Let Us "Tarry" For Pentecost

Wait and Watch

After the last Passover supper, in which our Savior instituted the new symbols of bread and wine, He and the eleven disciples sang a psalm (the Hallel) and went out to the Mount of Olives, Matthew 26:30. They came to the garden of Gethsemane, where the Savior often prayed, John 18:1-2. It was a custom to stay up all the night of the Passover, or at least until midnight. Faithful Jews would read scripture, pray, and help each other to stay awake. So the Messiah, soon to be offered as a sacrifice for our sins, asked Peter, John and James to stay awake with Him, as He readied His mind for the awesome ordeal He knew was on its way. Matthew 26:38, "Then saith He unto them, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me'."

Being weak human beings, the disciples could not fulfill this desire of their Master. Finding them all asleep, He exclaimed, "What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing [ready], but the flesh is weak," verses 40-41. Without the Almighty's Holy Spirit united with their spirit, they could not overcome weak flesh. Three times they could not rise to His commands, Mark 14:34-42. When He was taken captive, "they all forsook Him, and fled," verse 50.

Not Ready to Receive Holy Spirit

Peter denied His Lord three times. He and the other disciples were not ready to receive the Holy Spirit to enable them to conquer the weak human nature within them. Though with the Savior for three and one half years, Peter was not yet converted, Luke 22:31-32. He protested this, saying that he was ready to go with the Savior to prison or even die with Him. Knowing better, the Master told Peter that he would deny Him thrice, verses 33-34. The spirit of Peter was ready, but the flesh was weak. It was not the Almighty's time for the Holy Spirit to come. It was the time for the Passover sacrifice, not for Pentecost.

So, that night, our Savior was taken. He was executed the following day. Joseph of Arimathaea laid His body in a garden tomb, John 19:28-42. There was a three day wait. The disciples huddled together in secret. The chief priests and Pharisees were not about to wait for Yahshua to be a martyr. They remembered that He had said He would rise after three days, so they obtained Pilate's permission to seal the tomb and post a watch, lest the body be stolen away by the disciples, Matthew 27:62-66.

Why Messiah Hid After Resurrection

The orderly procession of events continued. Very early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre, John 20:1 and following. The huge stone was rolled away! He was gone! She ran and told Peter and John, who came running and went into the empty tomb. After they left, Mary wept outside the sepulchre, not knowing were the body had been taken. The Master appeared to her and she exclaimed "Rabboni" (Master)!

The resurrected Savior of mankind said: "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father and to my God, and your God," John 20:17. It was not time for the giving of the Holy Spirit, the conversion of Peter, the coming of power to overcome weak flesh. It was time for the acceptance of the wavesheaf, Leviticus 23:9-14. The harvest of the Almighty could not start without this special time in which the firstfruits from the dead were accepted by the Father, I Corinthians 15:12-23.

At the end of this day devoted to the wavesheaf, the firstfruits, the first day of the week (Sunday evening), the accepted, sanctified firstfruits from the dead, the glorified Savior, appeared to the disciples as a group, John 20:19-23. He had avoided physical contact with them for approximately 24 hours after His resurrection. Even in the Emmaus incident, Luke 24:13-35, His contact with them had been limited.

From human eyes this delay of showing Himself openly may have been hard to understand, just like the request to tarry with Him in the garden that fateful Passover night. They were ready to see Him. Or were they?

Could They Wait Fifty Days?

When the two disciples who saw the Messiah on the way to Emmaus rushed back and told the eleven what had happened, Y'shua Himself stood in the midst of them. They were terrified, supposing they had seen a ghost, Luke 24:33-37. Then He calmed them down, and patiently let them touch Him, to see that it was really Him. Now it was time for the evidence to be revealed, verses 38-40.

It was also time for their understanding to be opened, just as the tomb had been opened the day before. Even the wavesheaf day, when Peter and John saw the empty tomb, they did not understand the scripture, that He must rise from the dead, John 20:9. Now He opened their minds, Luke 24:44-48. It was almost time now that repentance and remission of sins be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, verse 47.

First, they had to wait: "And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power [Holy Spirit] from on high," Luke 24:49. They failed to tarry with Him at Gethsemane. Would they now be able to tarry 50 days for the Spirit of power? What does it mean to "tarry"?

What "Tarry" Means

Some have the mistaken notion that "tarry" in Luke 24:49 means merely "wait." It is much more than that. The Greek word is kathizo, and everywhere else is translated "sit" or "sit down."

An example is Matthew 5:1, where the Savior was set on the mount when He gave His famous sermon to the disciples; In Luke 5:3 He sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. In John 8:2 He sat down in the temple and taught all the people that came to Him, and Acts 8:31shows the Ethiopian eunuch who desired Philip to sit with him in his chariot and teach him.

Another aspect of this word for "tarry" is that of sitting in judgment: Matthew 19:28, where the Savior said He shall sit in the throne of His glory, the disciples shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Revelation 3:21, "To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcome, and am set down with my Father in His throne." Revelation 20:4, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them and judgment was given unto them . . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

Besides sitting in judgment, the above verses also show that "sit down," or "tarry" means to have an intimate, close relationship with others, especially the Father. It is often expressed of the Son that He is set down on the right hand of the Father, Hebrews 1:3, 10:12, 12:2, Ephesians 1:20. Very often, kathizo, "sat down" is associated with a throne, as in Acts 2:30. Further, Luke 14:28, 31, where we are admonished to sit down and count the cost. Acts 13:14 shows that Paul sat down in the synagogue on the Sabbath and worshipped. The Savior told the disciples to sit--kathizo--while He went a short distance to pray, Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:32. Again, in Luke 24:49they were told to tarry (sit) in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit would be given.

What does it mean "to tarry"? As we have seen from the above passages, it means (l) to sit down and be taught, and teach, (2) to sit in judgment, (3) to have an intimate relationship with the Father, (4) to sit on a throne, (5) to sit down and count the cost, (6) to sit down and worship, (7)to sit down and pray with others. This is what the disciples were to be doing until it was time to receive the Spirit.

This time, unlike Gethsemane, they were patient. They did not go to sleep. The Messiah was seen by hundreds of disciples, I Corinthians 15:1-9. There were many infallible proofs during the forty days of the resurrected Savior's teaching, Acts 1:1-3. During a meal, after they had been with him for 40 days, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:4-5. This power would enable them to be witnesses of the Messiah in all the world, verses 6-8. The promise had actually been made the night of the Passover, before they left to go to Gethsemane, John 14:16-17, 16:7-16.

Ten More Days to Wait!

After forty days, the Savior was not to be seen again by them. He was taken up to Heaven into a cloud and out of their sight. He gave them a blessing, and departed from them, and was carried up into heaven, Luke 24:51. Two angels announced that He would return on this very spot, the Mount of Olives, Acts 1:9-12, Zechariah 14:4-9.

Ten more days to tarry! What an eternity it must have been! So they returned, gathered together, continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication, Acts 1:12-14. They were joyful, worshipping Him, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing the Almighty, Luke 24:50-53. The eleven had to sit in judgment, because a replacement for Judas had to be found. So, the lot of judgment fell upon Matthias, who was now to be numbered with the others who would sit upon the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, Acts 1:15-26.

They had to sit down, count the cost, sit down and pray, worship, have an intimate relationship with the Father and with one another in prayer, teaching and supplication. They were not yet ready to go out and be witnesses of Him to all the world, with great power and miracles.

It was time to sit down. It was time to tarry--kathizo.

With One Accord in One Place

So they tarried together, worshipping with one accord, in one place. The place they were in was the temple, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:14, 2:1, 2:46. The temple had vast corridors or "porches" which served as regular meeting places for the various Jewish sects and groups. It was said that 210,000 people could gather there. "Solomon's Porch," mentioned in Acts 3:8, 11, 5:12, John 10:23, had benches so that large crowds could be addressed. Both during the Savior's ministry, during the ten-day wait from the ascension to Pentecost, and afterwards, this porch was a regular meeting place for followers of the Messiah. The "upper room," Acts 1:13, was where some of the disciples lived; but the temple was where they worshipped.

How many disciples were in the Temple on that day of Pentecost? Only 120? It doesn't say. There were 120 present at the time Matthias was chosen, Acts 1:15. One hundred and twenty was the number of men that the Jews required to form a council in a city, enough to make this major judgmental decision.

As we have seen, more than 500 brethren saw the resurrected Messiah, I Corinthians 15:5-6. Certainly these did not all backslide from the time of the resurrection until Matthias was chosen. At Pentecost, they were all with one accord in one place, Acts 2:1, the temple, verse 46.

They had tarried, counted the days, sat down in an intimate relationship, etc. Now it was time for the Spirit to come. It came about 9:00 A.M. (third hour of the day). With the sound of stormy, mighty, wind, there appeared unto them cloven tongues like fire, and it sat (kathizo, tarried) upon each of them. All the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke with other languages, Acts 2:1-4. Hundreds nearby, in other porches of the Temple compound, heard the noise and came, each hearing his own language spoken.

Peter's Powerful Sermon

Peter, standing up with the eleven other apostles (witnesses of the resurrection), gave a positive clear direction to the seemingly chaotic situation. The powerful voice of the big fisherman came booming out, Acts 2:14. These spirit filled men are not drunk, he said, but the Spirit of the Almighty has been poured out upon all flesh as the prophet Joel foretold. The Spirit will be poured upon the Eternal's servants and handmaidens. And, there shall be heavenly signs, the sun turned into darkness, the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes. Whoever calls upon His name shall be saved. Joel 2:28-32.

Why did Peter cite this end-time prophecy, which points to events just prior to the terrible "Day of the Lord"? Was it just rhetoric to gain the attention of the crowds? Peter was not saying that the heavenly signs were happening, but that it was time for the pouring out of the Spirit. It was as Isaiah 44:3,"I will pour my spirit upon thy seed," and it was starting now with this mighty sign, to the amazement of these devout men out of every nation under heaven.

The name of Jesus (Yahshua, or "Yah is salvation") was now proclaimed by Peter. The Almighty wrought many miracles and signs and wonders through Jesus in the sight of all. "You wicked men," Peter thundered, "have taken Him and crucified Him." But now He is risen from death, as David foretold in Psalms 16:8-11. As the Almighty swore in an oath to raise up the Messiah out of the loins of David, so He has done, and we are witnesses to the fact. Being exalted to the right hand of the Father, and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit. He has now given us the Spirit, the evidence of which you now see and hear. Yahshua, whom you have crucified, is both our Lord (Yahweh) and Messiah.

Pricked to the very core of their hearts, these devout men were ready. The time was ripe. They cried out, "What shall we do?" Peter gave the Eternal's answer, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit," Acts 2:38.

Mankind had tarried long enough. The Son of the Almighty, and the Father were now ready to pour forth the promise of the

Spirit. This promise wasn't just to those Parthians, Medes, etc. standing there near Solomon's Porch. It was to their children, to all afar off, even as many as the Lord shall call, Acts 2:39 compared to Deuteronomy 29:14-15, Joel 2:32.

What is recorded in Acts 2 was only part of the many words of testifying and exhorting that Peter proclaimed, Acts 2:40. The message was: "Save yourselves from this untoward generation, this perverse, crooked people and their impending fate," Deuteronomy 32:5, Philippians 2:15. Less than 40 years hence, the very Temple they were standing in would be destroyed, torn to the ground, and many thousands would be dead of famine, pestilence and the sword. It was time for action!

About 3,000 responded, gladly receiving the word, being baptized the same day. The New Testament church had begun. The great joy the disciples had when they returned from the Mount of Olives was now shown forth to others also. From the grief of guilt came the release of sin in baptism and the Spirit of love and joy being poured out on so many. They continued in the Temple with one accord, and at their houses did eat together with gladness and singleness of heart, praising the Almighty, and having favor with all the people.

Tarry Lesson For Us

The lesson of Pentecost is: tarry. This critically important day is worth patiently waiting for. Although the majority are too hurried on their way to destruction to tarry for Pentecost, there are a few who wait patiently. Today they are sitting down and being taught, they have an intimate relationship with the Father, they sit down to worship and pray with others. In the world to come, they will sit on thrones of judgment, because in this day they had the patience to listen to Peter's sermon of Acts 2:38-40.

Let us tarry (wait patiently) for the divine promise of Pentecost.


Additional Articles:

Pentecost: Its Message for Christians Today
Pentecost, the Day of Difference
24 Reasons Why I Believe in a Monday Pentecost
Why I Believe in a Monday Pentecost
Pentecost and the Second Century Calendar Adjustment
Pentecost is NOT on Sivan 6
When Does the Pentecost Count Begin?
Joshua Chapter Five and the Wavesheaf Day
Pentecost Quiz

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Written by: Richard C. Nickels
Giving & Sharing
PO Box 100
Neck City, MO 64849
United States of America

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