Now, Pentecost comes to rule them out utterly; it is no longer themselves but HIM; now they can follow to the death, now they can forgive, the personal has gone, no longer are their interests the predominant thing even in the things of God; but solely and utterly HIS GLORY at any cost.
Pentecost demands that ground, speaks of that ground - we are finished! There is no place for mere soul-force here; soul-force in the things of God is a denial of the Holy Spirit; He is the "Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2).
It is no longer our efforts, our achievements, we are out of it, and it is henceforth, The Lord did it! That is Pentecost!
The Lord is seeking to get an instrument, by and through which to present the Lord Jesus to the nations as "Prince and Saviour" (Acts 5:31). And there must first be a realization of the absolute sovereignty of the Lord Jesus in the life, before there can be such a presenting of Him to the nations.
Contradiction in life brings weakness in testimony, and there can be no ruling in prayer through being in touch with the Throne, where there is any contradiction, authority in prayer is paralyzed. All this is preparation and training to gain an instrument; an instrument for the enthroned Lord, to meet His need and to establish His sovereignty in the earth.
The Second Part of the Training - the Forty Days after the Resurrection
This is another phase of their training; note the feature of this. It was an establishing in their experience of what He said He was - Resurrection in Person.
In the days of His flesh, He had claimed power over His life, "no one taketh it away from Me ... I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from My Father" (John 10:18), and for forty days He was establishing in their experience what He said He was, and all He had claimed to be. It would have been a catastrophe without those forty days, they would have lost the reality of the living presence of the Lord.
It was also the establishment to them of all He had promised in relation to His resurrection; "I will never leave you." "I am with you always - all the days." "Because I live, ye shall live also." He had made many promises on the ground of resurrection, and came back and established them all; and theirs was a faith in a risen, living and present Lord, and not only in a historic Jesus.
Next, He established the fact that He is Lord of men; and we see the inclusiveness of His claim. All forces that could be used of men were brought in by them to put Him out of existence; but He came back! Man cannot get rid of the Lord Jesus. He is sovereign of men.
Back of men is the devil, he is involved in all this, and he has exhausted himself and resorted to his last weapon, Death. The answer to that is the Resurrection: "I am ... the living One; and I became dead, and behold, I am Alive for Evermore, and I have the keys (authority) of death and of Hades" (Revelation 1:18).
(continued with # 5)