Ikuro Teshima

The Dawn of Pentecost

Repeatedly showing the resurrected spiritual body, Jesus encouraged and guided His disciples who had returned to Jerusalem. Later, severe persecution began in Jerusalem. However, Peter and the others regained true faith by overcoming their critical situation, and were able to strengthen the faith of one hundred and twenty brothers and sisters. Jesus Christ appeared to all of them while they were eating together, and gave them the following order:

He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
(Acts 1:4-5 NKJV)

This was the final promise of the resurrected Jesus Christ, and the greatest desire of Jesus' life of ministry. Having spoken these things, He was taken up before them, and a glorious cloud received Him out of their sight.

Just as Jesus had commanded, they prayed and prayed for ten days. Then what happened? The morning dawned when God's wondrous spirit descended.

On the morning of Pentecost in the Upper Room where Jesus and His disciples had the Last Supper, God's spirit raged like fire, like a storm; all one hundred and twenty people were filled with the Holy Spirit. An explosive prayer of tongues burst forth, and they were in the joy of hitlahavut (incandescence—"on fire" according to Hasidic teaching).

The Upper Room where Jesus and His disciples had the Last Supper

When the Holy Spirit was poured, Peter who had cowardly fled from the crucifixion, stood in the center of Jerusalem and said, "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses" (Acts 2:32). Without fearing persecution, he led many disciples and stood up for ministry.

Until then, Peter had feared others. However, once he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and was poured Christ's blood, Peter completely changed. Once cowardly Peter now said, "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). He boldly challenged the religious leaders of the day, and continuously performed wondrous miracles. Not only Peter but also the other apostles became as bold as to heal illnesses in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. They were filled with so much love that they shared all things and lived a communal life.

Peter was imprisoned many times. He, however, was freed as his chains fell off his hands, because angels performed wondrous miracles. Peter began to lead such a miraculous life of ministry. In particular, he made the Gentile Cornelius receive outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and through this event, the biblical faith grew out of a frame of Judaism. This was his remarkable accomplishment.

(1969)

*Click here to "From Simon to Peter (1)"
*Click here to "From Simon to Peter (2)"
*Click here to "From Simon to Peter (3)"