After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples for forty days and He gave them important instructions to receive divine power, boldness and wisdom for preaching. He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but “to wait for the Promise of the Father. And He explained, for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4,5). This was not totally a new instruction for the disciples had been taught before to pray for the Spirit (Luke 11:13).
Prayer and unity
The disciples met together and prayed for ten days. They waited for “the promise of the Father.” And there was unity among them (Acts 2:1). Their previous contentions were set aside. Jealousies that hindered them from doing God’s will (Mark 9:14–29) disappeared. Desires for prominent positions (Luke 22:24) were no longer there. And their pride that caused them to refuse to wash one another’s feet (John 13:3–17) humbled.
These ten days of expectancy were days of earnest prayer and self-examination (Acts 1:14). The disciples yielded to the meek and humble spirit of their Master (Matthew 11:29). They gathered with one accord to pray for the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
And this same unity must characterize the believers today whenever they seek a unique experience from the Lord, or expect of Him to reveal His strength. Whatever hinders this unity must be set aside, or it will block the the Spirit, who accomplishes the work of God for His children.
Empowered to evanglize
On the night following the resurrection, Christ had “breathed on them” and declared, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22). And, now the Lord fulfilled His promise and, the Holy Spirit came upon them. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:2-4).
Thus, the disciples entered into a new experience and with all boldness, they preached the Word of God even in new tongues that they didn’t know before. And people from different nations understood what they were saying (2 Peter 1:21).
This infilling was not confined to the apostles alone but fell also on all that were assembled in that place. And Peter confirmed that when he quoted Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:23) about the latter rain. He said, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants. I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:16–18).
The end-time church
Peter words meant the immediate application of this prophecy in the gift of the Spirit in the form of “early rain.” And it also will have a future application to the believers in the last days. For they will receive the Holy Spirit in the form of the “latter rain” which will empower them to preach the gospel to all the world (Acts 2: 20). Thus, every person will get a chance to know the truth and make a decision for it before the coming of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:14).
In His Service,