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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Abiding Meaning of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-36; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 16:28; Acts 2:34; 1 Corinthians 15:25

Acts is preeminently a book of principles; and it is just here we so often go wrong in looking for the repetition of the form by which those principles were expressed; forms of expression change, but the principles abide.

Though the Lord may do a fresh thing, He will not necessarily use the same form, but He will do it on the same principles; these principles are eternal, changeless; they abide for ever.

We are so often wanting a repetition of Pentecost in the form it took then, of manifestations and demonstrations on the outside. The Lord will do a new thing; and things basic to His activity then will be basic to His activity always. Principles, and not forms, are the things for which we are to look.

The basis of everything at Pentecost centered in and related to one thing, the enthronement of the Lord Jesus in heaven in the full virtue of His universal triumph. So far His universal triumph has not reached its full end: "Sit Thou on My right hand, until ...". (Psalm 110:1). He sits there in virtue of His universal triumph; and that triumph in this age is working out to its full issue, "until ..."

First Corinthians 15:25, 26 and 57: "For He must reign, till He hath put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."  "But thanks be to God, Who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." He must reign until - His reign has now begun!

Everything that took place at Pentecost centered in that and related to that enthronement of the Son of Man.

Acts 2:22, 32-36: "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God ... this Jesus did God raise up ... being therefore by the right hand o God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear ... let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified." That is the center, pivot and heart of all that took place at Pentecost.

Too often our attitude suggests that the Lord Jesus is hardly equal to the situation, and that principalities and powers, and the devil have the dominion and authority, or that it is a very big fight with an almost doubtful issue!

Pentecost represents the beginning of the heavenly sovereignty of the Lord Jesus, and some of them saw the Son of Man coming into His kingdom ere they tasted of death. Jesus said unto them, "Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power" (Mark 9:1).

Pentecost presents a crisis and a climax, connected with which are quite a number of things. In Acts 2 see the different connections with the Old Testament Scriptures and the climax to them; link Acts 2 with Ephesians 3:9-11. "To make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God ... to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the Church the manifold wisdom of God according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord".

Let us trace the connection and the climaxes:  1. As to the Old Testament Scriptures; 2. As to the Lord's Person and work; 3. As to the training and preparing of His instrument - the Church.

First, the climax in relation to the Old Testament. Notice how it is taken up in this record in Acts 2, and read Luke 24:26, 27, 44: "Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself ... and He said unto them, "These are My words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms, concerning Me".

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 2 - "Pentecost Linked with all the Old Testament Scriptures")

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