Greetings MOL Family!
Did the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost make them of one accord in one place? No, it found them already in that condition…
Right here is a vital point: The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost did not make them of one accord; it found them of one accord. It was what happened to them in the upper room with Jesus the night of the betrayal, and in Gethsemane, and around the cross, and those days after the resurrection. And now, especially these ten days of supplication and intercession, confession and repentance. It took all that to bring them to the place where they were all of one mind and of one soul.
Now, the outpouring of the Spirit, doubtless, helped to keep them that way. But my point is, the Spirit never would have come in Pentecostal power unless they had reached that point. And there are blessings that God waits to give the remnant church that can never be ours until we reach that point.
We have been given a good deal of instruction on this point, and if we will listen to it, we can have wonderful blessings today, as they did back then.
On the Day of Pentecost the Infinite One revealed Himself in power to the church. By His Holy Spirit He descended from the heights of heaven as a rushing, mighty wind, to the room in which the disciples were assembled. … They grasped the imparted gift. And what followed? Thousands were converted in a day. The sword of the Spirit, newly edged with power and bathed in the lightnings of heaven, cut its way through unbelief. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 7, pg. 31
Why has that been written, friends? Why was it put down, there? Why, so you and I can have the same experience today. For I read here in Volume 8, after speaking of the Day of Pentecost:
So mightily can God work when men give themselves up to the control of His Spirit.
To us today, as verily as to the first disciples, the promise of the Spirit belongs. God will today endow men and women with power from above, as He endowed those who on the Day of Pentecost heard the word of salvation. At this very hour His Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and will take Him at His word.
Notice that it was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. – Testimonies for the Church, Volume 8, pg. 20
See, the servant of God calls our attention to this essential detail: The outpouring of the Spirit was after they had come to that place of perfect unity. Now, don’t misunderstand. They had to have a degree of the Spirit in order to reach that point.
We speak of those two different manifestations today as the early rain and the latter rain. The work of the early rain is to bring us to the place of victory over sin, of unity with Christ and one another. The latter rain awaits our development to that point of victory and unity.
So Early Writings says:
I saw that none could share the ‘refreshing’ unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. – Early Writings, pg. 70
So, dear friends, like Peter and his brethren, we are called to tarry until, to tarry until.
Now, they didn’t spend every minute of those 10 days on their knees. There were various things that they had to do. You can gather that as you read the Bible record and the Spirit of Prophecy comment. But through those days of preparation one object was ever before them. One request was again and again on their lips: “Oh, Father, in Jesus’ name we pray, pour out the Spirit upon us. And dear Lord, whatever there is in our hearts and lives that’s hindering it, point it out and help us to get it out of the way.”
It seems to me, as in imagination I listen in to the conversation in that upper room, I can hear James and John get up and say: “Brethren, we have something on our hearts we need to say. You know, a few weeks ago we got our mother with us and we went to Jesus and asked for the highest place in the kingdom. You men all know that. This morning we’re confessing that that was a selfish thing. We’re repudiating that. And we’re not asking for the highest place in the kingdom. We just want to be one with the rest of you. Forgive us, brethren, for our selfishness in trying to get ahead of the rest of you. Forgive us.”
And do you know, as they did that, and the tears of repentance mingled with the tears of forgiveness, I can see James and John and the others just throwing their arms around one another. It was a love feast.
But all the disciples had something to confess, didn’t they? They had all, in their hearts, and sometimes quite outwardly, given evidence that they were seeking for the highest place. But that was all put away.
And from that time on, we do not see one of those disciples who had been with Jesus, and who are in that upper room, seeking for the highest place. For them there was just one subject of interest: how to be like Jesus, how to reveal to others the tender love that He had revealed to them. So, under the influence of Jesus those disciples were welded together.
Oh, brethren and sisters, certainly this is the time when we need a uniting message, not a divisive message. What do you say?
I want to read you something from Early Writings. You know we’ve been studying the Sanctuary, and how much we need the blessing of the study of the Sanctuary. On page 63 of Early Writings, we are told that:
Such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus are the principle subjects on which the messengers should dwell. – Ibid., pg. 63
On the same page we are given this caution. Listen:
I have seen the danger of the messengers running off from the important points of present truth, to dwell upon subjects that are not calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. Satan will here take every possible advantage. – Ibid
Do you see, friends, it’s important to study present truth. It’s important to deal with the things that pertain to this present hour. But in doing it, we need to be careful, this says – careful to dwell upon subjects that are calculated to unite the flock and sanctify the soul. The true teaching of the true sanctuary work will unite the church, my friends. It won’t divide it and scatter it.
Somebody says, “Well, won’t people rise up against the straight testimony?” Yes, friends. But oh, that God may help us to understand that. I haven’t time to go into that today. My point is this: in the upper room, Peter and the other disciples tarried until their hearts were of one accord, until they were just like one person in their love for Jesus, their love for one another, and then, and not until then, the mighty power of Pentecost was revealed.
Are we going to see things like that again? Oh, yes. Double. All that happened back then its going to be repeated on a wider scale, in a grander way. But now Jesus is saying to you and me, as He did to Peter, “Feel your need for the Spirit, plead for it with all your hearts, get close to God and to your brethren, so that nothing will hinder the wonderful work.”
It’s something like a valve… Here’s a great lake of water up here. There’s a great pipeline that comes from it, but the valve down here is closed. We open that valve and what happens? It rushes out a mighty torrent.
The Spirit longs to come, my friends. God does not need to be persuaded. But you and I need to have the valve opened. We need to remove everything that holds back the blessing. Shall we enter in? God help us to do it.
Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for the wonderful promise of the gift of Thy Spirit. We choose, like Peter and his brethren, to tarry until this preliminary work is done in our hearts, we’re drawn together with Thee and Thy church, and prepared for the repetition of Pentecost on a grander scale. God grant it, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Now we want to hear from you. What is your heart saying in regard to these things that we’ve studied in lesson nine?
Until next week – Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then… Maranatha!
Did you know that we have more online classes available (and posted daily)?
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.