Act 1:4-7 “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”
As Luke continues his introduction to this book, he calls attention to the fact that Jesus was “assembled together with them.” Strong’s gives the sense of this as being convened. One of the definitions of convened is to be called together by one in authority. It was no accident that the disciples were assembled or that Jesus was there with them. This was simply a fulfillment of His promise that “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Mat 18:20).”
Jesus charged them that they should not leave Jerusalem until they had received the promise of the Father. Jesus had told them the Father’s promise from His own lips as well as the Father having given the promise by the prophet Joel. In Joel 2:28, God tells us that He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh: in John 14:16, Jesus tells us that He will petition the Father on our behalf, and the Father will give us a comforter that will abide with us forever.
That His disciples were to wait at Jerusalem until this blessed event was no accident. The prophet Isiah declared that the word of the Lord would go forth from Jerusalem (Isa 2:3). The disciples would be baptized the Holy Ghost, which was a greater thing than the water baptism that John the Baptist had done. Remember that John had testified that one would come after him who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
Being baptized with the Holy Ghost was likened by John to Jesus purging His threshing floor and gathering His wheat into the garner. The garner, or grainery, is a place set aside to preserve the wheat. At the same time, the chaff (or worthless parts) is continually destroyed. This is a great promise of blessing from the Father.
While our baptism in the Holy Ghost may not have as dramatic appearance outwardly as it did on the Day of Pentecost, the power is still the same. We find a place of safety and preservation amid the tribulations of this world. At the same time, God (through the power of the Holy Ghost) continues to refine us by daily burning away the desires of our carnal nature.
We do not always get an immediate understanding of what the promise of God means in our lives. Having not yet been told to go into all the world, the disciples were still looking at things through the lens of their personal experience. They had not yet had any experience with the Lord drawing the Gentiles into His covenant. Therefore, they wondered if Israel was about to be restored to a state of independence and prominence among the nations.
We must always seek to humble ourselves before God and remember that He knows things He does not intend for us to know. Like children, we are constantly looking at the things the Father has put in His own power and asking, “Why?” We are well and truly described when the scripture continually refers to us as children. Being baptized in the Holy Ghost gives us a contentment with the fact that God knows the “why” and we do not have to worry about it.
May we with joy and anticipation always wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Father in our lives!