GIFTS AT PENTECOST
THE ENDOWMENT OF SPECIAL GIFTS AT PENTECOST, THE REASON FOR THEM, THEIR CESSATION AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT CESSATION
The Lord gave knowledge to His disciples just prior to His ascending into Heaven, that empowerment for special purposes would be given (Acts 1:8). See: MONTANISM; Rev. Chp. 1:11(a).
That event took place at Pentecost, which was 50 days (7 Jewish Sabbaths) after Our Lord became the wave offering before Jehovah of the first fruit at Passover (Lev. 23:10-15) & (1Cor. 15:23).
Our Lord's Ascension to the Father was as the first fruit (wave offering), and hence His command to Mary Magdalene at the tomb not to touch Him, (John 20:17).
Pentecost as is well known is the Jewish Feast to celebrate a number of important parts of their history, i.e. the Exodus, etc., but also concentrates on thanksgiving for expiation of sin together with sin offerings.
A major part of the celebration is for the FIRST FRUITS of the harvest, as it was after this stage that it is released for general consumption prior to which it is in the domain of Jehovah only.
Christ (Messiah), is the first fruit of those that have eternal life (1Cor. 15:20-23). The fact that the Holy Spirit gave empowerment at that moment for initially the evangelising (general consumption) of the Jews (Acts 2), clearly points to the yet future celebration of the feast of Booths!
At the Pentecost feast, many foreign Jews were in Jerusalem with many different languages spoken. Peter the fisherman, later the disciple and very close friend of Jesus, despite his denials, was given the special task to care for and to feed Christ's (Messiah's) lambs and sheep, which confirmed Christ's statement that He came only to the lost sheep of Israel (Matt. 15:24), (at that time).
Peter spoke at the moment of empowering to explain what was happening. He referred to Joel (2:28-31) where the prophecy was given that such would happen. The reading of Joel in the context of Peter's comment clearly shows together with other cross references in Scripture, that this was a particularly critical moment in the history of the Jewish people, as the Joel prophecy refers to the end Age events for Israel, and the dealing of the Almighty with the Nations of the world, (see: www.revelationsmessage.co.uk / Chapters 1 to 22).
The special gifts that were given of tongues, languages, were meant for translation of the Gospel of Christ which was the Kingdom Gospel, to the foreign Jews (Acts 2), there at that time, and also in the following years as the apostles and evangelists moved out into those territories.
The special empowerment at that time (called by some the gifts of the Spirit, as such they were), continued for a number of years with various of Christ's disciples and apostles, with remarkable effect both in terms of healing, but particularly as regards the spreading of the Gospel of Messiah come to the Jews!
Unfortunately, as the evangelistic work progressed so did the opposition of the Enemy particularly through the hierarchical Jewish priesthood etc., and important Synagogues throughout the known world rejected the message of Paul (which Paul had been uniquely commissioned to present by Christ on the Damascus road).
Despite the rebuffing by the Synagogues and the Jewish hierarchy, Jews and Gentiles formed into separate groups (Ekklesia), and many miraculous events and happenings are recorded.
Resistance inside the Jewish community and priestly hierarchy grew and by roughly AD 61 Paul visited the most important Synagogue in the Gentile world (as was then known) at Rome. The events of Acts 28 record, that although Paul was heard, Christ's message was again rejected, and from Acts 28:25-28 onwards, Scripture records the remarkable, and for the Jews terrible condemnation that the message of Christ would now go to the Gentiles, to the blessing of the Gentiles, and the formation of the "Mystery Church", (Rom. 16:25-26), (Eph. 3:3-9) & (Eph. 5:30-32). (See: Bible Dispensations).
That juncture also corresponds with the prophecy in Hosea where Israel is made Lo-Ammi "Not My People". Since that terrible punctuation mark in history, of the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish Temple by the Romans, Israel has remained "Lo-Ammi". (The Lo-Ammi prophecy is not taken into account by the present Jewish Community; it is not understood together with most of Daniel, Ezekiel and Zechariah. There is a gap in the understanding of current (2018) Jewish teaching regarding the probable near future of the land of Israel, and the Jewish peoples future. (See: The 490 years Prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel).
Up to the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple 483 years had elapsed of the prophecy given to Daniel (Dan. 9); which was given to him by the angel of Jehovah, the commencement of which was to be from the beginning of the rebuilding of the Temple and the walls of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. There are yet 7 years of that prophecy to be fulfilled, at which time Jewish history will have re-started, in the Almighty's definition of Jewish history.
Returning to the Apostle Paul and his works prior to his reputed execution by Nero, as is well known from examination of the 7 letters that he wrote prior to (AD 61) (1 & 2 Thess., Hebrews, 1 & 2 Cor., Gal., & Romans), they are full of optimism regarding the nearness of Christ's return, doctrine, preparation, behaviour, exhortation, and accounts of the actions of remarkable miracles performed.
After AD 61 which coincides with Acts 28:28, Paul could no longer heal on request, (2Tim. 4:20) & (Phil. 2:26-27) and wrote 7 more letters (Phil., Philemon, Col., Eph., 1 & 2 Tim. & Titus), all of which are different in their content to those earlier, when the Jews were “Ammi” (My People)!
In his testimony before Agrippa (Acts 25 and 26), Paul clearly states that when the Lord confronted him on the Damascus road, he was told at that time that there were things which he would be told to do immediately, and there would be later communications from Christ regarding later events, (Acts. 26:16-17).
It is clear from Paul's latter letters (after AD 61), that he is no longer expecting the Lord's imminent return, and as Paul was uniquely commissioned and informed by Christ, he was well aware that Christ's return was in abeyance, and that he was soon to depart the flesh, (as a Roman citizen, by merciful beheading).
The encounter with the Roman Jews was decisive, and the last one in his earlier instruction from Christ. It is clear from prophecy that the Jews (individual and Corporate; i.e. Sanhedrin) had to accept Christ when he was presented to them, and yet will (Zech 12:10) & (Matt. 24:30).
At the presentation of Christ and Barabbas by Pilot, the Jews rejected Jesus Christ but accepted Jesus Barabbas (Matt. 27:17), with the cry "His blood be upon us and our children", (Matt. 27:25-26). After Acts 28:28 and the final rejection of Christ in that “Age” (Administration/Dispensation 1Cor. 12:5); that cry and self-condemnation was to be brought about, and the "Lo-Ammi" state began.
Hosea clearly shows that Jehovah's people the Jews, (the name Jehovah can only be used in conjunction with the Jewish Nation, because its meaning is Elohim in Covenant relationship with Israel, except where "Jehovah Zebaoth" is used, which means "GOD OF ALL THE WORLD" or "God of all peoples"), become "Ammi" again, which means "My people". That undoubtedly coincides with the last 7 years of the prophecy given to Daniel (Dan. 9).
It is evident in the reading of the first few Chapters of Revelation that there is a continuation of the Jewish witness to the Gospel of Christ with special enabling from the Lord Himself, which consists of exhortation, encouragement etc., this is to help them to "Overcome", which is a major priority of that time. That enabling is not the same as the later "pouring out of My spirit on all flesh" (Joel 2:28), which will be after the Lord's Second Advent. The “special enabling” mentioned above was given in Acts 2, as promised by Jesus, for the work and witness of the “KINGDOM GOSPEL” and it ceased at Acts 28:28! It continues at the stage yet to be reached in Rev. 1 onwards. See: MONTANISM; Rev. Chp. 1:11(a).
TO CONCLUDE, all the foregoing is in support of the thesis that the clear references to the special enabling in Acts, continues in different form when Jewish Spiritual history re-commences, which we are of the strong opinion correlates with the Revelation period and has special description in the first Chapters of Revelation.
The "pouring out of God's Spirit", which some now claim is current, and which has its origin in the claims of the founders of the "Charismatic" movement in "Pentecostal" form, using the Joel prophecy of Joel 2:28, is incorrectly applied to the present time. It is a re-emergence of Montanism of A.D. 200 - 800, and the warning of Christ (Matt. 7:21-23), to those that claim falsely to act for Him should be heeded.
The above therefore does not comply with, or give veracity to the movement in the world at the present time which has various denominational titles, one of which is "Charismatic"; but is in many Church groups under their banner of respectability, from the Roman Church onwards; (see: Alpha Courses ).
We state absolutely that we are well aware, that Almighty God, can and will move in individual cases, to perform wonders. We would never wish to go against Scripture or the Almighty's purpose and will never knowingly do so. When He acts through His Holy Spirit in individual lives in many and various special ways, they are usually well hidden, as the only emphasis at this time (Age) (Administration) should be Christ crucified for collective and individual sin, and returning again (soon), to restore ideal Israel (Jeshuran) and the world for the 1000 years reign, prior to handing back the completed work to the Father (1Cor. 15:24).
The Enemy however, as in the counterpart Jesus Barabbas, has many popular counterfeits with which to draw most of the world's peoples into the net of deception, and eventual judgement by the Almighty.
One of the most popular these days is that healing can be demanded by prayer, but the logical outcome of such, if it was legitimate in the will of Almighty God, would be that nobody would die!
That of course would defeat one of the purposes of God in the Son, which is to defeat death, which is the "last enemy", (1Cor. 15:25-26). This is the proof, if such is needed, that the "Charismatic", and "Pentecostal" claims are of the great Enemy! See: (Satan's Motivation:).
The Apostle Paul made it very clear in his letter to Timothy (2Tim. 2:15) that it is incumbent on each of us to work at Scripture, to feel/seek after the Truth of the Almighty, and in any denomination or group which insists that its teaching cannot be questioned, that ethos is clearly against Scripture, which is clearly against the Almighty, and therefore must have its origins with the Enemy.
At the present time, the main work of the TRUE Body of Christ, is to preach Christ crucified for the sin of the world, sitting now in Glory at the Right Hand of God the Father, until His enemies are made His footstool, and soon to return to Earth in Power and Glory. His return (Christ Jesus) will be for the true Body and the rescue of the remnant Israel, when they are at a critical moment of their survival struggle.
See: The Events of Pentecost; What is the Truth? (Discussion Document).
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