CHAPTER 11: PENTECOST
You shall receive power...
--Jesus (Acts 1:8)
My name is Manaheem. I thought it would be helpful to jot down some of the events which transpired at some of the believer's meetings as sort of a journal. I may end up writing another book, I don't know. But just for the record, these things actually did happen. All glory be to God above.
We were all gathered together for our usual evening meeting, but, since the feast of Pentecost was to be the next day, we decided to meet at the home of another disciple, Philip, whose house was located near the center of the city. Philip's house had a large upper room overlooking the city and this is where we met.
The next day, being the Jewish feast of Pentecost. There were Jews gathering in the city below us from every nation of the world. We had come together for prayer as we had every night since his departure. He had commanded us not to leave the city but wait till we were endued with power. Although this day seemed in many ways like all the rest, there was a strange sense of expectancy in the air.
We prayed through the night, taking turns at sleeping, in order to keep the prayer going. When morning came, we were all awake and praying together quietly when suddenly there was a noise like a mighty rushing wind. We were startled and looked around and out of the windows, but could see nothing. Then we felt something on our heads and as we looked at each other, there appeared above each of our heads cloven tongues as it were of fire.
Upon seeing what looked like flames above the heads of the others, I began to speak. So did some of the others. But our words sounded strange to each other. We were all filled with a sense of joy and elation and began to praise God. But again, even our praises sounded strange to us. Suddenly some of the people below began yelling things to us. We couldn't understand what they were saying, so we decided to all go outside and speak to them directly. It was strange how that all of us decided to go outside at the same time.
Once outside we were again praising God, but our words sounded strange to us. We couldn't understand what was happening until one of the people in the crowd shouted out: "Say, what is this? How is it that each of us hears the praises of God in our own language?" Some of the crowd said we were drunk with new wine.
Then Peter stood up and gave the best speech I’ve ever head, relating how it was all prophesied by Joel years ago. He began by saying that we were not drunk as they supposed and closed by saying that Jesus, whom they had crucified had poured this out and that they should repent and believe and baptized. To our utter amazement about three thousand did believe and were scheduled to be baptized--so many we had to use the ritual baths at the temple as well as the river Jordan. Our heats were overflowing with joy. This is what Jesus had meant by the promise of the Father. It was truly a great day.
Ever since that day, we could all sense the presence of Jesus with us in a way we had not since his death. It was surely the Holy Spirit which he sent to us on that great day. It was as if Jesus Himself was with us, but in a new and different way. He would guide us and direct us in the ways which we should go and also give us the power we needed to preach His gospel.
I started having second thoughts about undertaking that undercover mission for my foster brother. Oh, surely it wouldn't be anything as dangerous as the former mission--finding an insurrection leader to go against Pilate. All Antipas wanted to do at this point was to find out where he stood with his nephew. Yet, somehow it didn't feel exactly right, when I thought about it. At any rate, I probably should tell Claressa and see what she says. After all, we're married now and there should be no secrets between us. But what will she say? Then again, what does it matter? Perhaps this is the Lord telling me to talk to her about it. Yes, I will talk to her and weigh her opinion on the matter.
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