetic picture that is contained within this passage of Scripture. The prophetic message is that the judgment of the Lord will be experienced by the inhabitants of the earth, yet we can either present the inhabitants of the earth with two options. Just as from Jerusalem the judgment of the Lord would spread throughout the earth, so too the judgment of the earth can spread as a result of our lives. Just as from Jerusalem the blessing of the Holy Spirit and the promise of the Father could be spread and released throughout the earth. There is a powerful call in these Last Days to release and be vessels and conduits of the promise of the Father in the earth rather than the judgment of the Lord. We bear the incredible responsibility of bringing unto the inhabitants of the earth the promise of the Father and the blessing of the Holy Spirit, or continuing to allow them to stand beneath the shadow and weight of His judgment upon the earth. What we read concerning the Day of Pentecost is in essence a powerful reversal of what was experienced in the Old Testament—namely that judgment began in Jerusalem and spread among the nations of the earth. Instead of judgment beginning in Jerusalem and spreading throughout the earth the book of Acts reveals the promise of the Father and the body of Christ—the Temple of the Holy Spirit—spreading throughout the earth. In these Last Days and at this very hour we are called to be vessels and conduits of the promise of the Father and to present the inhabitants of the earth with a reality and experience other than judgment—namely, the Church of Jesus Christ and the promise of the Father.

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