The Main Ingredients Of Pentecost
By James A. Dunlap
Everybody wants a Pentecost, but not everybody wants to invest the time and effort that it takes to have one. The outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost was not accidental or just a sovereign work of God upon an unsuspecting group of people. It did not take place while people were out shopping, golfing, or doing any other activity, but the infilling Spirit came upon only the prepared ones who were expecting Him.
This was true not just at Pentecost in Acts 2, but also in Acts 8. Philip prepared the city, then Peter and John came down and laid their hands on baptized believers, and they received the Holy Ghost. In Acts 10 Cornelius’ household was a prepared family that had waited for three days. It is no wonder that the Holy Ghost fell on those who heard the Word. It is still true today. Jesus Himself said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
It takes more than a building, which you can enter, turn on the lights, start the music, and say, “Now, let us have Pentecost!” There are some main ingredients that go into every outpouring of God’s Spirit. Let us examine the first outpouring and discover some of these ingredients.
- They obeyed the Lord. When Jesus got ready to leave this earth, He commanded His disciples to go back to Jerusalem, not to Galilee. The apostles were from Galilee. Their homes, families, and jobs waited for them. They already had their home life delayed by the Crucifixion, three days of death in which they experienced the pain of losing their loved one, the Resurrection that brought great JOY to them, and forty days in which Jesus often appeared to them. Many things were left undone at home by their presence in Judea, and now Jesus told them to go back to Jerusalem where the Jewish religious leaders had judged Jesus and called for His crucifixion. I am sure their minds were asking why Jerusalem, but He said it and they must obey Him.
Oh that today people would not ask Him why, but just say yes to His Word! If He said Jerusalem, then Jerusalem it is, no questions asked. If you want a Pentecost, it will not come the way you want it to come, nor will it break upon you according to your carnal plans. The Spirit baptism comes through obedience. (See Acts 5:32.)
- They waited. This is the part that kills most Pentecostal outpourings for us today. We just do not want to take time for a Pentecost. Our schedules and jobs are too full to let us. We may have time for two weeks at Disney World, time for fishing, time for shopping, but why wait for a Pentecost? What would happen if we all took a vacation from everything and spent ten days waiting on Him? I believe that we would again see a Pentecost in all its glory. We just do not take time to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Moses spent forty days in getting the law, and Elijah took a journey of forty days and nights just to hear the still small voice. Daniel waited twenty-one days to get an angelic answer. The 120 at Pentecost lingered fifty days from the Crucifixion, including seven to ten days of waiting in an upper room, to receive their Pentecost. But often we turn out the lights and go home after a few moments of prayer. A
Pentecostal outpouring will not happen that way. It will only come if we take time in prayer to prepare our hearts for another Pentecost.
- Unity. The disciples were all of one mind and one accord. This is astounding. The last verses of chapter one tell how they replaced Judas, who had fallen by transgression. They cast lots and chose Matthias. Matthias was probably not the pick of everyone, yet they forgot about not getting the candidate they wanted. They came together in one mind and one accord.
What would happen if we could focus not on the person who is in leadership but on Jesus? A Pentecost would come! Some people always want new leaders, saying, “If we had a new leader (whether that would be a superintendent, presbyter, or pastor), we would have revival.” But we have access to all the revival we want.
No leader has control of God or His outpouring. But focused unity on Him will prepare out hearts and bring his blessed outpouring of the Spirit. Our problem is often expressed as: (1) I want to choose the place; (2) I want to choose the time; (3) I want to choose who I am with. One of these three things is the problem, not leadership. Just let everybody begin to speak the same thing, and here comes God! He comes in the midst of people who are unified.
In Genesis, when the people became of one mind, nothing was impossible to them: “And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one… and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (Genesis 11:6). God’s comment was said about sinful men. How much more will God work in the church that is united in Him!
When we obey, wait in prayer before God, and unite in mind and heart, a Pentecost will happen again in our churches. The Holy Ghost will fill each person in each assembly.
The leaders in the United Pentecostal Church have called us to believe God together for an outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in 1995. Together we believe that over ten thousand people in North America will be filled with the Holy Ghost in our churches on one day. Our people will experience great revival!
Let us obey God in witnessing to our communities about Jesus, wait upon Him with expectation for the coming, outpouring of the Spirit, and be united together. Then the Spirit will fall upon us and our congregations.
The Above Material Was Published By The Pentecostal Herald, April 1995, Pages 13-15. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.