What Really Happened on the Day of Pentecost?
J. Vernon McGee
There is a great confusion and diversification of opinions when it comes to discussing the events that took place on the Day of Pentecost. What exactly did happen? In order to get the correct answer, let us look very carefully at the only record we are given of what actually occurred on that day. It will be necessary for us to move back and see the preparation that was made for the Day of Pentecost, because in God's plan and program, it was vitally important.
The Word of God is filled with paradoxes, and I believe we can gain a great deal of enlightenment on this particular subject by considering one of these seeming contradictions. Dr. Luke presented it when he was concluding his Gospel. He recorded these words of our Lord:
Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:46-48)
Then Jesus went on to tell them that they were to go into all the world and preach the gospel. He said they would receive power after the Holy Spirit came upon them, and He even marked out the steps, beginning at Jerusalem.
But then in the Book of Acts, Dr. Luke recorded another command of our Lord, which certainly sounds like a contradiction:
And being assembled together with them, [Jesus] commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ''which,'' He said, ''you have heard from Me.'' (Acts 1:4)
In one place He said, ''You should go out, beginning at Jerusalem,'' then shortly after that He said, ''Wait. Don't go!'' What did He mean? Well, may I suggest that these men had the facts, but they were to wait. Why? They were to wait, of course, for power. And the two statements present, not a contradiction, but a paradox.
Perhaps an illust ...
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