Many believers are greatly anticipating this year’s Pentecost, believing something extraordinary could happen. Given the worldwide plague and our recent Passover observation, many are praying that another outpouring of God’s Spirit would break the enemy’s grip and truly deliver us from evil.
But what is it, exactly, that we are hoping for? Is it just another spiritual revival that reminds us of what we already possess? Is it a revisiting of past glories and miraculous testimonies? Or is it something else?
If we are truly living out a synchronization of past patterns, what changed between the resurrection and the day of Pentecost the first time? More specifically, how were the first disciples changed in a way that would reveal a targeted expectation? They had already received all power and authority to perform miraculous signs and wonders. They had already been commissioned to bring deliverance to the captives and even raise the dead. What more could they possibly need?
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Jesus promised His disciples power, but with a specific result – they would be “witnesses.” That word witness is another word for martyr. It carries the idea that one who is a witness will be so impassioned and emboldened with their testimony, they are willing to die for it – even a violent death!
“And when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I myself was standing by and approving and watching over the garments of those who killed him.” (Acts 22:20)
If you read the book of Acts following Pentecost, there is a noticeable shift in the attitude of the apostles. The biggest change is not in their level of spiritual power to perform miracles or their Kingdom authority over the works of the devil – it is their OUTRIGHT BOLDNESS to CONFRONT THE OPPOSITION. The significant impartation they received on the day of Pentecost was a heaven-sent outpouring of courage to challenge the very people they used to fear. No longer bound to the fear of man, the zeal of the Lord emboldened them to be the very change agents they had been praying about for generations.
Consider the differences of these men before and after Pentecost:
- “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) Instead of speaking on their own terms, THEY BEGAN SPEAKING BY THE SPIRIT, revealing mysteries otherwise unknown to man.
- “But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up (exalt one’s self) his voice and addressed them.” (Acts 2:14) Instead of shrinking back from doubt and unbelief, THEY STEPPED TO THE FRONT IN FAITH, unashamed of their testimony and their charge.
- “And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” (Acts 2:40) Instead of looking for outside deliverance, THEY TOOK RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ENEMY OCCUPATION, unafraid to call the people higher.
- “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them… ‘This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone…’ Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished.” (Acts 4:8, 11-13) Instead of hiding from the unjust rulers and corrupt officials, THEY OPENLY REBUKED THEIR UNBELIEF and fearlessly faced their accusers.
The word “boldness” means “free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, assurance; the deportment by which one becomes conspicuous or secures publicity.” Instead of hesitating and holding back, the disciples purposely became conspicuous! They wanted to be seen and heard, especially in the public square. The supernatural confidence that burned in their hearts compelled them to speak up, regardless of the cost. And, indeed, it cost them. Many times they were taken to jail, beaten, and even stoned. How did they respond? With joy!
“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:29-31)
We are much like the early disciples. We already have all the resources necessary to fulfill our commission. We’ve already heard the truth and witnessed His power. What holds us back from stepping out of our comfort zones is our own fear and self-doubt. The Holy Spirit wants to pour out fresh fire and holy boldness into the Church to unleash Kingdom authority right in the middle of enemy territory. The deliverance we’re praying for and transformation we long for is about to explode – THROUGH US!
I believe this coming Pentecost is much more than an increase in signs, wonders, and miracles, or a resurgence of supernatural encounters (which will happen). It will be an infilling of GREATER BOLDNESS for the King and His Kingdom! In the face of rising corruption in the culture and demonic powers exerting their will on the earth, the heavenly host will come again as messengers of wind and ministers of flaming fire to empower the Ekklesia that has been praying and waiting in the upper room (see Ps 104:4)! Lord, let your fire fall!
Thank-you so much for the words spoken.i have to tell my daughter that whatever happens I am covered by the blood. I pray for the church’s more than my communities , but I pray for my apartment complex. Lanette
At this time leading up to Pentecost and Pentecost itself, Christian leaders especially must physically come together, transcending any perceived differences, and honour Jesus’ prayer John 17:20-23, and therefore the heart of Jesus.
“How many times would I gather you together as a hen her brood’. Mt 23:37
Without that unity of heart with Jesus and each other, there would have been no Pentecost.
Christians must have the heart to represent the disciples of Jesus, to pray, repent and prepare for the day of Pentecost in ‘your Upper Room’. Just as back then, Jesus and his disciples had to move carefully, being aware of not only the Romans, but Jewish spies also. They too were under a type of partial ‘lock down’ and martial law.
Jesus’ disciples were spiritually and emotionally ‘shaken’ by Jesus’ death, giving them a rawness and tenderness of heart that helped them to receive the Holy Spirit through the 40 day separation from Satan + 10 days for a new beginning. Ten being the number of completion, the disciples and followers of Jesus could undergo a spiritual resurrection of their hearts and minds, and be born again.
Today’s Christians must undergo this same experience as God has ‘shaken’ the world to prepare people’s hearts and minds again, to receive God’s spirit in order to move forward to build God’s Kingdom as the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, then the Jordan River to enter Canaan, and finally returning to Jerusalem from Babylon after a period of chastisement and separation. Today, Christians must traverse the sea of tribulation to enter the worldwide Canaan in order to welcome the Lord of the Second Advent. Christianity being a worldwide faith.
Repentance, and a longing heart for God and Jesus being the key for the Holy Spirit to come to us.
Jesus rose coming out of the tomb, and Christians must rise, coming out of the ‘womb’, through this 40 +10 day time period. Christians must prepare themselves to be born again in order to enter the ‘Promised Land’ substantially, that being America, a ‘new America’ (a new Jerusalem), resurrected from the grave. America also includes the world, (For God so loved the ‘world’) and Christians wherever they may be, can participate in this ‘Resurrection’, as the body of Christ.
From there we must build God’s Substantial Kingdom as Jesus directed us, “Seek first God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness”, and “Thy Kingdom come,Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”.
Furthermore, as Christ’s representatives we must act and take responsibility so ‘that the fire is already kindled’:
Luke 12:41 “Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating.
48 But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more”.
49 “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!”