1. A NEW STAGE IN THE LIFE OF THE DISCIPLES
a. Describe the attitude of the believers after the ascension of Jesus. Acts 1:12; Luke 24:50–53.
“As the disciples returned from Olivet to Jerusalem, the people looked on them, expecting to see on their faces expressions of sorrow, confusion, and defeat; but they saw there gladness and triumph. The disciples did not now mourn over disappointed hopes. They had seen the risen Saviour, and the words of His parting promise echoed constantly in their ears.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 35.
b. What did they earnestly await and how long were they to tarry in Jerusalem? Acts 1:4, 5.
“In obedience to Christ’s command, they waited in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father—the outpouring of the Spirit. They did not wait in idleness. The record says that they were ‘continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.’ Luke 24:53. They also met together to present their requests to the Father in the name of Jesus. They knew that they had a Representative in heaven, an Advocate at the throne of God.”—Ibid.
2. THE IMPORTANCE OF ADEQUATE PREPARATION
a. How did the disciples prepare themselves during this time of waiting? Acts 1:14.
“In obedience to the word of their Master the disciples assembled in Jerusalem to wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. Here they spent ten days, days of deep heart searching. They put away all differences and drew close together in Christian fellowship.”—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 15.
“As the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief. As they called to remembrance the words that Christ had spoken to them before His death they understood more fully their meaning.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 36.
b. What often prevents us from having true unity within the church? Proverbs 13:10; 1 John 2:16.
“All self-sufficiency, egotism, and pride of opinion must be put away. We must come to the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart.”—Selected Messages, bk1, p. 414.
“If pride and selfishness were laid aside, five minutes would remove most difficulties.”—Early Writings, p. 119.
c. What took place when the disciples acted according to the instructions of Jesus, putting away all differences? Acts 2:1, 2.
“The Spirit came upon the waiting, praying disciples with a fullness that reached every heart. The Infinite One revealed Himself in power to His church. It was as if for ages this influence had been held in restraint, and now Heaven rejoiced in being able to pour out upon the church the riches of the Spirit’s grace. And under the influence of the Spirit, words of penitence and confession mingled with songs of praise for sins forgiven. Words of thanksgiving and of prophecy were heard. All heaven bent low to behold and to adore the wisdom of matchless, incomprehensible love. Lost in wonder, the apostles exclaimed, ‘Herein is love.’ They grasped the imparted gift.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 38.
3. DIVINE CONFIRMATION
a. What special ability did the Lord confer on the disciples? Acts 2:3, 4.
“The Holy Spirit, assuming the form of tongues of fire, rested upon those assembled. This was an emblem of the gift then bestowed on the disciples, which enabled them to speak with fluency languages with which they had heretofore been unacquainted. The appearance of fire signified the fervent zeal with which the apostles would labor and the power that would attend their work.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 39.
b. What miracle showed that God was leading them? Acts 2:5–12.
“Every known tongue was represented by those assembled. This diversity of languages would have been a great hindrance to the proclamation of the gospel; God therefore in a miraculous manner supplied the deficiency of the apostles. The Holy Spirit did for them that which they could not have accomplished for themselves in a lifetime. They could now proclaim the truths of the gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the languages of those for whom they were laboring. This miraculous gift was a strong evidence to the world that their commission bore the signet of Heaven. From this time forth the language of the disciples was pure, simple, and accurate, whether they spoke in their native tongue or in a foreign language.”—Ibid., pp. 39, 40.
c. What does God tell us about speaking in tongues? 1 Corinthians 14:27, 28, 33. What counterfeit of this gift can be found today?
“Some . . . persons have exercises which they call gifts and say that the Lord has placed them in the church. They have an unmeaning gibberish which they call the unknown tongue, which is unknown not only by man but by the Lord and all heaven. Such gifts are manufactured by men and women, aided by the great deceiver. Fanaticism, false excitement, false talking in tongues, and noisy exercises have been considered gifts which God has placed in the church. Some have been deceived here. The fruits of all this have not been good. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’”—Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 412.
4. PROPHECY FULFILLED
a. What event preceded the disciples’ receiving the power of the Holy Spirit? How was this prophesied by David? Acts 2:32–36; Psalm 110:1.
“Christ’s ascension to heaven was the signal that His followers were to receive the promised blessing. For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished. According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 38, 39.
b. What was the effect of Peter’s dynamic preaching at Pentecost? Acts 2:37.
“Some of those who listened to the apostles had taken an active part in the condemnation and death of Christ. Their voices had mingled with the rabble in calling for His crucifixion. When Jesus and Barabbas stood before them in the judgment hall and Pilate asked, ‘Whom will ye that I release unto you?’ they had shouted, ‘Not this Man, but Barabbas!’ Matthew 27:17; John 18:40. When Pilate delivered Christ to them, saying, ‘Take ye Him, and crucify Him: for I find no fault in Him;’ ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person,’ they had cried, ‘His blood be on us, and on our children.’ John 19:6; Matthew 27:24, 25.
“Now they heard the disciples declaring that it was the Son of God who had been crucified. Priests and rulers trembled. Conviction and anguish seized the people. ‘They were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Among those who listened to the disciples were devout Jews, who were sincere in their belief. The power that accompanied the words of the speaker convinced them that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.”—Ibid., pp. 42, 43.
5. AMAZING RESULTS
a. How did Peter respond to the honest inquiry of the people? Acts 2:38, 40.
“Repent, repent, was the message rung out by John the Baptist in the wilderness. Christ’s message to the people was, ‘Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’ Luke 13:5. And the apostles were commanded to preach everywhere that men should repent.”—Evangelism, p. 179.
b. What overwhelming event did the disciples experience? Acts 2:41.
“On that memorable occasion large numbers who had heretofore ridiculed the idea of so unpretending a person as Jesus being the Son of God, became thoroughly convinced of the truth and acknowledged Him as their Saviour. Three thousand souls were added to the church. The apostles spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost; and their words could not be controverted, for they were confirmed by mighty miracles, wrought by them through the outpouring of the Spirit of God.”—The Story of Redemption, p. 245.
“But the Holy Ghost sent those arguments home with divine power to their hearts. They were as sharp arrows of the Almighty, convicting them of their terrible guilt in rejecting and crucifying the Lord of glory.”—Ibid.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How much time did the disciples spend at the temple, waiting for the outpouring of the Spirit? What attitude did they have?
2. What did the disciples do for 10 days, as they waited for God to fulfil His promise? Why was this necessary? What can we learn from this?
3. How did speaking in tongues benefit the disciples?
4. Which group of people was especially convicted that Jesus was the Son of God? What did they ask?
5. As the disciples spoke to the crowd of people, how did the Holy Spirit convict their hearts?