Study Notes and Slides
Empowered for the Call
Introduction: We have recently spent many teachings demonstrating the progressive transformation of the Disciples that finally led up to Shavuot (Pentecost). This day was the most powerful day in the lives of Yisrael as it was when the Torah was given in the time of Mosheh and we recently celebrated that it was also the most powerful day among the Talmidim (Disciples) as it represented a new thing that YHWH was doing among his people:
YeshiYahu (Isaiah) 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
We see the principle of living water being alluded to when Yahshua speaks to the Woman at the well when he says to her:
Yochanan 4:10 “If you knew the gift of Elohim, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
We also see that what he referred to was clearly expressed in the following:
Yochanan 7:38 He that believes in me as the Scrolls of YHWH have said, out of his inmost parts shall flow rivers of living water. 39 but this he spoke concerning the RUACH whom those believing him would receive for the RUACH Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) was not yet given because Yahshua was not yet glorified.
Truly with the coming of the RUACH at Shavuot (Pentecost) a new dimension of the power from on high was being released. Since Shavuot was the climax or panicle of what YHWH had spoken through his Prophets I feel that it is imperative to turn our attention to the Aftermath of Shavuot and what we can learn from the Sh’liychiym (the Apostles) from that moment on or we will fail to catch the fire that resulted from these ordinary men who came from simple backgrounds generally but that changed the World they lived in and which ultimately spread the “Good News” to the four corners of the Globe.
From Shavuot to Eternity:
Since we recalled the amazing outpouring of the RUACH HA Kodesh (the Holy spirit) on Shavuot it is important to see how the Sent Ones, the Apostles were significantly transformed because this is important so that we may also partake of that wonderful transformation:
Firstly we read what Yahshua said to his Talmidim (Disciples) before he ascended in:
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Set-apart Spirit has come upon you and you shall be My witnesses in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) and in all Yahuḏah (Judea) and Shomeron (Samaria) and to the end of the earth.”
Many conservative Theologians however interpret this promise of power as limited to the 12 Sh’liychiym (Apostles) so a quote from the Macarthur study Bible will be helpful:
Commenting on Mark 16:17 “And these signs shall follow those who believe”
Quote: These signs were promised to the Apostolic community and not all believers in all ages.
By rationalizing like this, are we not limiting our faith and the work of the RUACH Ha Kodesh not to mention the many words of Yahshua so we see Kepha addressing the people witnessing the outpouring of the Spirit with these words:
Acts 2:38-39 And Kĕpha said to them, “Repent and let each one of you be immersed in the Name of Yahshua Messiah for the forgiveness of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Set-apart Spirit. 39“For the promise is to you and to your children and to all who are far off, as many as YHWH our Elohim shall call.”
It is imperative that we begin to believe what the Disciples were experiencing in those days was not limited to those days but that we too can experience the presence of the RUACH Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) in the same measure when we live in a state of Teshuvah or repentance, faith & Torah obedience like they did. Therefore we can know forgiveness and expect the gift of the Set-apart Spirit with accompanying signs as we read in Mark 16. If we can believe that, it will ignite the fire & passion to see the assembly of believers also become the light & demonstration of power that Yahshua wants us to be in a dark world.
If we believe that Yahweh changes not then we can expect him to do the same today or we would believe that much of the writings were alone for the 12 though they were generally written later for succeeding generations:
The Steadfastness of the Sh’liychiym (Apostles):
To fully grasp the lasting power of Shavuot (Pentecost) we need to observe how the Assembly of the Talmidim (Disciples) continued to live as seen in the Scriptures:
- They Dwelt in True Fellowship:
One of the great keys to experiencing the increase of the Spirit in the life of all the believers is found in their gathering together as we read:
Acts 2:42 And they were continuing steadfastly in the teaching of the emissaries and in the fellowship and in the breaking of bread and in prayers.
When all those of the faith understood the joy of the salvation they had received & that in Yahshua many things that were prophesied had come to pass they had a deep desire for fellowship & the constant immersion in the word of Yahweh through the teachings of the Emissaries who taught by the revelation and power of the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit). We also receive a wonderful picture of oneness as we read how all the believers remained together eating and in constant petitions to the one who alone is Elohim.
The challenge for us today is how desperate are we for fellowship and seeking the depths of the riches that can be found in the study of Scripture and the coming together for prayer. This surely was one of the central reasons that the believers remained steadfast and made such an impact on Yerushalayim at that time.
- They had all things in Common:
Amazingly when the believers had intimate fellowship we find that their hearts were joined together in care for one another since we read the following:
Acts 2:44- 45 And all those who believed were together and had all in common, 45 and sold their possessions and property and divided them among all, as anyone might have need.
One of the great signs of the fellowship of the set-apart Spirit is always the unity of minds and hearts so we see that now, as people had needs those with more would share since the Kingdom of Elohim is a Kingdom of love and fellowship since we read the words that Yahshua gave to his Disciples at a most crucial time before his suffering:
Yochanan (John) 13:34- 35 A renewed commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
In a world where “I” is central the image of a people that love and care for each other may seem foreign but it is to the world a sign that we are the Talmidim (Disciples) of our Master Yahshua who truly demonstrated what love really means by giving his perfect life for the World.
- They Gathered Daily:
Rather than thinking that all the Disciples were gathering in some private apartment we receive the revelation that they were in constant daily assembling in the Beyth Ha Mikdash courts therefore the Temple Courts. This was where they would come daily as the number of disciples grew and where they would continue in the teaching and the understanding of the renewed covenant the Brit Chadashah prophesied through all the Tanakh (the Old Testament) and finally finding fulfilment in the sacrificial blood of the Master Yahshua the promised seed of David, the Messiah, the son of Elohim through whom all have redemption and access to the “Chesed” the Mercy and favour of Yahweh as revealed from the beginning.
We find this gathering of all the believers revealed clearly in the following:
Acts 2:46 And they (the Disciples or taught ones) continued daily to meet together with one accord in the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Set Apart House of Yahweh- The Temple)and of breaking of Lekhem (bread) from House to House and did eat their food with gladness and singleness of Heart.
From these verses we see a fellowship of people in total unity and dwelling in that place where the RUACH Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) could truly find residence.
I pray it is truly our desire to be in this sort of environment because if we are then we too will experience that same sense of gladness and singleness of Heart that will draw us together in that place of unity where the RUACH (the Spirit) of Yahweh will move with perfect Shalom (peace).
- The Empowerment that comes from Oneness:
From this powerful sense of oneness where the Ruach (the Spirit) is able to move we find a true sense of purpose but even more than that we find the Disciples coming to a place of confidence & faith where the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) is able to move with power. This is most aptly seen when Kepha (Peter) & Yochanan (John) are coming to the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Holy Temple) in the following:
Acts 3:1-2 Now Kepha (Peter) & Yochanan (John) went up together into the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple) at the hour of petition, the ninth hour. 2 and a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried whom they laid daily at the gate of the Temple which is called beautiful (the Yapho Gate or today the Jaffa Gate) to ask alms of them that entered into the Beyth Ha Mikdash (the Temple);
This incident is rather amazing since more than likely this man was placed at this very place most of his life. This means Yahshua would have passed by him many times and he had not been healed but surely his healing at this time was the perfect timing of Yahweh who had him right there at the Temple gate awaiting this exact time that would esteem the Master Yahshua and be a miracle not only for this man but that would be so great that it would even trigger a greater revival than that of Shavuot bringing a large crowd of Yisraelites to faith in name of Yahshua the righteous one:
We now find Kepha (Peter) & Yochanan (John) filled with the Spirit of Yahweh walking in such joy and faith in the name of the Master that they completely take the words of the Master to heart when he said these Words:
Yochanan (John) 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
I am sure that Kepha (Peter) & Yochanan (John) were in a place of true fellowship not only with all the Assembly of the faithful but also in Echad or unity with the RUACH Ha Kodesh (The Holy Spirit) which is powerfully displayed by their confidence and sure knowledge that this was the hour that would see the Master greatly esteemed through them by this supernatural miracle of a man born lame who had sat at the Temple gates for decades:
Acts 3:4- 7 And Kepha (Peter) fastening his eyes upon him with Yochanan (John) said “look on us”. 5 and he gave heed to them expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Kepha (Peter) said “Silver and Gold have I none but such as I have give I you; In the name of Yahshua the Messiah of Netzereth rise up & walk. 7 and he (Kepha) took him by the right hand and lifted him up and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
This is now a most wonderful transformation in the lives of his called ones in that only a short while ago they were in unbelief but through the work of the RUACH (Spirit) their faith had grown and also their understanding but at Shavuot a new dimension of that faith had emerged with the coming of the RUACH Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) giving them boldness to speak and with that step of faith came authority & power from on high that saw the mighty works of Yahweh revealed both through the word and power, that those repenting and believing numbering about 5,000 men. What is amazing in the actions of Kepha (Peter) & Yochanan (John) is that they were so full of faith that it says that Kepha took the man by the right hand and lifted him up. This is a picture of faith in action!
Shaul (Paul) writes it this way in:
1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of Yahweh is not in word but in power.
What we see from the early assembly surely should be instructional for us but just like in this story the exhibition of a powerful miracle led to the people looking to the Sh’liychiym (the Apostles) as we read:
Acts 3:11- 12 And as the lame man which was healed held Kepha (Peter) & Yochanan (John) all the people ran together to them in the covered walkway that is called Shelomoh’s (Solomon’s) portico, greatly amazed. 12 And when Kepha saw it he answered the people. “You men of Yisrael why marvel you at this? Or why do you stare at us as though by our own power or our Torah or Shabbat piety we had made this man walk.
The Elohim of Abraham and of Yitzchak (Isaac) and of Yaacov (Jacob), the Elohim of our fathers has esteemed his son Yahshua;
16 through belief in his name has made this man strong whom you see and know; yes the belief which through Yahshua’s name has given him this complete health in the presence of all.
The Mighty miracle that was done in this man was the means by which Yahweh was drawing his people to himself and it was a grand opportunity for the emissaries to speak the wonderful words of the Salvation found only in Yahshua as they further expounded the truth of the Mashiach (Messiah) as revealed through the Scriptures of the Torah, the Nevim (Prophets) & the Ketuvim (the Wisdom Writings). Therefore through the work of the RUACH Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) we see the assembly of believers supernaturally multiplying.
A Message for Today:
The challenge for us today is whether we believe that the message & story that we read is for today. When we take the words of Yahshua and begin believing them as relating to us then we can begin to see the hand of Yahweh moving through his RUACH (Spirit).
We read in the Brit Chadashah (the Nazarene Writings) in the book to the Hebrews the following:
Ibrim (Hebrews) 13:8 Yahshua the Messiah the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
We also read the following:
Tehillim (Psalms) 102:27 But you are the same and your years have no end.
Malaki (Malachi) 3:6 For I am Yahweh, I shall not change.
If we can believe that the power of the Spirit of Yahweh was seen in the Assembly of the aftermath of Shavuot we need to take careful note of all the instructional teachings that we see and if we then apply them, surely we will see an increase in the move of the RUACH Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) within us and our gatherings that will see the honour & love of our Master revealed drawing people into true fellowship, a hope we should always strive for. We need to be a people Zealous for all that Yahweh has called us to be.
Empowered for defence of the Truth:
With this great display of the power of the Ruach came also the arrest of Kepha & Yochanan by the religious leaders and brought them before the Sanhedrin the next morning as we read:
Acts 4:18- 21 And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor to teach in the Name of Yahshua. 19But Kĕpha and Yoḥanan answering them, said, “Whether it is right in the sight of Elohim to listen to you more than to Elohim, you judge. 20“For it is impossible for us not to speak of what we saw and heard.” 21And having threatened them further, they released them, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, because they were allpraising Elohim for what had been done.
It was the Empowerment that came from the RUACH Ha Kodesh (The Holy Spirit) that enabled them to see this great Miracle but it was also necessary for them to be filled with the Spirit that they could speak the word od Elohim that his Ruach would give them. Yahshua in his wisdom had also prepared them for this in the following:
Mark 13:11 But when they lead you and hand you over take no thought beforehand what you shall speak, neither decide what to say but whatever shall be given to you in that hour that you speak: for it is not you that speaks but the Ruach Ha Kodesh (the set-apart Spirit).
These examples should be for us a great encouragement that should stir up our desire to be filled with the RUACH Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) who can empower all of us to be his true vessel exhibiting all the aspects of Torah observance, authority & power that will stand strong when the hour of testing comes but we need to desire it passionately and be faithful to our calling.
The Significance that this Story gives:
- The Master promised that we would receive Power when the “Ruach Ha Kodesh” has come upon us and that was not just the Apostolic Era.
- The steadfastness of the Disciples was subject to:
- Dwelling in true Constant Fellowship.
- Having Hearts joined together in love & care for each other.
- Gathering in the Beyth Ha Mikdash or the house of Yahweh wherever that may be for the honour of Yahweh and study of his Kadosh (Holy) word.
- Having oneness of heart & mind resulting in the power of the Spirit moving.
We see that again demonstrated when Kepha (Peter) & Yochanan (John) have been released from prison & we find repeated the same principles that we have seen with a theme of oneness knowing that King David had prophesied of the persecution in Tehillim (Psalms) 2 we read:
Acts 4:29 And now Master behold their threats and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word.30 by stretching forth your hand to heal and that signs & wonders maybe done by the name of your set-apart son Yahshua. 31 And when they had petitioned the place was shaken where they were assembled together & they were all filled with the RUACH Ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) and they spoke the Word of Elohim with Boldness.
- That all the faithful will be empowered when faced with defending the Truth.
- Since Yahweh is the same yesterday, today & tomorrow we can expect the same as we have experienced was the result of the aftermath of Shavuot (Pentecost) if we remain steadfast and faint not.