Prayer Is Basic To The Character And Practice Of The Type Of People Who Will Be Used Of God To Bring About The Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit
Do you long to see the power of God? Do you long to see the day when the saints of God pray, and their prayers are visibly seen to be answered? Do you long to see a fuller, if not the full expression of the person and ministry of Yeshua fleshed out in His people? Do you long to see the Church gripped in its heart for the lost, and become radical in its effort to witness to, and evangelize this generation? To you long to see yourself, and the Church around you give its self to prayer and the seeking of God like what is exemplified in the book of Acts? Do you long to see social change, in that the hearts of more of our people have become uncompromising in deep conviction concerning truth and justice? Do you long to see a day when our people will love and embrace the truth of God to the point where we will recognize the emptiness of manmade traditions and philosophies, and because of this turn and practice the laws of God? Do you long to see the day when religious and denominational one-upmanship will become a thing of the past, when all that confess the name of Yeshua will be one in word and in purpose?
I testify to you that such a day is forth coming. It will the day of the last and great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, commonly called the Later Rain. The Holy Spirit, with our cooperation will cause these things to come to pass. However, know this! This outpouring of the Holy Spirit will not happen on its own, and it will not happen as some “sovereign” move of God. It will happen when we the people of God (At least an element of us) cooperate with Him to be the men and women of faith that are appropriate for the Holy One to visit in power. God wants to visit us in power, but it is up to us to cooperate with Him to make ourselves ready to be visited.
What kind of people were the original twelve?
They were very ordinary in many ways, but they were the type that valued truth above all else
What kind of men did Yeshua choose to be his disciples, and the recipients of His time, His prayer, His counsel, and His heart? I think this question can most effectively be answered by the word, “ordinary”. Those first twelve disciples were just ordinary, regular, everyday type fellas that heard the call of the Messiah and responded to the desire of truth and reality that abode in their hearts, and therefore said yes to Yeshua when He invited each of them to follow Him. Truly I do not think that beyond the twelve, the group of seventy disciples that followed Yeshua, or the group of 500 that were witnesses of His resurrection where any different. For the truth is that very few “wise and noble”, very few “noble and important” type folks are able to hear the call of the Spirit and bring themselves to answer. This reality brings much hope to me. The reality that our God calls very day, very ordinary people to know Him, to follow Him, and to be His vessels from which He desires to pour out His blessing to the world.
They were the type that said yes to God, and in fact, it appears they have a very hard time saying no, because they were the type that valued truth above all else
How many people during Messiah’s ministry did He call to be with Him and follow Him? No one can know exactly, but I think there were many, but all of them did not heed the call. I have noted through the years that the most faithful and deepest Christians are the ones that will not allow themselves to become good at saying no to God. I guess you might say these kind of people are “Yes” people. I believe that the original twelve, with the exception of Judas Iscariot, were “Yes” people, men who would not deny the truth that rang in their hearts, and therefore never turned away from following Yeshua.
They were the kind that never gave up, because they were the type that valued truth above all else
Once, after a lesson where the words of Yeshua seemed outrageous to His disciples, when many others who had been following Him turned away from Him, Yeshua asked the twelve, “Will you also leave me?” The twelve answered Him, “Where can we go, for You alone have the words to eternal life?” A love of truth, and pursuance of truth created in them a determination and a tenacity to keep on keeping on, and that is exactly what they did.
They had tasted of the power and beauty of the Lord, in that they had seen His miracles, and in fact at His command had themselves been a part of the working of miracles, and they were the kind that valued truth above all else
These men had tasted of the good things of God. They had tasted of His mercies and compassion to the crowds, of the beauty, the authority, and the depth of Messiah’s teaching. They had eaten of the bread and fishes that Yeshua had multiplied and used to feed the multitudes. It was their hands that were on the net that captured the school of fish that was so great that it nearly swamped two boats. They had seen Him forgive the woman taken in adultery when the hypocritical crowd wanted to stone her. They had seen Him heal the man with the wither hand even though the religious leaders hated Him for it. They had witnessed Messiah call down the religious establishment. They had seen too much to ever turn back, it was not in them to deny the truth and turn back and try to live a life of devilish mediocrity, pretending that the great realities they had seen and experienced had never happened, and in doing so, deny the most important thing in the whole world, Yshua’s calling.
They had all been absolutely confused and deflated by how the religious leaders and the crowd turned on Yeshua mocking and betraying Him. They had seen the One whom they had put all their hope in betrayed by their religious leaders, turned over to the Romans, brutalized, stripped naked, and nailed to a cross. Yet, they were the kind that valued truth above all else<?span>
These men who hoped in Yeshua for the restoration of the kingdom and glory of Israel, who had left all to follow Him, had watched everything in a single night fall apart, even to the extent where Yeshua, who was the One they had hoped was to become their country’s supreme ruler and deliverer, by a fellow disciple was betrayed and turned over to the religious leaders of the day. Where He then experienced a mock trial, only to be turned over to the Roman authorities, there to be questioned, ridiculed and mocked, beating savagely, and ultimately hung naked, being nailed to a wooden cross as a public exhibit. There to die, and with Him, their frail faith plummeted so slow that it must have seemed as good as dead.
They had in their actions shown the weakness and wretchedness of their own souls when in Yeshua’s hour of need they, to the man, had forsaken Him and scattered. They witnessed very- very up-close and personal, the weak and beggarly human condition of sin and unfaithfulness as they took note of their own failings and betrayals. Yet, they were the kind that valued truth above all else
As all men must, if they desire to walk with and be used of God, these disciples had to be brought to a place of full understanding of their desperately sin sick status as sinners before a holy God. They had to come, as all disciple must, to the end of themselves and see that God alone was their hope, as God alone is our only hope in our situation today. The events that happened all around the betrayal and crucifixion of Yeshua, particularly their own personal cowardice and betrayal revealed to them how weak and beggarly they really were, and left them totally disillusioned and bewildered. How, could they have believed so heartily, only to see it all fall apart before their eyes, and worse yet, how could they have slumped so low as to betray and abandon the Lord of Glory. What hope was left for them?
They had, even when circumstances, and their own failings and unworthiness had seemingly kick the life clear out of them, they gotten up one more time to respond to a flicker of faith. Early on the first day morning certain women had returned to them testifying that they had seen the Lord. According to these women He was alive! Could this possibly be true? At least two of them produced enough faith to get up and go check it out. Although nearly completely extinguished, the tiny flame of their faith was still there. For had not the Master told them that He would rise on the third day? Yet, they were the kind that valued truth above all else
Isn’t it strange, I guess even impossible for the human heart and mind to even understand, how that the Almighty allows His choice servants to be, what might be referred to as brutalized, to be very afflicted. Even as the disciples, the twelve and others had to in their time experience the gut wrenching realities of their Lord and Master being betrayed, which led to His death, and now their great aloneness, and their souls filled with both remorse and questions. In like manner, those today who from their hearts desire to be set aside in all things, appropriate for the Masters use, often seem to be led though the deepest and darkest of experiences before they can be found ready for the Master’s special anointing. I suggest this poem illustrates this reality like nothing I have ever seen.
When God wants to drill a man, and thrill a man, and skill a man.
When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man that all the world shall be amazed, watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him, and with mighty blows converts him into trial shapes of clay which only God understands:
While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks when His good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses and with every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him to try His splendor out.
God knows what He is all about!
They were all willing to admit their failing and allow the Messiah to comfort and assure them of His understanding and forgiveness, and they had all received His words when He told them that His work in and through them was not over, but rather, for the greater part just beginning. They continued to show themselves as people who valued truth above all else
These twelve tasted as we must today of the boundless love and mercy of Yeshua. He graciously forgave their failings, comforting them and assuring them of His love and purpose for them. Messiah made them to know that in spite of their human failings they were still His disciples and His agents in the world. It was proven true of them according to the words that the Apostle Peter would years later write. “He who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.” (1 Peter 4:1 ) They were much closer to be the appropriate agents for the bringing forth of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that John the Baptist had predicted, and the prophets of old had prophesied about. Self-will, self-importance, self-promotion, self-reliance, self-praise, self , self, self….was defeated enough in these disciples that God could now perform His promise.
Then they were called to pray! They, the twelve as a part of the 120 were willing to deny all and continue believing and seeking Yeshua, thus they obeyed the instruction of Yeshua to remain in Jerusalem, and there they clustered themselves in the upper room continually seeking God in prayer. They once again showed that they valued truth above all else
Isn’t it interesting that a full 500 people had personally witnessed the resurrected Messiah. Surely Yeshua had no less desire for all these to experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit? And surely He had instructed them to also wait on Him in prayer in the city of Jerusalem until the time appointed for the baptism. Yet, only 120 were found willing to deny themselves and set all else aside and give themselves to seek the Lord in prayer.
They had changed. They used to argue and compete with one another as to who would be greatest in the kingdom. They before were full of one-upmanship, often attempting to lord it over one another, even as we as individuals do today, and we as denominations do. The Scripture testifies that as they waited on God for His promise to them, they did so being in one-accord. They had learned to value the interests of God, and the interests of others above their own interests. They once again showed that they valued truth above all else
These 120 people, which represented a mixed crowd of both men and women. They were proven by history to pass the test of discipleship, meeting the criteria for the Holy One to pour out His presence in a manner that never before had happened among men.
What is the purpose of this article? Is the author’s purpose to brag on the twelve, or the 120, and in some sense or other to idolize them? No, not hardly. The author’s purpose is to expose in light of their carnality and weaknesses, the reality that they were able to respond to the grace of God sufficient to allow Him to pour out His presence upon them. To the end that we might receive instruction, so that we in our generation might receive from God the outpouring of His presence that we so desperately need. May we, because we love and embrace the truth above all things surrender ourselves to cooperate with the Lord to bring forth this last great movement of the Holy Spirit in the world before the coming of Yeshua.
An American Watchman,
Gregory A DeHart