Get ready for the revival.
After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
And having met with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to await the promise of the Father which you heard from Me. For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.
But you shall receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you. And you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
And while they were looking intently into the heaven, He having gone, even behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them, who also said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into the heaven? This same Jesus who is taken up from you into Heaven, will come in the way you have seen Him going into Heaven
1. Are we becoming aware of the times that are before us?
Acts 1 and 2 give us some key on what should be our attitude as we are coming into this new season of our life in this world.
It is not the time to become passive and just wait Jesu’s return, because we could be quite disappointed about that.
We are here to give this world the last chance to come to know and meet the true God, Adonai, the Father of the Lord Jesus.
2. Here we see the disciples at an important transition, as we are.
They are coming out of very intense time of training with Jesus Himself. They have experienced the trauma of His death on the Cross and the excitement of His resurrection. Now Jesus is leaving them to go to Heaven and they don’t really know what to do next.
In those 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus showed Himself several times to them.
What does He do there?
He is giving them instruction for the new season of their life that is coming to them.
First of all, the most important thing is that Jesus wanted them to be together and get the same instructions so to move as a team, as the new living cell of what was the new Keila, Ekklesia, He has started with His coming and His work of Redemption.
We clearly realize this intention of having them all together to listen His instructions when we look at Him going to rescue two disciples on the way to Emmaus, who were going to lose the divine appointment and so their destiny. As they recognize Jesus, they go back immediately to Jerusalem to be with the others and meet Jesus there and experience those key 40 days with Him.
Things are not going to be the same for the 12 and for all the 120, from now on.
Up to now they depended on Jesus with them.
Now He is leaving and they have to carry on His mission, the mission of the Father, with a new Counselor, the Holy Spirit. The relationship with Him would be different, but they won’t be able to do anything without Him.
3. We too are at the crossing into a new seasons, where a big shaking is coming on this world, but also a big spiritual shaking is coming to the Ekklesia to move her into a great testimony of God in these difficult times for the world.
This new season cannot be lived as we have done up to now. Something different is coming.
We have come to the end of our human resources on which we have been confident for a long time. We need to be empowered from above in a new way, as it was for the disciples at that time.
Jesus said to the disciple « don’t move until the Holy Spirit will come upon you because at that time you will receive power. Then you will be my witness in all the world »
They had to be infilled with the supernatural power of God and we know how it happened. It wasn’t just something happening quietly and in a private hidden place.
It was a move so strong that all the town was stirred up by what happened to the 120 in the upper room.
Anyway, what Jesus said to the disciples can be applied to us.
To enter the new season we must expect to be infilled with God’s supernatural power through a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit and power, otherwise we will never be able to accomplish the task God is giving us in these special times.
What we have done up to now is weak and quite human (I mean in the natural strength) that we would not stand a second in front of what we are going to face from now on and unable to answer the needs of the people around us.
We need to be empowered from above with supernatural wisdom and power.
4. But there is an important detail in these two chapters of Acts. It concerns the 10 days preceding Pentecost when Jesus was not there anymore. What happens there?
The disciples and all the others around them, 120 people, were regularly meeting and praying everyday, waiting together for what Jesus has told them it will happen to them.
They were in unity with one common purpose: wait for the Holy Spirit to come on them and empower them.
When the day of Pentecost came they were all together again and each of them received his portion, because they were ready.
What was uniting them was focusing all together on the vision, the goal Jesus gave them. They were not just moving as in a routine or passively waiting, but active with a clear goal before them.
They were doing everything around that goal: praying, setting things in order, probably reviewing what happened and what Jesus said, just to be ready for that event, that was coming even if they didn’t know when and how.
They didn’t lose their time in many other occupations, because they didn’t want to be distracted from their focus. Any other issue was put aside in that specific time to focus on the waiting for the Holy Spirit to come. They set right priorities for that specific time and purpose.
They couldn’t even imagine what was going to happen and how was going to be from then on. There was no testimony of any other event like the one they were going to experience. And when the Holy Spirit came, what they experienced was not in the terms they could imagine according to the prophecies of the Old Testament.
They recognized anyway that what happened that day was the accomplishment of the prophetic word of Joel and the words of Jesus. The problem is that the manifestations they experienced that day were not mentioned in Joel, but they recognized anyway that it was exactly that word coming to be accomplished.
We cannot even imagine what is going to be for us.
And note that in Acts 2, it happened suddenly! There was not a sign from heaven telling them when and how it would have happened. It just happened as they were together to celebrate Pentecost as the other times, more or less.
Sure we have more keys today, also because we have the records of previous revivals , including the one in Acts 2 and Acts 4, and we can get some idea from there.
But God acts according the times we live and so who knows how this move of the Spirit is going to be and what is going to produce in us, among us and around us. What is important is to be ready to receive it and flow with it.
Someone has described this as the big wave that all the surfers are always expecting to come. As they wait for the big wave they don’t stay passive, but they train themselves with the small waves. But they continuously watch for the signs of the big wave and when they perceive it is coming they position themselves so to catch it and surf on it, being taken by its flow.
The same should be for us today. We have a focus and it is not yet the rapture, but what God wants to do with us, His Ekklesia, in these coming days.
We cannot either move forward casually, but we need a clear direction on how to get ready for that special appointment with the Holy Spirit.
5. How do we get ready? What should we do to be ready to welcome, receive and carry on that move of God? Everything in our life from now on should be organized for that purpose, so that nobody can be taken by surprise and miss the kyros time.
If not ready we could even become the enemies of that move as it is already happened in the past.
The most dangerous thing in the move of the Spirit is the religious spirit. The one that wants us to do everything without God, and that we just follow religious activities that don’t have life in them. Religious spirit blinds us before the real life we are in need of.
6. In Acts 2 we see that there is a unique fire falling down and then this fire is shared in flames over each person in that room.
This is revival, when the fire of God falls on everybody in His House and each new born Christian receive his own portion.
The fact that from one fire comes out several flames, speaks of the unity the Holy Spirit is looking for and that He comes to seal and fortify. Then the same Spirit is manifested through the expression of every single flame.
But they were all in agreement and unity to receive this fire and spread it around.
We need to ask God to put clear expectations in our heart that are common to each of us who are thirsty and hungry of more of Him and to give us the right keys to get ourselves ready to receive His blessing and share it around us.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”