There Were No Sidelines At Pentecost: When All Participate None Are Left Out

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament account of the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ which He left upon the earth after He ascended unto the right hand of the Father as written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses fourteen through forty-one of the second chapter. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the events which took place on the Day of Pentecost continuing beyond simply what took place in the upper room. As you draw near and approach the first verse of the second chapter you will find and discover the beloved physician Luke writing concerning the day of Pentecost and how “when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). I can’t help but read and consider the first verse of this second chapter—and before even moving into the words which Peter spoke unto the crowds present in Jerusalem at this time—and be utterly and completely captivated by the fact that when writing concerning the day of Pentecost, Luke made sure to include the detail concerning the day of Pentecost being fully come. It almost seems that when you read the words which Luke wrote in the opening verse of the second chapter that there is this reality and concept concerning that which has and that which has been ordained and appointed by God. The simple fact that Luke makes sure to include the detail concerning the day of Pentecost being fully come suggests and points to the reality that the timing of God must in fact be considered when we think about and consider the events which took place on the day of Pentecost. In all reality—before we even get into that which was written within the first verse of this chapter—we must carefully consider the words which Luke wrote and recorded in the final chapter of the first treatise he wrote concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, as well as that which he wrote in this second treatise concerning the spiritual body of Christ which would remain within and upon the earth. I would dare say and suggest that before we can truly understand that which was written concerning the appointed time of the day of Pentecost it is absolutely necessary to first of all consider that which the physician Luke wrote concerning the words which were spoken concerning by Jesus—not only in the gospel which was written concerning Jesus’ life and ministry, but also in the treatise concerning the works and ministry of the body of Christ which remained upon the earth in His absence. Consider if you will the words which are found in the final chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke, as well as the words which are found in the first chapter of the New Testament book of Acts:

“Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:36-49).

“…bur wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:6-8).

If you take the time to read the words which are found in these verses you will quickly come face to face with the reality that concerning the release of the person and promise of the Holy Spirit there was this underlying theme of waiting and tarrying. It was true that Jesus would depart from this earth and would return unto His Father in heaven, and that He would send the promise of the Father—the person and presence of the Holy Spirit—yet directly and intrinsically linked to the release of that promise was this act of tarrying and waiting. It was prior to Jesus’ ascension unto the right hand of the Father that He began to prepare the disciples and followers to engage themselves in this reality of tarrying and waiting, and nowhere do we find Him specifically revealing what day, what hour, and what time the promise of the Father would come and be manifested. What’s actually quite interesting about this concept of tarrying and waiting is that not only was it required of the disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ, but there almost seems to be the indication of a divine rescue and intervention in the same chapter found within the New Testament gospel of Luke. If you turn and direct your attention back a few verses in the twenty-fourth and final chapter of the gospel Luke wrote concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will come face to face with two men who actually departed from the city of Jerusalem and attempted to journey unto the town and village of Emmaus. As I sit here this morning and think about these two men who did in fact leave Jerusalem, and yet were met by Jesus along the road to Emmaus, I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that not only did Jesus intervene within the lives of these two men, but it almost seems as though He intended on restoring and bringing them back to Jerusalem. There is almost this sense that the Father was not willing that these two men depart from Jerusalem and remain outside the city when the day of Pentecost would fully come. It’s interesting to note that when Jesus was crucified, He was crucified outside the city of Jerusalem, but when the promise of the Father would come and be released within the earth, it would be released within the city itself. The simple fact that Jesus not only met these two men as they walked along the road to Emmaus, but also walked with them all the way to the point of their destination, and even manifested Himself in their midst in the breaking of bread suggests that Jesus sought to intervene in their lives and invite them back to Jerusalem. It’s absolutely incredible to think about and consider the fact that in Jesus’ walking with these disciples, and even in the manifesting and revealing of Himself in the breaking of bread, He was inviting them back to the place where the promise of the Father would be released. When Jesus met these two men as they journeyed along the road to Emmaus, He not only sought to correct their thinking about the Messiah and Christ, but He also sought to walk with them and essentially resurrect their hope, resurrect their trust, resurrect their confidence, and restore them to the place of promise and power. There is not a doubt in my mind that these two. Men were not present with the others who were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. Consider with me if you will the words which were written concerning these two men and the resurrected Jesus who not only met them along the way, but also walked with them to their destination, and even manifested Himself in the breaking of bread:

“And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three score furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were Holden that they should not know Him. And He said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto Him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And He said unto them, What things? And they said unto Him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the propels: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and have crucified Him. But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; and when they found not His body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that He was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but Him they saw not. Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. And they drew night unto the village, whither they went: and He made as though He would have gone further. But they constrained Him, saying, Abide with Us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And He went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and breaks, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while HE talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures. And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, them that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how He was known of them in breaking of bread. And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when He had thus spoken, He shewed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And HE took it, and did eat before them. And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luke 24:13-44).

Upon reading the words which are found within this particular passage of Scripture you get the strong sense that when Jesus met these two companions as the journeyed on the road to the village of Emmaus, He was doing more than simply inquiring as to what they were speaking about. It would be very easy to read the words found within this passage of Scripture and to completely miss and lose sight of the fact that what Jesus did for these men was essentially a divine intervention and rescue. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture and not immediately be confronted with and by the fact that although these men did in fact attempt to leave Jerusalem, it was not meant, nor was it intended for them to leave the city. When you read the words found within this passage of Scripture you will find that these men departed from Jerusalem before Jesus would give and release the commands to tarry and wait in the city until they be endued with power from on high. Continuing reading within this chapter will bring you face to face with the fact that these two men whom Jesus had just met on the road to Emmaus were present in the room when Jesus appeared—not only them a second time, but also unto the eleven disciples who were gathered together—and when Jesus spoke the words concerning their being witnesses of all things that had happened within the city of Jerusalem concerning the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. What’s more, is that these two men were present with the eleven disciples when Jesus spoke unto them concerning the promise of the Father upon them, and when Jesus instructed them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they be endued with power from on high. Pause for a moment and consider what this instruction and command to tarry in the city of Jerusalem must have been like for these two men whom Jesus had found and encountered along the way as they were traveling away from Jerusalem and unto the village of Emmaus. Think about what it must have been like for these two men to be present with the eleven disciples when Jesus instructed and commanded them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem and not to leave knowing they had already left once and were essentially rescued by Jesus the Christ. The command and instruction to tarry in the city of Jerusalem would in fact come after these men had left the city, and it might very well be said that their departure created a sense of urgency for the disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ to remain in the city of Jerusalem. What’s more, is that their tarrying in the city of Jerusalem was about more than simply a command not to leave, but their tarrying and abiding carried with it a very specific promise—a promise of the manifestation of the promise of the Father, which was the person and presence of the Holy Spirit.

In the twenty-fourth and final chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke you will find Jesus instructing the disciples—as well the two men who had already attempted to leave Jerusalem and had in fact journeyed all the way to Emmaus—to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they be endued with power from on high. When you come to the first chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find Luke once more emphasizing the need for the disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ to tarry and abide within the city of Jerusalem, for in the fourth and fifth verses we find him writing and recording how Jesus instructed them to wait for the promise of the Father, which they had heard Him speak concerning their being baptized with the Holy Ghost. What’s more, is that in the eighth verse of the same chapter we find Luke recording Jesus speaking and declaring unto the disciples and all those who were present at the mount called Olivet that they would receive power, after that the Holy Ghost would come upon them, and they would be witnesses unto them both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, a Nd unto the uttermost part of the earth. Not only did Jesus instruct them to tarry in Jerusalem, not only did Jesus instruct and invite them to wait for the promise of the Father, but Jesus would also declare unto them that they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. It’s worth noting that although Jesus instructed the disciples and followers to tarry in Jerusalem, and even though He instructed them to wait for the promise of the Father, He didn’t reveal unto them the specific time when the promise would be released. When Jesus spoke unto the disciples and followers concerning the promise of the Father, and concerning the baptism of the Holy Ghost He made absolutely no mention of the specific date and time when the promise would be released. I have to admit that I find this to be quite intriguing and quite astonishing when you think about and consider it, for when we think about tarrying and waiting we must think about it in terms of an invitation to wait and abide without any definitive revelation of how long you must actually tarry and wait. Nowhere in the gospel of Luke, nor anywhere in the book of Acts will you find Jesus at all telling the disciples and followers how long they would tarry in the city of Jerusalem, nor how long they would need to wait for the promise of the Father. The only thing the disciples and followers knew for sure was that they needed to remain in the city of Jerusalem, and they needed to wait for the promise of the Father. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that in the absence of Jesus the Christ after departing from this earth the disciples and followers left behind had one single directive and one single command—tarrying and abiding within the city of Jerusalem, and waiting for the promise of the Father.

Take time to think about and consider the fact that in the absence of the person of Jesus the Christ the disciples were given one single and one specific directive and command—namely to tarry in Jerusalem, and to wait for the promise of the Father. It’s important that we recognize and understand that these are essentially two separate commands, for the command to tarry in the city of Jerusalem touches their not leaving the city as Cleopas and his companion had already attempted, and the command to wait for the promise of the Father gives them directive on what they should do within the city. It should be noted that Jesus didn’t simply instruct them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem and leave it with that, but He actually gave them specific instruction and specific directive as to what they should do while remaining in the city—namely, waiting. When we come to the first and second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we do indeed and do in fact find them waiting for the promise of the Father, and we find directly linked and connected to this waiting for the promise prayer and supplication, as well as being of one accord with each other. When we consider the practice of waiting and tarrying it’s absolutely necessary and vital that we recognize the direct link and connection to prayer and supplication, as well as in community, fellowship and unity with others. In all reality it might very well be said that the one-hundred and twenty in the upper room perhaps would not have experienced the events which took place on the day of Pentecost without and apart from tarrying and waiting in prayer and supplication, and in doing so being in one accord with each other. It might very well be said that when we think about the reality of tarrying and waiting there is a strong connection and a strong link to abiding in one place, as one body, for on specific purpose. The beloved physician Luke did in fact write concerning those who were present in the upper room that they were of one accord, and that they gave themselves to prayer and supplication, and we dare not miss and lose sight of this reality, for any true discussion of tarrying and waiting must have at the very heart of it unity and prayer. Perhaps one of the single greatest questions we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are truly willing to give and commit ourselves to tarrying and waiting in one place being in one accord with others in prayer and supplication. Are we truly willing to tarry and abide together with others in a single place in order that we might receive that which the Father desires and delights to bestow unto and upon us?

When the beloved physician Luke sought and set out to write about the day of Pentecost and the events which took place, he was very careful to speak to the reality of the day of Pentecost having been fully come, as well as the one-hundred and twenty being with one accord in one place. ONE ACCORD! ONE PLACE! Notice very carefully the concept of an appointed time, as well as the concept of one accord and one place, for within this passage of Scripture—not only do we come face to face with and encounter the reality of the timing of God, but we also come face to face the concept of one. We must recognize and understand that this word “ONE” was used twice within the same verse—not only to speak of their unity one with another, but also in their being together in one place. At the appointed time for the promise of the Father to be released in the earth there were one-hundred and twenty who were with one accord and in one place, and were undoubtedly given to prayer and supplication. Oh what I wouldn’t give to catch a glimpse of what it looked like on the day of Pentecost when it had fully come, and what that upper room must have been like. At the time of this writing there is a contemporary Christian worship group that bears the name “Upper Room,” and while it is in fact nice to consider yourself as “Upper Room,” I can’t help but wonder what it was like for the one-hundred and twenty men and women to be present within that upper room. Were some of them kneeling before and in the presence of the true and living God? Were some of them laying prostrate on their faces before the throne of God? Were some of them standing with their hands outstretched in the presence of a holy God? Were some of them vocal with their prayers, while others were silent as they prayed internally unto the Lord their God? Were some of them holding hands and praying with perhaps two or three around them, for it was Jesus the Christ who declared that “where two or more are gathered together, there He would be in their midst?” Even as I am writing these words I am listening to Hillsong Worship and one of the songs off their latest album is entitled “Upper Room”—a song which is essentially a prayer before and unto the living God that our hearts and our lives would be an upper room. In other words, just as the upper room was filled with the person and presence of the Holy Spirit, so also this song is a prayer that our whole life would be the upper room of the living God. I feel the great need to pause for a moment and ask you who might be reading these words if that is your prayer, and if that is your desire. I have to ask you who are reading these words whether or not it is your desire that your life would be the upper room of the Holy Spirit—a room which He can come in and fill and not only baptize with fire, but also endure with power from on high. Consider if you will the words which the beloved physician Luke wrote concerning the events which took place on the day of Pentecost when it had fully come:

“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 Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:1-5).

It’s imperative that we not only make note of the fact that those in the upper room were with one accord in one place, but we must also make note of the word “ALL.” When Luke wrote concerning the events which took place on the day of Pentecost, he was sure to include the reality that “all” those who were present in the upper room were with one accord in one place. ALL WITH ONE ACCORD! ALL IN ONE PLACE! We must make careful note of the use of the words “all” and “one,” for we cannot truly understand that which took place on the day of Pentecost without and apart from understanding the direct link and direct connection to “all” who were present on this day, as well as one accord and one place. When the day of Pentecost was fully come and the appointed time of the Father had come, all those who we read about in the previous chapter who were with one accord in prayer and supplication were still with one accord and in one place. What’s more, is that there is something to be said about the use of the word “all,” for when the day of Pentecost was fully come, it didn’t touch some of those who were present in the upper room. When the day of Pentecost was fully come, and when there was a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and the Holy Spirit filled that place and bestowed tongues of fire, it didn’t merely touch some of those who were present in the upper room. THERE WAS NONE LEFT OUT! THERE WERE NONE ON THE OUTSIDE! Oh dear reader please recognize and please understand this reality and concept of the one hundred and twenty being in one accord and in one place with one accord, for when the Holy Spirit was poured out and released, He wasn’t poured out upon some who were present in the upper room while others were somehow spectators. When we speak of the upper room events which took place on the day of Pentecost we must understand that in the upper room itself there were no spectators, but every one was an active participant. Where we get into the realm of spectator—and even witness—is when you consider those who were present outside the upper room which were present within the city of Jerusalem. If we are going to have a true and honest discussion about the upper room we must have a discussion about the reality that those who were present within the upper room each experienced the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and in all reality, I would dare say that no more than one individual spoke in the tongue of another language. It would be just like the living God to have one-hundred and twenty present in the upper room, and to have one-hundred and twenty different encounters with the Holy Spirit, and one-hundred and twenty different tongues. It would be just like God to have an appointed time, and an appointed number of men and women present in the upper room in order that He might cause one-hundred and twenty different tongues and languages to be spoken on this particular day. Scripture makes no mention of how many nations, how many languages, how many peoples, and how many tongues existed upon the earth at this time, but we may very well conclude that there were roughly one-hundred and twenty nations—if not exactly one-hundred and twenty.

One thing we should note and recognize about the events which took place on the day of Pentecost was not only was it the reversal of what had taken place centuries earlier in the land of Shinar when the whole world was of one language before the living God came down and confused their languages, but it is also a fulfillment of that which was prophesied by the prophet Joel. As I prepare to bring this particular writing to a close I feel it absolutely necessary and imperative to call and bring your attention to the incredible reality that when you think about and when you consider the events which took place on the day of Pentecost—not only must you consider them as a reversal of that which took place in the plain of Shinar, but you must also consider them as a direct fulfillment of that which was prophesied by the prophet Joel. In fact, it was Peter himself who stood upon in the midst of the crowd, in the midst of the confusion, and in the midst of the curiosity surrounding the events which took place on this day and emphatically and boldly declared that what they were witnessing was in fact the fulfillment of the words which the prophet Joel prophesied centuries earlier in the southern kingdom of Judah. If you begin reading with and from the sixteenth verse of the second chapter of this particular book you will come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that what we read about on the day of Pentecost—and not only that which took place on the day of Pentecost, but also that which has been taking place ever since—is a direct fulfillment of the words which the prophet Joel prophesied. Oh, I am fully and firmly convinced that what we read in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Joel is the beginning of the fulfillment of that which the prophet Joel prophesied, for I believe that the words which he prophesied are still being fulfilled today. While the day of Pentecost was a single event which took place fifty days after Jesus was crucified, I believe with all my heart that what took place on that particular day was the beginning of the fulfillment of the words which the prophet Joel prophesied—words which Peter spoke. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Peter spoke unto the crowd which was present in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost when it had fully come:

“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 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: and on my servants on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and a pour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that show over shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:16-21).

When we think about the events which took place on the day of Pentecost we must understand them in the context of tarrying and waiting, and we must also consider them in the context of being with one accord in one place. As we think about the events which took place on the day of Pentecost it is necessary that we see it through the lens of all who were present in the upper room were active participants and that not a single one of them was a spectator who watched as others around them experienced and encountered the Holy Spirit. Oh what an incredible prayer set and prayer meeting it is when there are absolutely no spectators and onlookers within the presence of God, and each and every soul present in that place experiences the divine presence of Almighty God. What’s more, is that while there is the emphasis all being with one accord, we must understand the direct connection to the fact that it is possible for each individual present to have their own unique experience and encounter with the living God. Although they were all with one accord and although they all together in one place, it is very much possible that they each experienced their own encounter with the living God, and that each tongue that was manifested on that day was the tongue of a different language. Oh, I can’t help but wonder if the cloven tongues of fire that were evidenced and manifested on this particular day wasn’t very much similar to what had taken place in the land of Shinar all those centuries earlier when perhaps there weren’t cloven tongues of fire, but there were tongues that were bestowed upon all those who were present together in the land of Shinar. On the one hand we find various tongues intended on scattering and confusing men so they might not unite themselves in defiance and rebellion toward and against the living God, and on the other hand we find cloven tongues of fire dispersed among and upon one hundred and twenty in order that they might be witnesses together in one place that the various tongues and peoples might hear the works of God in their own tongue, but also that they might be scattered once more. There was indeed a second scattering, yet the second scattering took place as a direct result of the persecution that would later break out against the church during the days of Saul before he was miraculously converted by the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh that we would come face to face with the words which are found within the New Testament book of Acts concerning the day of Pentecost and that we would understand the importance of tarrying and waiting, as well as the importance of praying and participating. Oh that we would understand the need for unity and abiding one with another, and that the Lord never intended on a single soul within the upper room to be a spectator and bystander. Let us recognize and understand that the direct connection between that which began to be fulfilled during the days of Joel, and that which is still being fulfilled in the last days which truly began when Jesus ascended unto the right hand of the Father, and when the promised Holy Spirit was released into the earth.

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