Eight Days to Wait

Pentecost / Shavuot

Baptism in Holy Spirit / Ruach ha Qodesh

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Jackson Snyder
Pentecost, May 19, 2002 updated August 14, 2009.

What happened while they waited?  Well, the men in white asked them, “What are you standing around for?”  They quit gazing and got busy.  Sometimes fear is not evil; it often motivates us to get busy.  The talmidim went back into the dangerous city.  They were all hiding together in a great second-floor apartment.  Who was waiting?  Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, another James, Simon the fanatic, Jude; and Yahshua’s brothers, another James, another Simon and another Jude.  There was Joseph Justus and Matthias.  Yahshua’s mother Marya and his sisters along with other women being there proves they were in hiding.  But they were also praying constantly and in one accord in those long days of waiting.  They were watching while they were waiting.

Ps 51:10. Elohim, create in me a clean heart, renew within me a resolute spirit, 11. do not thrust me away from your presence, do not take away from me your holy spirit. 12. Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in me a generous spirit. 13. I will teach the wicked your paths, and sinners will return to you.

Isaiah 63:7. I will recount Yahweh's acts of faithful love, Yahweh's praises, in return for all that Yahweh has done for us, for his great kindness to the Beit Yisrael, for all that he has done in his mercy, for the abundance of his acts of faithful love. 8. For he said, "Truly they are my people, children who will not betray me," and he became their Saviour. 9. In all their troubles, it was no messenger or malach but his presence that saved them. In his love and pity he himself redeemed them, lifted them up and carried them throughout the days of old.

10. But they rebelled and vexed his holy spirit. Then he became their enemy and himself waged war on them. 11. But he called the past to mind, Moses his servant. Where is he who saved them from the sea, the Shepherd of his flock? Where was he who put his holy spirit among them, 12. whose glorious arm led the way by Moses' right hand? Who divided the waters before them to win his name everlasting renown, 13. who led them through the depths as easily as a horse through the desert? They stumbled as little 14. as cattle going down to the plain. Yahweh's Spirit led them to rest. This was how you guided your people to win yourself glorious renown.

The above passages are the only in the Tanakh in which "holy spirit" are together.

Acts 1, Acts 2:1-13  And when the day of Pentecost was now accomplishing, they were all together in one place. 2. And there came suddenly a sound out of heaven as of a violent impetuous blowing, and filled all the house where they were sitting. 3. And there appeared to them parted tongues, as of fire, and it sat upon each one of them. 4. And they were all filled with ruach ha qodesh, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave to them to speak forth. 5. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, pious men, from every nation of those under heaven. 6. But the rumor of this having spread, the multitude came together and were confounded, because each one heard them speaking in his own dialect. 7. And all were amazed and wondered, saying, Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galilaeans? 8. and how do *we* hear them each in our own dialect in which we have been born, 9. Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and those who inhabit Mesopotamia, and Judaea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10. both Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya which adjoin Cyrene, and the Romans sojourning here, both Jews and proselytes, 11. Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our own tongues the great things of Elohim? 12. And they were all amazed and in perplexity, saying one to another, What would this mean?  13. But others mocking said, They are full of new wine.

< - - - - Optional

Passover and Pentecost

   Like Yahshua / Yahshua, we celebrated Passover March 28 in 2002 with a Seder Meal.  Do you remember?  Does it seem like a long time ago?  Yahshua remembered Passover with his talmidim in the upper room.  In their service, they relived the death angel “passing over” the homes of the Israelites exiled in Egypt in the days of Moses.  Yahshua then broke the bread and passed the cup, teaching that these had become his body and blood, and that believers should eat in remembrance of him, too.  The next day, Yahshua was crucified, but in three days he came forth from the tomb a resurrected man.  We commemorated his resurrection on March 31, and this week I relived that day by listening to a tape of it.

   Passover is gone, and today is Pentecost.  “Pentecost” means “50 days.”  There are 50 days between Passover and Pentecost (seven weeks after Firstfruits, which is the second day of Passover). Pentecost is also a memorial to the days of Moses, when Yahweh wrote the Law on stone tablets with his finger and gave them to him atop Mt. Sinai.  (This event is recorded in Exodus 19.)  Yahweh commands his people to observe Pentecost in Leviticus 23:15-21.  Pentecost is properly known as “Shavuot” (“weeks”) or “Feast of Weeks,” Pentecost falling 7 weeks after Passover.  Pentecost also a day of thanksgiving for the harvest, and wheat bread from each household is offered to Yahweh.  Unlike the yeastless bread eaten in haste at Passover, Pentecost bread is fluffed with yeast and delicious to the taste.

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Between Passover and Pentecost

   Acts of the Apostles tells us that after Yahshua came alive, he remained among his talmidim for 40 days, teaching them how to live Kingdom-style, offering “many infallible proofs” (KJV) of his resurrection.  One proof entails his dining with them during the forty days.  In table conversation, he was asked, “Are YOU now going to restore Israel to Israelis?”  They thought he might lead a rebellion against Rome.  But he told them to concentrate on what he had already told them to watch for: 

“Not many days from now, YOU are going to be baptized with holy spirit (1:5).  You will receive power … and then you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and indeed to earth's remotest end” (1:8 NJB).

Notice how Yahshua turned the tables on the talmidim.  WIth exasperation, they asked him in a nearly accusatory tone, "Now are you going to restore?'  He replies with what 'you,' the talmid, are going to do.  

   After this, he rose into the sky in a mist.  It must have looked like he was “beamed up.”  As the talmidim watched him float away, two men “in white” outfits appeared, who addressed them:

"Why are you Galileans standing here looking up? This Yahshua whom you’ve seen taken up into the sky will return in the same way."

On what date did Yahshua ascend into the sky?  That’s a good Bible mystery we can solve.  

   We start with the resurrection.  If we read the Luke 24:1 in the original language, we are told that, after observing the Sabbath, which was from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, the talmidim went to the tomb early on the first day of the week.

(th de mia twn sabbatwn orqrou baqews epi to mnhma hlqon.  

“But of the first of the Sabbath (week) while early upon the tomb they came.”)  

That means they went to the tomb on Saturday night at sundown.  That’s when the first day of the week began.  (Bible days are sundown to sundown.) 

   After the day of rest was over Saturday at about 7 PM, would these anxious talmidim have waited until Sunday morning to go to their Messiah’s tomb?  Hardly!  Yahshua was not in the tomb when they arrived Saturday night.  That indicates that he had risen on the Sabbath, or Saturday – not on Sunday.  So from that Sabbath we count the forty days he stayed with his talmidim.  That brings us to a Thursday, eight days before Pentecost (which is also a Sabbath).  Why bother with counting these days?  Well, it tells us how long the talmidim had to wait for ruach ha qodesh after Yahshua left. 

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Wait Eight

   Remember that the last thing he told his people before he beamed up was to “wait!”  “Wait around without me until ruach ha qodesh comes.” 

(Ruach ha qodesh is 'holy' or 'set-apart spirit.' In these passages, 'holy spirit' is not set off with the definite article 'the,' so we cannot assume that the writer is commending the third member of a trinity.)   

But how long a wait would that be?  They’d already waited forty days with Yahshua, but he had departed!  And waiting is dangerous!  They wanted to go back to Galilee where it was safe to hide out, not wait around to be crucified.  When would ruach ha qodesh come?  Would it be a week, a year or a lifetime?  Who would find them first, a ruach ha qodesh or a Roman Centurion? 

Wait you!  What uncertainty and doubt waiting brings!  But for the record, they waited; and they “remembered his words” (Luke 24:8).  Fortunately, according to my calculations, the wait was only eight days.

Eight days is significant because the eighth prophetic day points to eight thousands years into salvation history, with Yahshua's advent on the fifth day or five thousand years from Adam, the eighth day then commencing three days later, or 3000 AD.  At this time, the perfected world is turned over to the Creator as a completed work.  www.jacksonsnyder.com/Arc/2008/seventh-eighth-days.htm

   What happened while they waited?  Well, the malachim in white asked them, “What are YOU standing around for?”  They quit gazing and got busy.  Sometimes fear is not evil; it often motivates us to get busy.  The talmidim went back into the dangerous city.  They were all hiding together in a great second-floor apartment.  Who was waiting?  Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, another James, Simon the fanatic, Jude; and Yahshua’s brothers, another James, another Simon and another Jude.  There was Joseph Justus and Matthias.  Yahshua’s mother Marya and his sisters along with other women being there proves they were in hiding.  But they were also praying constantly and in one accord in those long days of waiting.  They were watching while they were waiting.

 

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The Galilean Candidates

   There were other believers from around the city that came to pray and learn.  There were about one hundred and twenty in the congregation, Luke reports.  Even the number of members is significant: 120 = 12 x 10: twelve stands for the tribes of Israel and ten is the number of increase.  Peter becomes the leader.  At his instigation, the committee nominates two candidates to replace Judas Iscariot, who had fallen down a gorge.  The candidates are Joseph Barsabbas Justus (that’s all one name) and Matthias; both had been with Yahshua since the beginning. 

If these candidates had been with Yahshua since the beginning, we certainly now wonder who they were, other than just names.  Joseph Barsabbas Justus, or Yosef bar Sabba ha Zadik.  Bar Sabba = son of grandfather, grandfather could refer to Yaakov (Jacob) the patriarch. (This according to rabbinical authorities.)  These days sabba (sabab) means, "the cool one."  Ha Zadik means that he was a righteous priestly type after the order of Melchizedek (Melki-Zadik).  Acts 4:36 leads us to believe that this Zadik was the fellow we know as Barnabas, son of Nuba / Nuva : encouragement. Early writings tell us that Barnabas was with Yahshua from the first, and among the Seventy(-two) of Luke 10.

They all prayed.  They drew straws, and Matthias took his place among the twelve shlichim.  I always wondered how the guy with the long, distinguished name could have lost the draw. 

Maybe the prize went to the loser.

 

What Would it Look Like

   The congregation must have devoted much of those eight days of waiting to discussing what the coming of ruach ha qodesh might look like.  How would ruach come?  What would tip them off?   When?  Hey, they didn’t want to wait.  One hundred twenty people hanging around a building is pretty obvious.  It was a Bible mystery for them to solve.  They had only clues as to how ruach ha qodesh might come. 

First, Yahshua said that ruach ha qodesh would come upon them and then they would receive power to become witnesses. 

Second, they had the prophecy of John the Baptist, who said, “He will baptize you in ruach ha qodesh and fire.”  Luke 3:16, again, no "the."  

Fire was to be involved.  This fire is pur pur "pure" (Greek) - according to Thayer, the word has three meanings:  (1) flaming fire, (2) purity, and (3) dissention = altercation, argument, beef, bickering, contention, difference, discussion, disputation, dissention, embroilment, falling-out . . .  I don't think we have considered fire from this definition, although dissention is evident in Nazarene movements (as compared to Islam, in which everything and everybody is submissive to leadership).

Third, they had the prophet Joel (2:28-30), who foresaw “Pentecost” and wrote about it:

 “I will pour out my spirit on all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old people dream dreams, your young see visions. I will show signs in the sky and on earth, blood, fire and smoke."

It is to fulfill this prophecy that Luke tells us that there were young people and women in the apartment.  Old people, too.  They certainly also discussed the prophecy of Zephaniah 3 in which Yahweh predicted ‘tongues’:

 "At that time I will change their tongue to a pure (barar) tongue, that all of them may call on the name of Yahweh and serve him with one accord (echad).” (Zephaniah 3:9)

"One accord" appears twelve times in Acts as 'omoqumadon - homothumadon - same-passion, a unique (a one-of-a-kind) word only found here, conveying the very same meaning as in the Zephaniah tongue prophecy's word echad - unity, as we find in both the Shema and the High Priestly Prayer of John 17. We get the idea that oneness is not just matter-of-fact, but a oneness that actively and emotionally participates.

So they should expect some kind of pouring forth that would bring the power of prophecy, dreams, visions, languages and signs -- including war – blood, fire, smoke.  (A very lot could be said about these references).

 

Tongues of Fire

   Now a week had passed since Yahshua ascended and the feast of Pentecost had come.  In fulfillment of the Law, they were “all together” on this special Sabbath.  They didn’t cast off the Father’s holy days; Yahshua never told them to quit hallowing the Sabbath or to discard the covenant feasts.  So while they break the bread of Pentecost, the wind starts blowing.

   Suddenly, without warning, ruach ha qodesh rushes in.  It is like a mighty wind, but it isn’t wind.  You know that the wind blows at you and around you and sometimes blows your hat off or pushes you around.  This isn’t what ruach ha qodesh did.  It blew into them, right through their clothes, right through their skin, filling them up with something indescribable.  “Wind” and “spirit” are the same word in the Bible languages, as you know!  A ruach ha qodesh makes all in its path qodesh.

   Then tongues or flames of fire reside upon each.  Again we may speak of the meaning of fire.  They are all commemorating the giving of the Torah.  Exodus 3:2 tells us about such fire.  The flame is as the Angel of Yahweh, who appeared to Moses as a fire resting upon a bush yet not consuming it.  The fire spoke to Moses.

Exodus 3:9. The Israelites' cry for help has reached me, and I have also seen the cruel way in which the Egyptians are oppressing them.  10. So now I am sending you to Pharaoh, for you to bring my people out of Egypt." … 15. “Tell the Israelites, `Yahweh, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has sent me to you.'  This is my name for all time; I am to be invoked for all generations to come. 21. And I will ensure that  … when you go, you will not go empty-handed.”

   So these upper roomers know what this aspect of the tongues of fire means – like Moses, they are empowered by Yahweh to be sent forth with a message to evil rulers and devils of all generations: “Let my people go!”  “Set the captives free!”  “Declare the year of Yahweh’s favor.”  They are not to go forth empty-handed.  They would have the tools to overcome the world - spiritual tools. Let me remind you of

2 Corinthians 10:3. For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, 4. for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of Elohim, and take every thought captive to obey Messiah, 6. being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

   When Yahweh sent Moses, Moses made an excuse.  He was a poor speaker with no ability to convince Pharaoh of anything.  Yahweh gave Moses a tongue to destroy arguments.  Likewise, the upper-room Nazarenes are endued with the ability to recount the works of Yahweh in foreign languages without previous study.  Faithful tribespeople from all over the world are in Jerusalem for Sukkoth.  The spirit-filled Nazarenes, now ablaze, proclaim the “marvels of Yahweh” from open windows and these foreign dignitaries gather to listen.

 

Envision Kefa pouring out his message, which takes the rest of Acts chapter 2, to the crowds below from the windows of the erstwhile temple - the upper room symbolizes the skies.

We can now bring Enoch into the mix by regarding the malachim who, from portals and windows in the sky, pour out their four messages upon the world in the form of rain, snow, hail, and dew.  We find the windows of the upper room as a spiritual fountain overflowing with the winds and rain of ruach upon the masses of "just" men (ie Essenes) as the-newly endowed men and women messengers begin to preach and prophesy.

    Like English in our days, everybody in the world spoke some Greek in those days.  But these foreigners hear preaching in their native languages.  This was certainly not common in Jerusalem.  They were preaching in at least eighteen different languages simultaneously!  That must have been something to hear! 

   Why would languages be important for preaching?  First, consider that “tongues” is not intellectual.  The talmidim didn’t know what they were saying.  On the other hand, they’re not just puppets on Elohim’s string, either.  Although they don’t know exactly what they do, they’re still bold to do it, for they’re well aware of where their words originate.

   When this happened to me during preaching, I didn't know what was going on until afterward. I only really knew that it was good and well received by the people there, whose language I didn't speak.

   Secondly, history records that many became foreign missionaries.  We learned that Yahudah (Jude) went to India.  John (Yochanon) went to Asia, Peter (Kefa) to Babylon, Philippos to Samaria.  Yahweh cuts years off the learning curve by providing the language and the way to go.

  Thirdly, because it’s ruach ha qodesh speaking through them; what is said in unlearned languages can hardly be the philosophies or doctrines originating in the human experience.  They are not up for interpretation. 

Finally, these messages in tongues are seen to be extremely effective in bringing the true zadik - that holy man - that holy woman - to true worship, since a great many of these foreigners become believers.

 

Drunk?

Acts 2:12. Everyone was amazed and perplexed; they asked one another what it all meant.  13. Some, however, laughed it off. "They have been drinking too much," they said.  

Of course, some doubted, attributing the work of Yahweh to John -- John Barleycorn, that is.  Many Believers today doubt that this incident at Pentecost ever occurred, especially the wind, fire and tongues part.  They don’t say they don’t believe it.  But they show their unbelief by saying, “Such things don’t happen anymore; tongues is of the devil.”  Have you ever heard someone say that?  I have.  They think this gift died off with the Nazarenes.  They’re worse than those who said the upper-room crowd was drunk.  And they’re wrong.

There is a saying of Yahshua that is very much like that of the crowd of unrighteous there outside the apartment.  Jude records Yahshua saying, . . .

(Gospel of Thomas 28) I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty. But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways." 

   Friends, I’ve moved in Christian circles all my life.  I’ll admit I’ve never heard the rush of wind in church, but I have felt the infilling of a set-apart Wind.  Have you?  I’ll admit I’ve never seen fiery flames shooting out of the heads of parishioners, but I have seen people on fire and burning for Yahshua - some burning with zeal, some with dissension, some with righteousness.  Have you?  As for tongues: I’ve heard a lot of tongue-talking; not all from a set-apart spirit because the words came from a person not set-apart.  I have witnessed, on the mission field, preaching in languages never learned.  But whether I’ve seen any of these manifestations in the past or not, I refuse to give up the hope that I may yet see them again among foreigners in my assembly.  Don’t you feel that way?  No day is more in need of holy spirit than this one. Let’s hope for it!

 

Going Forth

  The fact is, wind, fire, tongues and smoke are simply tiny evidences of a much greater movement.  The infilling of the Spirit left no room for shame, and these talmidim go boldly forth as a unified movement to bring the good news of Yahweh’s favor and Yahshua’s resurrection to the whole world.  And although they didn’t overthrow the Roman rule of Jerusalem, this boldness and willingness to wait and pray finally conquered Rome within 300 years.  Or should we say, converted Rome.  It is for this very reason that the government of Rome needed to take over, using unrighteous theocrats to move the simple from the supernatural word to the statutes of powerful men.

   What the Nazarenes received, they had to wait for.  But they only waited eight days because of the way in which they waited.  Prayerfully.  Expectantly.  Faithfully.  Obediently.  In unity.  In discussion. In training.  How long have we waited prayerfully?  Expectantly?  Faithfully?  In unity and obedience?  Think.  When will our personal Pentecost arrive?  In eight days?  Eight years?  Now or never?

   The question is, “How bad do you want ruach ha qodesh to fall on your world?  How much do you covet the fall of ruach ha qodesh upon your various meetings, both religious and secular?  How much time in prayer and expectation will you sacrifice for it?  Who is willing to ascend the steps into the upper apartment to watch and wait?  Who will go?