Pentecost People - Printable Version

+- ZionFireFriends (https://zionfire.com/forum)
+-- Forum: Ministry Round Table (https://zionfire.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=6)
+--- Forum: General Worship Discussions (https://zionfire.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=39)
+--- Thread: Pentecost People (/showthread.php?tid=1041)

Pentecost People - DeanZF - 04-28-2009

I've got this thing bubbling up in me and I'm going to try and type my way through it to see if I can get it to make sense.

I'm studying the feasts of the Lord all over again, looking at them from a different perspective, one that is challenging, fun, and thorny all at the same time. It's a couple of weeks past Resurrection/Easter and we're quickly moving in on Shavuot or Passover. Weekly readings in church plus my own readings on the feasts have churned up some interesting perspectives. Some, I'm sure that I've heard at least smatterings from other teachers, but I'm not sure how much.

I've been thinking a lot about the Israelites during the 50 or so years around the time of Messiah. Before Messiah, the Israelites were the People of the Promise. For several thousand years, there was the promise and the expectation of Messiah. When things were dark, when Elijah was sure that he was the only believer left on the face of the earth, the Lord Himself had to talk to Elijah and remind him that not only was he not alone, but in addition to the remnant, there was still One who had not given up on the plan that was from before the ages. Messiah was still a promise to the offspring of Abraham, especially through Isaac and through Jacob/Israel. Abba gave Elijah a faith transfusion and helped him survive tough times.

The Jews during the decades before Jesus' birth were again in dire straits. Things were tough. They were in political upheaval, the priesthood was corrupt, Rome was on the throne of Israel. Where was God when they needed Him? Maybe He's given up on the idea of redemption and was just going to let the vine that was Israel dry up and blow away. Who could blame Him, after all? Very dark times.

Enter Messiah. Quietly, in an unexpected way, unrecognized, a rather small little flicker of light in a very dark night. "And His own knew Him not..." There were some who rejected the concept that Messiah could come from Nazareth, that He could be a Galilean, that He could be at all mortal. These unbelievers in Messiah did not cease being people of the promise. They just could not grasp that they could have become the people of the Presence!

This was a very special time in human history, a time when Jesus walked the earth in the vessel of flesh. He was walking with and among His own creation! It was very much like when Adam enjoyed time with God in the cool of the evening. God Himself was walking among the people of the Promise, but they could not see.

How many of us walk without seeing? I know that I've done it. So intent on seeing something happen the way I envisioned it that I did not recognize it when it actually happened! Think about all the crazy little tidbits of the Gospels where the humanity of those in Jesus' life got in the way of the "big picture", if you will. The one scene where it seemed as though His mom and siblings were outside asking Him to cut out this silly ministry stuff and come home, back to the carpenter shop to fulfill their dream of what He should be--provider, carpenter, man of the house. Think about Judas who tried to force Jesus' hand by betraying Him; my guess is that Judas thought it would force Jesus to take the throne in the fashion that Judas and other Zealots had in mind. "Should we call down bolts of lightning on them?" "Let my sons sit at your left and right when you come into your kingdom..." There are SO many examples of Olympic class conclusion jumping. They could not get it, and He was there WITH THEM! Stunning.

Triumphal entry, capture, crucifixion, and burial. Egads, another HUGE dark time. Despair at the death of Hope incarnate, fear of reprisals from Rome and the Jewish political powers. They had invested heavily and now seemed on the edge of bankruptcy. Financial ruin, spiritual ruin, moral and cultural ruin. It was over! Well, not just yet. Then came the resurrection, a first ascension, and forty days of playing peek-a-boo with the disciples. He rebuilt their faith, showed them that what He has said had come to pass and, to steal a sort of vaudeville line, "You ain't seen nothing yet!" After a final 40 days on earth came the final ascension, leaving the newly ordained apostles with a whole lot of work to do, and not a whole lot of ideas about where to start. Except one cryptic last command: "Y'all stick around here in Jerusalem, and wait for what Father promised, just as I've told y'all before. John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"

Good grief! They're STUCK AGAIN! Jesus redeemed some few of the people of the Promise to become the people of the Presence, and just as He's getting ready for yet another major transition, these guys are still stuck in a time warp wondering about Messiah as King. Hallelujah that Father did not just say, "OY!" and turn away mumbling. They're still in the dark, wringing their hands, wondering about the consequences of their public displays of faith in Jesus as Messiah and how it was either going to cost them or how they were going to be courtiers to the new Jewish reign in the land. Makes me shake my head and smile all at the same time. I've been there and been that thick, not able to see the tree for the forest. The final ascension happens, and about ten days later, they were together again, probably still wondering what the heck Jesus meant by this baptized with the Holy Spirit thing, when it happens.

Supernatural noises and sights, what appeared to be something like tongues of flame, a mighty rushing wind (and the flames did not go out!!), and things began shouting out of their mouths that certainly did not come from their own minds. Imagine a group of ill-bred, nearly totally uneducated men, only a hair's breadth above slave class, not well dressed, not well-to-do, not endowed with anything that one might call "class". Now imagine them able to speak the highest, classiest, most cultured languages of the day, flawlessly, and to tell the magnificent story of the Gospel in ways that the Jewish pilgrims from near and far could hear the tales of Jesus told in ecstatic languages so the pilgrims could understand what the last 7 weeks of life in Jerusalem had wrought. These distraught men had just become people of the Power!

In their lifetimes, God had moved His people from being people of the Promise, to people of the physical Presence, and now to people of profound Power. Within a single generation! Think of physical revelations that have changed our world in short periods. Electricity. Automobiles. Airplanes. My grandmother was born in 1888, well before Henry Ford was puttering around Dearborn, Michigan. Her kin was IN DETROIT when Henry's first set of wheels made their debut. She was alive and had connections to Detroit Michigan when the Model T was introduced. She was in a choir and sang at the inaugural race of the Indianapolis Racetrack. She was alive and living not far from Dayton, Ohio when the Wright brothers made their first flight. She was alive when the first American stepped foot on the moon. That's an 80 year span of American history that changed our world a lot, but think about the 40 years that included Jesus' birth, death, resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. "One small step for a man" does not have ANY eternal significance. One giant leap into a virgin's womb has eternal significance for all who believe.

People of the Power. This phrase has had me going for a couple of weeks now. I think someone wrote a book about Pentecost People or People of Pentecost. I'm not sure that it's not on our wall somewhere. Think about the concept and ask, "Am I stuck in the Promise? Have I at least made it to His Presence? What does it mean to be one of the 'People of the Power'?"

Continued tomorrow night.

Pentecost People - DeanZF - 05-18-2009

Well, if you look at the dates, you know it's well beyond tomorrow night. :doghouse:

People of the Power. What does that mean and what does it look like? What doesn't it look like?

New Testament Scripture uses two different words for power. The implications of and the normal teachings on the two different words are wide and varied. One word is the word from which come two English words with very different views of the concept of power—dynamo and dynamite. Both imply manifestations or displays of power, both actual and potential. One is literally pretty flashy and short lived (<EMOJI seq="26a1">:zap:</EMOJI>) while the other is a source that keeps producing results as long as it is allowed to operate. Both produce tangible and visible results, both can cause damage and even death if used carelessly or wrongly. In one sense, however, one calls attention to itself and the other never points to self, but rather quietly produces results. There are clues there, I think.

The other kind of power that is spoken of in the Greek is that of authority more than shock and awe. Think for a moment about a sheriff, or a deputy sheriff, or an old time western posse. Those men were set in place for a specific time and task—they had the power of life and death in their hands without recrimination. Members of a posse were limited by definition to the chasing of an individual or a specific group of people. They were not doing detective work, traffic control, or arresting anyone who crossed them. They had not been given that power or authority. So long as they stayed within the guidelines and the expected behavior for a posse member or a deputy sheriff, things were fine. There are clues here, too.

If we are to be People of the Power, we need to find out what God's expectations are for us everyday, non-apostle type folks who live and work in the world but who are expected not to be part of that world. Let's look at some of what God had ordained us to, and authorized us to be doing.

The "biggie" is, of course, the Great Commission. We are all to go into all the world, and make disciples of all the people groups (nations). Have you looked at the verse that precedes that lately? Jesus speaking, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go…" Jesus is saying, "The power to do these things is Mine and I am deputizing YOU to go do some things." If you read John Piper, he'll tell you that we are actually to be teaching people to be worshipers! Those of you who know me can believe that I can beat that drum long and hard. I do believe that is a large part of it, but it is also true, I believe, that Jesus is wanting us to teach those who want to learn of His ways, how to walk and live in His ways. That requires power of the dynamo type.

Yes, we have been given the authority to be citizens of Heaven and to live and act accordingly. That is more than permission and it is more than deputization. Because we have been adopted as sons, we have full rights as children of The King, not as mere citizens of the kingdom. This is not a subtle thing. 1 Peter 2:9 says some amazing things about this: "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, [Why??] so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…" Can you see authority in this and a relationship to the Great Commission? "I have authority, therefore…" Jesus' authority is what created the chosen, what made it/us royal, ordained it/us as priests, that set it/us apart as holy, and made it possible for it/us to be God’s possession. It is His dynamo power that provides the way for us to live it out. Hebrews 1:3 is translated in a lot of different ways. Part of the verse talks about holding all things in place by His word of power, or the power of His word. Another translation talks there about sustaining all things by the power of His word. His word is literally life. What I see here is the exercise of both dynamo and authority powers. Look at the intention and the fact that all of it is guided by one over-riding power: Love! God sustains all the stuff of the universe for what? He LOVES the universe and He loves US! If He could or would blink for a moment or rest from that all-sustaining, power-filled word, we would cease to be. The stars would go instantly cold and dark and fly to their destruction. Gravity and magnetic fields would cease to be. Atmospheres would vanish. Our atoms would simply poof and be gone.

As we look to our Creator and our Savior for guidance on how to use power of either type, the over-riding power needs to be put into play. If God gives us gifts, we can self-promote to gain stature, honor, wealth, or any number of other nifty things, or we can use those gifts in love to bring others to a new or greater knowledge of Him. We were taught early on that the Holy Spirit never calls attention to Himself, but always points toward Jesus or Father. A dynamo never produces its power to hoard or to make itself bigger. Dynamos are pretty much invisible and make it possible for us to see and do and be what we could not without them. Isn’t that what God’s power is about, too? Both kinds!

More soon.

Pentecost People - HelenaZF - 05-18-2009

Quote:Another translation talks there about sustaining all things by the power of His word.

The power of the Word must not be underestimated.

When I made the banner <URL url="http://www.zionfire.com/Sustainer.html">Sustainer, that verse was the guiding theme verse for it. When I looked into the root of the word sustain , I found that the implication was that the very atoms of everything created are kept from blowing apart by the power of His Word. That is awesome.