Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire Pt. 3

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

Welcome to episode three of our study through the book Of Acts, House on Fire. If you missed our previous  sessions they can be found here: http://wp.me/P39vIx-Gh

When last we left our intrepid disciples, they were watching Jesus ascend into Heaven. The master had left them specific instructions that they were to remain in Jerusalem until they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Let’s pick up the narrative at this point.

Acts 1:10-26

10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.[a]

15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong[b] he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms,

“‘May his camp become desolate,
    and let there be no one to dwell in it’;

and

“‘Let another take his office.’

21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

I would like to start with a question from verse 15. We know from this verse that 120 returned to Jerusalem and waited for the “baptism in the Holy Spirit”. We also know from I Corinthians 15:6 that Jesus appeared to over 500 people after his resurrection.

Why do you think 480 people were missing from the upper room experience?

Now let’s talk about what went on in the upper room during those 10 days. We have a small glimpse here of how the disciples “waited” for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

How do these verses change your understanding of the command from Jesus, “wait for the promise of the Father”? Does this change your understanding of “waiting on God”?

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20 thoughts on “Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire Pt. 3

  1. Maybe part of the 480 didn’t have enough faith to beleive that God would fulfill His promise, maybe they thought it was a waste of time to wait like that. I’m also pretty sure that some fled out of fear. In any case, those 480 disobeyed God and lost their greatest blessing, the Holy Spirit (at least for the time being since they could have received it later.)

    Concerning those who stayed and waited I noticed that they were praying all in one accord. Thus, when waiting for God to fulfill this promise, we can’t let discouragent, fear or anything else get in the way. How? I beleive prayer ismthe key.

    • I am with you on that Hope. Prayer is the key! I do often wonder about the faith of the 480. I have learned in 30 years of church life that there are all kinds of levels of faith in the church. Some people buy in to God’s plans early on. Others come along shortly thereafter. It may be that distraction or uncertainty hold them back for a bit. Then there are late adopters. They come in on a project just under the wire but they show up. God has a plan and a purpose for each one whatever their level of faith, but you are right it does affect our blessing.
      What do you think about the business meeting being held in the middle of this prayer meeting?
      Thanks for joining in the conversation.

  2. After discussing with my husband this is what we think.Since they were devoting themselves to pray in one accord, this particular business meeting was actually appointed by God through the Holy Spirit, as scriptures say “When two or more are gathered in my name I am amongst you”. We believe that Peterwas the one bringing this matter to the brethren siince Jesus had already chosen him Matt.16:18 “And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church”.

    What this passage show us is also a model. We see here the first members of the church of Jesus Christ. Clearly we shouod follow this model and c8nduct business meetings when we are all praying in ONE accord. This is when we will be open as a church to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I would even extand this model to my own family, wouldn’t it be best to conduct family business meetings in a moment of family prayer?

    • Amen hope. I agree with you that this meeting was directed by the Holy Spirit as it moved them all closer to the Day of Pentecost in one accord. After this model our church has begun choosing its deacons by lot. We open nominations and there is a qualifying committee of men and women who make sure the individuals nominated are qualified to be deacons and then we bring the names before the body and draw names by lot. It has been very interesting to see the competition of voting go out of our church. How does your church operate in choosing deacons?

  3. I think the 380 people that were not in the upper room probably did not know about the scripture of wait in Jerusalem until the great counselor comes. I mean did Jesus tell every single person that he appeared to after his resurrection about waiting for the great counselor or was it common knowledge at this point in time? If it wasn’t common knowledge then maybe that’s why there were only 120 in the upper room which most likely were the disciples and their families.
    I guess my understanding of “waiting on God” has changed a bit. I always thought “waiting on God” was a one on one experience with God. Reading these scriptures shows me how important corporate prayer is and should be to the saints.

    • Wow Deb! These are some profound thoughts. I too wonder if all 500 heard the call to stay in Jerusalem or if that particular command was given only to the 120. I also wonder if there were not space constraints with the upper room. Did more people show up and say “There is just no room here for me?” It is interesting to think that some of the things I have always looked at as a spiritual problem on behalf of the 380 may have been nothing more than practical logistics. I like your point about waiting on God. Group tarrying is an important discipline of the Spirit. Waiting before the Lord in siilent corporate prayer is not something we practice much anymore. We tend to be a people who need noise and are uncomfortable with the “sacred silences.” I know you are a deep worshipper Deb. What do you think we could do as bodies of believers to increase the churches comfort with sacred silence?

  4. Let’s hope Pastor J that the missing ones were among the 3,000 + who accepted the free gift of Salvation that day, lets pray for all those who are like them now, that they will choose to come out of darkness into Jesus’ marvellous Light and so be set free.

    I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you Pastor J but I hope to catch up with reading your messages when I get back from Sydney, I leave tomorrow, my Mum had a stroke and I’m going down to be with her, I would value your prayers for my Mum, the family, Ron who will be looking after home and the dogs and please pray for me too. I’m not sure how long I will be away, perhaps up to a month, I will be in touch when I get home again.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

    • Hello Anne,
      We will certainly be praying for you, Ron and your Mum! Be blessed as you travel to Australia. Thank you for these insights and I hope to hear from you soon about how God is ministering to you in the midst of this great difficulty.

  5. Hmmm, I have no idea where the others were that Jesus appeared to but I think some were doing as the disciples and some were lost to the fears and distractions of the day much as we are today. They devoted themselves to prayer and studied the law to see what it instructed them to do. It certainly shows the action required in our waiting doesn’t it! They kept going about His business…where I think I have too long thought I had to continue going about man’s business waiting on God to reveal Himself…I won’t find Him in the world’s business now will I? Thanks Joseph! Now I can go and read the other responses…thanks!

    • This is an interesting thought Tom. So often we can get cvaught up in going about “man’s business” thinking that it is actually God’s business. We can even call it waiting. I do wonder if some of the 380 were a little self deluded. Maybe they thought that holing up in a room for 10 days was a great waste of time. Maybe some of them even said the words “God doesn’t work like that.” Perhaps they thought that when God said wait He simply meant to go back to normal life and He would catch up with them eventually.
      I have done this before and sometimes I have missed the blessing of God because of it. Other times God has graciously come after me and put me back on the right path and has included me in His blessing anyway. Has this been your experience Tom?

  6. What do you think we could do as bodies of believers to increase the churches comfort with sacred silence? I think it might be as simple as having a sermon on sacred silence. I mean a FYI message explaining what it is and what you actually do during this time of sacred silence. I bet many new believers would not know what they are waiting on or even what are they are supposed to be doing during this time. Be still and know that I AM! I know when I was first saved seven years ago I could not tell what it meant to actually wait on God. This could be the step to helping the body to become more comfortable with sacred silences. So, Pastor J what do you think would help the church become more comfortable with the sacred silences?

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