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.
In a post-resurrection appearance Jesus Christ tells his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they have received the promise of the Father. What is the promise of the Father?
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
The promise of the Father is a New Covenant and with this New Covenant, God’s gift of spirit.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
God had promised Israel that He would make a New Covenant with them. A covenant wherein they would receive holy spirit. Jesus Christ knew God’s gift of holy spirit was coming because it was written in the Old Testament. He had fulfilled the Old Covenant and now with his blood he cut the New Covenant with Israel.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
The shedding of his blood had a twofold purpose. His blood was for the remission of sins, the sacrifice of the innocent blood like the Passover lamb and the shedding of his blood also cut the New Covenant. Peter understood these things.
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
On the Day of Pentecost people were in Jerusalem from many nations.
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 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, 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?
They didn’t understand what had just taken place. These people weren’t viewing this event through eyes that were focused on the written Word of God; they were simply viewing these events as strange and different. But Peter brought them right back to God’s Word and the prophet Joel.
These people from the different nations were Judeans of the dispersia. What or who is the dispersia?
And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
After Solomon the kingdom of Israel split into two nations. The ten northern tribes were known as Israel and the two southern tribes were known as Judah. The northern tribes fell to Assyria and were carried away into captivity. The southern tribes were carried away as captives by Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar.
The northern tribes were never released by Assyria before Assyria was conquered by Babylon. The southern tribes were released, after seventy years of captivity, by the Persian ruler who had defeated Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson.
But most of the Judeans in Babylon did not return when they were given the opportunity, instead they remained in Babylon. The people that remained scattered abroad are known as the dispersia. This dispersia was still required by the Law of Moses to return to Jerusalem, after the Temple had been rebuilt, three times a year for the feast days of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
These people that were at the Temple when the Day of Pentecost had fully come were a part of the dispersia. They all would have spoken Hebrew but they also would have known the native tongue of the land where they lived. When the apostles spoke in tongues they spoke in the languages of those that came in from other nations. The different languages were still unknown to the apostles but they were known languages to the hearers.
From this one occurrence some have drawn the conclusion that the only purpose of speaking in tongues was to move God’s Word in an area the speaker didn’t know the language of the people he was teaching. This sounds good as long as you put your mind on hold and rush by the statement.
First, what is the profit in me teaching something in another language if I have utterly no idea what it is that I just said? What did I teach them? What about their questions, how do I answer them? If it was a matter of language and understanding on the Day of Pentecost why wouldn’t the apostles simply speak Hebrew since that was a language known by all of the people present?
Speaking in tongues has almost a dozen points of profit to the person speaking but being able to teach in a foreign language is not one of those profits.
1 Corinthians 14:16
Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
The context of 1 Corinthians 14 is the edification of the Church or the body of believers present. If I speak in tongues and no one understands it, what is the profit? Who has learned anything? How can another say Amen when you have given thanks by speaking in tongues if he has no idea what you just said?
If one of the profits of speaking in tongues was to communicate God’s Word to someone whose language you do not speak, then 1 Corinthians 14 would be telling you to speak in tongues when someone of a different language was present.
What happened on the day of Pentecost was a miracle. It got the attention of those present and Peter used their attention to teach them the Word of God concerning the Christ who had come to save Israel. Remember, these are from the dispersia, they didn’t live in Jerusalem or even in Judah, they didn’t know that Jesus is the Christ; they didn’t know that the Messiah had come. Peter is about to reveal this information to them.
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.
Jesus is sending the apostles to the nation of Israel around the world, the dispersia. Jesus is also sending them to the rest of the world as Israel, under this New Covenant will finally glorify God before the Gentiles. In the Old Testament Israel only managed to blaspheme the name of God among the Gentiles but in the Revealing Administration they will finally take God’s Word to the world, revealing that Jesus is the Christ. The Revealing Administration is not about death and destruction, that’s the adversary’s action during the Revealing Administration. God’s action is to bring eternal life to anyone that shall call upon the name of the Lord.
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.
Jesus Christ gave these final instructions just before his ascension. Jesus knew that they would receive the promise of God “not many days hence.” Jesus understood it would only be a few days before they received holy spirit because he understood the meaning of Pentecost.
Again, the Administration of Grace is still a secret at this time. No one is looking for the Administration of Grace because God has never had anything to say about this Age of Grace. The apostles are looking to move through this time between the sufferings and the glory as spoken of in 1 Peter 1:10-13.
1 Peter 1:10-13
Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
The example I used earlier was of two mountain ranges. It was as though the nation of Israel, including the prophets, could see two mountain ranges, the one behind the other. The first set of mountains was the suffering and the second set is the glory. In between these two mountain ranges was a valley, a valley they knew had a time of tribulation, a time of wrath and judgment. They searched the scriptures to try and determine how long a period of time existed between these mountains. They couldn’t determine how long this time of tribulation and judgment would last. These prophets that searched the scriptures were looking for that grace that will come unto Israel when they have reached the time of glory, the grace that was to come to Israel when their King returned in glory.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
The Greek word for “fully come” is sumpleroo which means to fulfill entirely, to be completed. In Acts chapter two the purpose and reason for the Day of Pentecost had been fulfilled, the beginning of the New Covenant with the out pouring of God’s gift of holy spirit.
And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.
Pentecost is a feast day of Israel according to the Mosaic Law. God gave Israel seven feast days, three of which every Israeli was required to be at Jerusalem, at the Temple. Pentecost was one of those three days.
Jewish tradition considers Pentecost to be the birthday of the nation of Israel because it was on this day that Israel stood before God after leaving Egypt and entered into the Old Covenant by agreeing to do all that God commanded. When Moses presented the words of God to the people, they as a nation, declared, “All that the LORD hath spoken we will do…” All tribes declared as one tribe, as one nation, we will do what God says.
They also believed Moses received the first, or old, covenant from God fifty days after the original Passover which took place while they were still in Egypt. Thus they considered Pentecost to be the day on which they received the Old Covenant.
All of these things were leading up to the real purpose God had in mind concerning Pentecost, which was the beginning of the New Covenant and the receiving of holy spirit.
Pentecost is not the birthday of what is called the Christian Church as has been commonly taught in Christianity. Pentecost is a Jewish Holy Day when Israel received the Old Covenant from God and the New Covenant, also addressed to Israel, after the accomplished work of Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus Christ could say just before his ascension, ten days before Pentecost, you will receive holy spirit “not many days hence.” Jesus Christ knew exactly what was going to take place at Pentecost. Jesus Christ was sent to the circumcision to confirm the promises made unto the fathers (Romans 15:8).
But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Peter, James, and John were sent to the circumcision, to Israel. They were sent to the Church of the Bride as spoken of in the Old Testament.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
There are a few very important but misunderstood statements in these verses. First, “thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my church” has nothing to do with Peter being the foundation of any church. This should be understood as, you are Peter, a stone that is easily moved but upon this Rock, Jesus, I will build my church.
Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Jesus Christ is the stone or rock that was set at nought by the religious leaders of the day, Jesus Christ is the foundation upon which the Church of the Bride is built.
1 Peter 2:6-8
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Peter is a stone, a pebble that is easily moved. A characteristic Peter more than demonstrated during his life as he corrected his Lord, denied his Lord, decided to go fishing and other such things. But Christ is the Rock, a sure foundation upon which something can be built.
Consider the teaching of Jesus about the foolish man who built his house upon sand verses the wise man who built his house a rock. Jesus is that rock!
The second point is Peter receiving the “keys to the kingdom”. This is an orientialism, a custom that the Hebrews would know and understand. It means Peter was in charge or the leader of the apostles and in taking God’s Word to the dispersia and to the Gentiles.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
Peter was given authority, as we also read in Galatians 2:7-9. That is why Peter is the first to deal with the Gentiles that Israel will reach out to during the Revealing Administration. Peter is the one God sent to the household of Cornelius and later Peter travels to Babylon after Acts chapter 12 to work with the dispersia.
1 Peter 5:13
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
This is part of the closing salutation in the first epistle of Peter. Both the first and second epistles are written by Peter from Babylon and they are addressed to the dispersia of Israel.
1 Peter 1:1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
The word translated scattered here is the Greek word diaspora and refers to those who from Israel have been scattered abroad.
Many Christian traditions exist concerning Pentecost and the beginning of the modern day church and all of them are based upon scriptures that have been misunderstood because too many have ignored the administrations God has set in His Word. The words of Jesus to the religious leaders of his day seem very appropriate in this situation.
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
When the Day of Pentecost has fully come, it came to and for Israel.