Fellowship & Community: The Greatest Miracle of Pentecost

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament book of the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ—the book of Acts—as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage begins with the forty-second verse of the second chapter and continues through to the eleventh verse of the third chapter. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the LORD added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:42-47). “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth house. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up; and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: and they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him” (Acts 3:1-10). “And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s greatly wondering” (Acts 3:11). When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the conclusion of the second chapter of this treatise written by the beloved physician Luke as well as the beginning of an event that would set Jerusalem ablaze during the days of the Spirit. IN order to truly understand the words and language that is found within the final verses of the second chapter of this New Testament book there is a great need to pay close attention to the words which came before it. In all reality I would dare say that in order to truly understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture there is a great need to begin at the outset of this New Testament book. More specifically I would dare day say it is necessary to begin reading with and from the opening verses of the first chapter as it sets the context and stage for everything that would take place in the days which would take place thereafter. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth of the resurrection and the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to truly understand the days of the apostles—and not only the days of the apostles but also the days of the early Church there is a great need to recognize that those days were only made possible as a direct result of the resurrection and ascension of the Holy Spirit. What’s more is that when we read these words we must needs acknowledge and understand that while it was indeed true these days were made possible because of the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ they were also intrinsically linked and connected to the return and coming again of the Lord Jesus in the same manner in which they witnessed Him depart. It is indeed true that the days of the apostles and early church were days that were marked by the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit as it was made possible by and because of the resurrection of the Lord, however, we must also recognize that those days were linked to the coming and return of the Lord Jesus Christ as they were instructed to live as though the Lord Jesus Christ was indeed coming back at any time. The more I read the words which are found in the New Testament book of Acts the more I am confronted with the incredible truth surrounding the resurrection, the ascension and the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ and how these realities were not only directly connected to the days of the apostles and early church but also how they are connected to the days and generation in which we are living. We as the saints of God must needs recognize and understand that we have in fact been called to live in light of the person, the presence, and the power of the Holy Spirit which was indeed present among us within our generation. As you read the words which are found in the first and opening chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find Luke recounting the first book he wrote which was indeed a gospel narrative concerning the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke was indeed an account and treatise of the Lord Jesus Christ coming in the form of flesh and blood and walking among us—first living in a relatively obscure and private life for the first thirty years and then being publicly manifested by the Father at the Jordan River after His baptism. It would be after Jesus emerged from the waters of the Jordan River the heavens would be opened before and unto Him, the Holy Spirit would descend upon Him in the bodily form of a dove and rest upon Him and the voice of the Father would speak from heaven declaring that this was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased. The entire New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke calls and draws our attention to that which was accomplished during those three and a half years in which Jesus dwelt among us as the Word made flesh through signs, wonders and miracles. The New Testament gospel written by Luke presents us with an incredibly strong and powerful picture of the Lord Jesus Christ and the words which He spoke as well as the works which He had wrought within the earth. As you come to the New Testament book of Acts you will find it coming directly on the heels of what we read in the twenty-fourth and final chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find the account of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. What’s more is that not only will you find the account of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ but you will also find the revelation and manifestation of Jesus as having been resurrected and raised from death to life on the first day of the week. Within the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke we are indeed brought face to face with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ—and not only the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ but also how He manifested Himself as alive and would show Himself as alive unto certain women, unto the eleven apostles and even unto two men who departed from Jerusalem and were journeying unto the village of Emmaus. What’s more is that we must also recognize and understand is that within this chapter we also find Jesus speaking some of the final words to His disciples and followers prior to His ascension unto the right hand of the Father. In fact the final verses of the twenty-fourth chapter of this gospel present us with the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven. Oh it is with this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the beginning portion of the twenty-fourth chapter of the gospel narrative written by Luke concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this particular chapter beginning with the first and opening verse: “Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcure, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed there about, behold,l two men stood by them in shining garments; and as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulcure, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass” (Luke 24:1-12). I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter Luke’s account of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on the third day and what was known as the first day of the week. Luke describes how on the first day of the week—very early in the morning—they [meaning certain women] came unto the sepulchre bearing spices which they had prepared that they might anoint the body of the Lord Jesus. When, however, they came to the tomb they would find the stone rolled away from the entrance thereof and would enter into the midst of it. Upon entering into the tomb they would find it completely empty as the body of the Lord Jesus would and could not be found therein. Luke goes on to write how while they stood there much perplexed at the things which they were witnessing and beholding there would stand beside them two men in shining garments. While they were much afraid and bowed down their faces to the earth these two men would proceed to ask them why they were searching for the living among the dead. These two men would also go on to declare unto these women that Jesus was not there in the tomb but was indeed risen from the grave. In addition to this these two men in shining garments would go on to ask them if they remembered how He spoke unto them when He was yet in Galilee saying how the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. Upon hearing these words spoken by these two men in shining garments they would remember the words which Jesus had spoken and would return from the tomb and speak all these things unto the eleven and to all the rest. It would be upon hearing the words of these women Simon Peter would depart for the tomb himself and upon coming unto it would behold the linen clothes laid by themselves and the tomb being empty just as the woman had spoken. What’s more is that Luke writes how the words of these women seemed to be as idle tales and the apostle and those who were with them believed them not. As you continue reading the words which are found in the twenty-fourth chapter of this gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find that after Jesus was raised from death to life on the third day He would appear unto two men who were journeying from the city of Jerusalem unto the village called Emmaus. Beginning with the thirteenth verse of this chapter you will find the account of two of those who were present with the apostles and heard the words which the women had spoken unto them would depart that same day to a village called Emmaus. Oh how absolutely incredible it is that these two men were indeed present with and among the apostles and others when the women came unto them and spoke unto them of all they had seen and heard at the tomb where Jesus’ body had been laid and buried. Scripture does not reveal what prompted and caused these men to depart from the city of Jerusalem and depart unto this village called Emmaus, however, what we do know is that Jesus Himself would appear unto them. What’s more is that not only would Jesus Himself appear unto them as they walked along the way but their eyes would be holden that they would not recognize Him. Jesus would indeed walk with these two men journeying on the road to Emmaus and would ask them what they were speaking about as they walked and their countenances so sad. They would initially ask Jesus if He was a stranger in Jerusalem and was not aware of the things which happened in the city of Jerusalem. Jesus would ask them what things they were speaking of to which they would respond by describing all those things which had befallen and come upon the person of the Lord Jesus. Jesus—still being kept from being recognized by them—would not only rebuke them for their thinking but would also proceed to teach them all those things concerning Himself which must needs take place according to the Psalms and the prophets. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this chapter beginning with the thirteenth verse: “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore 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 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 people: 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 pas, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave 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, and 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” (Luke 24:13-35). Please pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here is a powerful demonstration of the Lord Jesus showing Himself alive unto certain of those who were present during those days. We know in the first twelve verses of this chapter that Jesus was raised from death to life on the third day although Luke does not describe the actual event of the resurrection of the Lord. Luke does indeed describe the women who came unto the tomb carrying the spices they had prepared that they might anoint the body of the Lord Jesus and how upon coming unto the tomb they would find it empty with the linen clothes being laid by themselves within the tomb. Luke does in fact describe the two men in shining garments who appeared unto them and not only asked them why they sought for the living among the dead but also declared unto them that Jesus had risen from the grave exactly as He had spoken and declared unto them. This is something we must needs recognize for after Jesus had been raised from death to life He would appear and show Himself unto two men who were present with the apostles and the others when the women returned from the tomb declaring that Jesus was alive. What’s more is that not only were these men present when these women declared unto them that Jesus was alive and that the tomb was empty but also how Simon called Peter would depart from that place and make his own journey to the tomb finding it exactly as the women had described. These two men would indeed depart from the city of Jerusalem and from the apostles and the others that same day and would make their way unto the village called Emmaus. If you begin reading with and form the thirty-sixth verse of this twenty-fourth chapter you will find that these two men who not only heard the report of the women who proclaimed Jesus was alive and the tomb was empty but also heard the record and report of Simon called Peter were returned and restored unto fellowship together with them once more. Although they had departed from the city of Jerusalem on the very same day the women declared unto them that Jesus had indeed risen from the grave and how two men in shining garments had appeared unto them declaring that He was alive they would encounter the risen and resurrected Jesus as He would not only appear unto them as they walked along the way but would continue walking with them. While they walked along the way Jesus would expound unto them all those things concerning Himself beginning with Moses and continuing through to the prophets. When they arrived at Emmaus Jesus would make as though He would continue going but was constrained by them to abide and tarry together with them. Jesus would indeed enter into the home together with them and would take bread, bless, break and give it unto them. It would be upon receiving the bread from the hands of the Lord Jesus these men would find their eyes being opened and they would indeed recognize the person of the Lord Jesus. It would be immediately after their eyes were opened Jesus would vanish from their sight and they would speak one to another of how their hearts did indeed burn within them as He talked with them along the way. Following their eyes being opened they would rise up that same hour and returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven gathered together and the others who were present with them. These two men would indeed proclaim that the Lord was indeed risen and had appeared unto Simon. What’s more is they would tell them those things which happened to them along the way and how He was known of them in the breaking of bread. This is something we must needs recognize and understand when you consider the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture for when you come to the thirty-sixth verse of this chapter you will find Jesus Himself appearing and showing Himself unto all those who were present in the upper room together with the eleven apostles, these two men who returned unto the city and the others who were with them. Consider if you will the following words found in this chapter beginning with the thirty-sixth verse: “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 a broiled fish, and of an 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. Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, 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). The words which we find in this passage of Scripture presents us with Jesus Himself appearing unto the eleven apostles, unto the two men whom He had just showed Himself alive unto in the way from Jerusalem unto Emmaus and unto all the others who were present with them. Jesus Himself would stand in the midst of them and would declare unto them, saying, “Peace be unto them.” Those who saw Jesus who had appeared unto and among them were terrified and affrighted supposing they had indeed seen a spirit. Jesus—knowing their terror and fright—would ask them why they were troubled and why do thoughts arise within their hearts and would then show unto them His hands and His feet that it was indeed He Himself. Jesus would invite them to handle Him and see for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as they saw Him have. When He had indeed spoken these words He showed them His hands and His feet and while they yet did not believe and wondered He would ask them if they had something to eat. Those who were present there would give him a piece of a broiled fish and of an honeycomb and He did take it and ate it before them. After He had finished eating before them in their presence He would declare and profess unto them that these were the words which He spoke unto them while He was yet with them that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Him. Jesus would then open their understanding that they might understand the scriptures and would then proceed to instruct them concerning those things which they would be called to do in the coming days. Jesus would go on to declare that it was written that it would behove 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. Moreover Jesus would go on to declare that they were witnesses of all these things and how He sent the promise of the Father upon them. With this being said, however, they needed to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. Oh it is at this juncture I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the opening verses of the first chapter of the New Testament book of Acts which follow directly on the heels of what we find here: “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but 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. Whence they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, 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 1:1-8). It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for this would begin the New Testament book of Acts—and not only begin the New Testament book of Acts but also follow directly on the heels of the words which are written and recorded in the final chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. In the opening verses of the first chapter of this New Testament book of Acts you will find Luke writing unto Theophilus and describing how the former treatise he wrote unto him of all that Jesus began both to do and teach until the day in which he was taken up. Luke would go on to describe how Jesus would indeed be taken up after that He though the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen to whom also He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs being seen of them forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. This is truly astonishing when you take the time to consider it for Luke not only reveals how Jesus would show Himself alive unto the apostles but also how He showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs and was seen of them for forty days. It would be during those forty days Jesus would not only speak of them the things pertaining to the kingdom of God but would indeed show Himself alive. In fact that which we read in verses four through eight describe those words which the Lord Jesus would speak unto them just prior to His ascension unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven. It would be just prior to His ascension unto the right hand of the Father Jesus would instruct them to wait for the promise of the Father which they had heard of Him for John truly baptized with water but they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. If you continue reading the words which are found in this chapter you will find those who were present together with the Lord Jesus asking them if He would indeed at that time restore again the kingdom to Israel. In response to this Jesus would declare unto them that it was not given unto them for to know the times or the seasons which the Father had put in his own power. Moreover Jesus would declare unto them that they would indeed receive power, after that the Holy Ghost would come upon them and they would be witnesses unto Him both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Jesus would indeed declare unto them that which John the Baptist would speak during the days in which he would prophesy the word of the Lord in His generation. It would be John the Baptist who baptized with water and yet would declare that there was one coming after Him who would indeed baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Moreover it was revealed unto John the Baptist that He whom he witnessed the Holy Spirit descend and light upon would indeed by the one who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire—a declaration we find him making in the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. When we come to this particular portion of Scripture we find Jesus not only declaring unto them that they would baptized with the HOly Ghost but would indeed receive power after the Holy Ghost had come upon them. As a direct result of the Holy Ghost coming upon them and their receiving power they would be witnesses unto Him both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. These words Jesus would indeed speak unto them before He would ascend unto the right hand of the Father and would be taken up before their eyes just before a cloud would conceal and hide Him from their eyes. Oh this is important for us to recognize and understand for the events we find and read in the New Testament book of Acts were made entirely and altogether possible by and because of the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. What’s more is that the events we find and read within this book would not only be made possible because of the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus but would also be intrinsically linked to the coming and return of the Lord Jesus as the apostles and the early church would live their lives anticipating and expecting His return. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the final verses of the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. Moreover I find it necessary to call your attention to the words which are found in the twenty-eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew as well as the words which are found in the sixteenth and final chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by John Mark. In addition to this I find it necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the first chapter of this New Testament book written by Luke himself concerning the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. With this in mind I invite you to consider the aforementioned references beginning with the twenty-eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew: “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:16-20). “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen” (Mark 16:14-20). “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen” (Luke 24:50-53). “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren” (Acts 1:9-14). Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible and tremendous truth surrounding the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. John Mark and Luke each describes the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ as He would return unto the Father from whom He had come and from whom he had been sent. The ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs be recognized and understood for it is as a direct result of the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ the days of the Holy Spirit would indeed be made possible. We must needs remember the words which the Lord Jesus had spoken unto the eleven apostles on the night in which He was betrayed by one of His own into the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people before suffering in the flesh and ultimately being put to death. Jesus would indeed speak unto the disciples of those things which He must needs suffer in the flesh and that He must needs be crucified and rise again on the third day, however, Jesus would also declare unto His disciples how He must needs ascend unto the right hand of the Father. Jesus would emphatically declare unto His disciples that it was expedient for Him to depart from them and return unto the right hand of His Father who was in heaven for as a direct result of His departing from the earth He would send unto them the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. It was necessary and expedient for Jesus to depart from the earth and return unto the right hand of the Father for by doing so He would come again unto them by and through the person of the Holy Spirit. In the final verses of the first and opening chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we find Simon Peter standing up in the midst of the other ten apostles, in the midst of the brethren, in the midst of the women and in the midst of Mary the mother of Jesus and His brethren. It would be as a direct result of Simon Peter’s standing up among them that he would call them to ordain and appoint one from among them who would step into the role and office which was vacated by Judas Iscariot who had indeed betrayed the Lord. Simon Peter would indeed call those who were present on this particular day—a number totaling one-hundred and twenty souls—to ordain and appoint one from among them who would step into the office vacated by Judas as a directly result of his betrayal of the Lord Jesus. What’s more is that when we read the words which are found in this passage we find Simon Peter describing the qualification of that one who would step into the office which was vacated by Judas Iscariot the son of Simon. The qualification for that one who would step into that office which was vacated was that whoever was chosen had to accompany them the whole time Jesus went in and out among them beginning from the baptism of John unto that same day He was taken up from them. This one must needs be ordained and appointed unto them as a witness with them unto the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first chapter of this book ends and concludes with all those who were present in the upper room ordaining and appointing Mathias to be numbered among the eleven apostles being witness unto the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthias was one who walked with them from the time of John the Baptist until that day when the Lord Jesus had ascended unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven and was removed from their sight. Matthias would indeed be numbered among the twelve apostles and would indeed bear witness unto the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ together with the eleven apostles. That which we find within these verses is incredibly unique and important when you take the time to think about it for it prepares us for what we find in the second chapter of this same book. It is in the first and opening chapter we find all those who were present at the mount called Olivet when Jesus ascended unto heaven and unto the right hand of the Father returning unto Jerusalem filled with great joy. All those who were present at the mount called Olivet would return unto the city of Jerusalem and would be gathered together with one accord and in one place as they would give themselves unto prayer and supplication. For ten days after the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ these who were witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and these who were witnesses of the ascension of the Lord Jesus would indeed continue steadfastly in prayer and supplication together in the upper room which was there in the midst of Jerusalem. It is this context of being gathered together in one place with one accord we must needs understand the words and language which is found in the second chapter of this New Testament book. It is in the opening verses of the second chapter of this New Testament book we find that when the day of Pentecost was fully come they were all with one accord in one place. Oh the context for the coming of the Holy Spirit would indeed be the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, his emergence from the tomb and His ascension unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven. With this being said we must. Needs recognize and understand that directly linked and connected to the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost would indeed be all those who were present continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication and being gathered together in one place. The day of Pentecost would indeed be made possible because of the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit would be given that the Father and the Son might be present together with the apostles and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ where they were. If there is one thing we must needs recognize concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit it’s that the Holy Spirit was the means whereby the Father and the Son could come unto and among the disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ right where they were in the midst of the earth. What we must needs understand is that while Jesus walked upon the earth in the form of flesh, blood and bones He was confined and relegated to the limitations of that physical body. What’s more is that Jesus was indeed limited and restricted to the realm of time and space as He could only be in one place at one time. In order to experience the person of the Lord Jesus Christ one needed to either walk with and follow Him or one needed to gather together unto those places where He would indeed be present teaching and speaking unto the people. The gospels are replete with example after example of Jesus teaching and preaching in many places within Judaea, Galilee and Jerusalem and how great multitudes of men and women would gather themselves together unto Him. This is important for us to pay attention to for while it was indeed true that Jesus was confined to a physical body of flesh and blood the Holy Spirit was not confined to such a reality. The eternal and only begotten Son of the living God would be confined to a single body made up of flesh, blood and bones while the Holy Spirit would dwell within the spirits of all those who believed in Jesus and received Him as the Son of the living God and as the Christ. There was indeed a physical and natural temple made and prepared for the Lord Jesus as He walked upon the earth among the disciples and there would indeed be a temple made without human hands that would be made available for the Holy Spirit. Oh no longer would the Holy Spirit come upon men and women as He had done in the Old Testament and in fact—beginning with John the Baptist, beginning with Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as Elisabeth and Zacharias we find a powerful picture in the gospel narrative written by Luke concerning the infilling and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Oh John the Baptist would indeed be filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb and the Holy Spirit would come upon Mary and the power of the most High would overshadow her that she might conceive and bring forth the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The more I think about and consider this particular truth the more I am convinced that the day of Pentecost was about more than just the Holy Spirit coming unto the earth having been sent by the Lord Jesus Christ from the right hand of the Father. The Holy Spirit would indeed be the means whereby the Father and the Son could come and make their abode together with those who believed in Him and those who received Him as the Christ and the Son of the living God. The Holy Spirit would indeed be sent as the promise of the Father by the Lord Jesus Christ from the right hand of the Father and the Holy Spirit would indeed be the person, the presence and the power of the Father and the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful and incredible reality of the Lord Jesus Christ ascending unto the right hand of the Father and from that place sending the promise of the Father unto all those who believed in His name and received Him as the Christ and the Son of the living God. It would be on the day of Pentecost the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed be conceived and the temple of the Holy Spirit would be created in the midst of the earth. On the day of Pentecost the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ which would carry out and continue his words and His works would indeed be formed within and upon the earth as that which Jesus had accomplished and fulfilled while He walked among us in the flesh would be continued even after His death, resurrection and ascension unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven. Oh how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful and incredible truth surrounding the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed be formed as the Head of the body would indeed be present in the midst of heaven at the right hand of the Father which was in heaven. Oh although Jesus had ascended unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven there would be a spiritual body that would remain upon the earth that would carry out the works which He had begun during those three and a half years and would speak the words which He had spoken and those which they would still be given. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts beginning to read with and from the first verse: “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. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaean? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, and Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews, and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking, said These men are full of new wine” (Acts 2:1-13). There is something we must needs recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it—not only do we get a beautiful and wonderful picture of the person and presence of the Holy Ghost coming unto the earth being sent by the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God but we also see a wonderful and beautiful picture of just what the Temple of the Holy Spirit would indeed look like. Scripture is entirely and altogether unclear how many nations were indeed represented there on the day of Pentecost in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. The only thing we do know is that on the day of Pentecost those in the upper room spoke with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. Luke writes how there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven and when it was noised abroad the multitude came together and were confounded because that every man heard them speak in his own language. Those who would speak with these other tongues would indeed speak in the tongues and languages part from and outside of that which was spoken in Galilee, in Judaea and even in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. This is something we must needs understand and acknowledge when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the manifestation of the Holy Spirit during those days. On the day of Pentecost—not only would the temple of the Holy Spirit be formed and created within and upon the earth but that temple would not be limited to those in Jerusalem. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found within this passage it’s that the temple of the Holy Spirit would indeed be manifested in every nation under heaven. The fifth verse of the second chapter describes how there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven and Luke would go on to write of certain of the regions and nations in the earth which were represented there in the midst of the city on the day of Pentecost. It would be on the day of Pentecost we encounter and come face to face with the awesome and wonderful truth surrounding the day of Pentecost and how on the day of Pentecost the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit would come. What’s more is on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit would indeed reverse what took place at Babel for at the Tower of Babel the Lord would come down and confound and confuse the tongues and languages of those who were gathered together in the plain of Shinar. The LORD would come down and scatter them upon the face of the earth confusing and confounding their language that they might not carry out and complete their own devices and their own plan to build the tower and city that would stretch forth into heaven. On the day of Pentecost, however, we find this being reversed as the Holy Spirit would grant utterance unto those in the upper room to speak with other tongues in the languages of all those nations which were represented in the midst of Jerusalem. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit would indeed grant utterance unto all those who were present in the upper room that the initial witness in the nations represented under heaven in the midst of the city of Jerusalem would be heard in that native tongue and language. Imagine those who lived and dwelt in the regions of Parthia, the region of the Medes, the region of the Elamites, the region of Cappadocia, the regions of Egypt, the regions of Libya, Cyrene and others would each return speaking of the wonderful works which had taken place in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. What’s more is stop and consider that on the day of Pentecost three thousand souls were added unto the number of the church after being convicted by the words which Simon Peter would preach on this day. What makes this all the more astonishing when you think about it is that Scripture does not reveal that all three thousand souls remained and abode in Jerusalem after the day of Pentecost was finished. Oh I am inclined to wonder and perhaps even believe that a portion of the three thousand which were added unto the number of those in the upper room were indeed those from the surrounding nations, languages, tribes and regions round about Jerusalem, Judaea, Galilee and Samaria and would return speaking of the mighty and wonderful works of the living God which were accomplished in Jerusalem and even through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. I absolutely love the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts for within it we are brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the day of Pentecost and the ramifications and impacts it would have. I am convinced that the words which we find here in this passage of Scripture don’t just describe that which would take place in the midst of the city of Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost but would also go on to describe that would take place in the surrounding regions, nations and areas round about Judaea, Galilee, Samaria and the city of Jerusalem itself. It is indeed true that on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit would be released and poured out upon these who were present in the upper room. On the day of Pentecost those in the upper room would indeed be filled with the Holy Spirit as cloven tongues of fire rested upon each of them. Moreover it would be on the day of Pentecost those who were present in the upper room would speak with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. This is something which is truly captivating when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the wonderful works of the living God which were heard in the tongues of all those who were gathered together in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. On the day of Pentecost there were all the nations of the earth represented within the city and on this particular day—on a day when Jerusalem would be filled with people and would perhaps have ever nation under heaven represented in the midst of it—the Holy Spirit would be released and poured out. As a direct result of the Holy Spirit being released and poured out on the day of Pentecost the tongues of the nations would indeed be released upon those who were present in the upper room as they would speak the wonderful works of the living and eternal God of heaven and earth. On this particular day the apostle Peter would indeed deliver a powerful sermon according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, however, something even greater would take place on this particular day—namely men from every nation under heaven hearing the wonderful works of the living God in their own language. I continue to find it absolutely remarkable that of the three thousand souls which were added to the number of the church on this particular day it is highly possible that some of that number would ultimately return unto the nations and regions from which they lived and dwelt. Scripture reveals how on this particular day—the day of Pentecost—three thousand souls were added unto the number of the saints and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, however, there is absolutely nothing that says that all three thousand remained in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. Luke writes and describes how after Simon Peter stood up in the midst of the crowd which had gathered in the midst of Jerusalem many were convicted and pricked in their consciences and hearts and asked Simon Peter what they ought to do. In order to understand the words which are found in the final verses of the second chapter it is absolutely necessary to understand the response to the preaching of Simon Peter and the words which he had spoken on this particular day. It would be the words which Simon Peter preached and spoke on this particular day that would cause countless men and women to be convicted in their heart and spirit and respond to him the same way many responded to the preaching of John the Baptist. It would be Luke who would write how many during the days of the preaching of John the Baptist—publicans, soldiers and the people—came unto John asking him what they must do and how they ought to respond to the words which he preached. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for in response to the preaching and words of Simon Peter there were many who desired to know what the next steps were during those days. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this particular chapter beginning with the thirty-seventh verse: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:37-40). Please pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find Luke writing of those who heard the words Simon called Peter preached on this particular day that they were pricked in their heart. Not only were they pricked in their heart but they would say unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” These words and the question which those who were present on this particular day asked of Peter and the apostles is something that must be carefully examined for they desired to know what was required of them—to which Simon would instruct them to repent and be baptized every one of them in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins. What’s more is Simon Peter would also declare unto them that they would indeed receive the gift of the Holy Ghost for the promise was unto them and to their children—and not only to them but also to all that are afar off. Not only this but Peter would also declare unto them and instruct them to save themselves from this untoward generation which is something we must needs recognize and understand when reading these words. What we find as a direct result of this was that those who gladly received the word which Peter preached and spoke unto them were baptized and that same day there was added unto them about three thousand souls. Pause for a moment and consider when the last time was you personally witnessed and experienced three thousand souls being added to the number of believers in a single occasion. In addition to this—when was the last time you were in the presence of three thousand individuals who did not believe in Jesus nor had received Him as Christ and the eternal Son of the living God? When was the last time you were in the presence of that many men and women who had not received and accepted the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and those who desired to know what they ought to do to be saved? There is something truly powerful about the words which we find in this passage of Scripture and how within it we find three thousand souls being added to the number of the saints which were present in the upper room after being pricked in their conscience, after being baptized and after believing on the name of the Lord Jesus and receiving Him as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the final verses of this chapter for within them we find Luke writing how those who received the word were baptized and how on the same day there were added about three thousand souls. We must needs recognize and understand this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for if you continue reading the words found in this passage you will find that those who were added continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. What’s more is Luke would go on to write how fear came upon every soul and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. All those who believed were together and had all things common and sold their possessions and goods and parted to all men as every man had need. Luke goes on to write how they continued daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house and ate their meat with gladness and singleness of heart as they praised God and had favor with all the people. We must needs recognize that which is found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the fellowship of the saints of the most High God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. There would be those who would say that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the single greatest miracle which took place on this particular day, or there would be many who would say that the adding of three thousand souls was the greatest miracle of this day. I am absolutely convinced that the single greatest miracle and work which was wrought and brought about on this particular day is taking three thousand souls and uniting and knitting them together that they would continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers. What’s more is that all those souls together with those who were present in the upper room were together and had all things common and continued daily with one accord in the temple. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls land draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the miracle of the day of Pentecost and how it was about more than simply men and women speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

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