This is the Day of Pentecost.
The word Pentecost is from a Greek word for fiftieth. It is a holiday that comes fifty days after Passover. It was a Jewish harvest holiday referred to as the Festival of Weeks.
Here in Colorado, we are harvesting produce from our greenhouses. But not so much from outside. Israel has a different climate, so there was an early harvest time in late spring.
In the biblical story, the Day of Pentecost occurred not long after the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the ascension of Jesus. His disciples gathered in Jerusalem in an upper room. Many people associate that with an elevated state of consciousness.
The experience portrayed in the story is the basis for the Pentecostal Church.
This is from the story:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Acts 2:1)
With one accord, in one place. The readers of this blog are not in one place physically. But we could be with one accord, for sure. And we could be in one place vibrationally, in one body of energy that we share.
Thinking of the portal of heaven as I have written about it previously in this blog, you might have your portal, and I might have mine. It is an individual matter. But for something to come through all of us together, we have to be in one accord in one place, with one body of energy and one portal we are creating together. This collective endeavor becomes real as we reach out to each other energetically, with open hearts. We attune upward, and then we attune between us to hold heaven’s portal with one accord, in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2–4)
The Pew Research Center reports that about half of the U.S. population has had a religious or mystical experience, which the Center defines as a “moment of sudden religious insight or awakening.” Have you had such an experience? I imagine you have. And among the readership of this blog, it is likely that far more than 50% of us have had such an experience.
If you have, how would you describe it?
By their very nature, such experiences are hard to define or describe. They are not “of this world.” How do you describe something imperceptible to the outer senses?
And so, people resort to some kind of poetry—a description that utilizes symbols from our physical world to describe something that isn’t physical. The author of Acts described the experience on the Day of Pentecost as “a rushing mighty wind” and “cloven tongues of fire.”
There was an intensified experience of spiritual outpouring that was felt by many.
A profound spiritual experience often involves some kind of emotional excitement. Human hearts melt when they touch something mystical and awe-inspiring. Yet I don’t think we get the impression that the experience portrayed in the Book of Acts is only emotional. While emotion can accompany a spiritual experience and even facilitate it, emotion, of itself, isn’t the cause of a profound spiritual experience. The cause is an invisible reality we touch through the portal of heaven.
To put it simply, a spiritual outpouring brings heat. But it also brings light. It tells us things. It guides us. It is specifically related to the elements of human experience. It has relevance to our life.
The kind of outpouring I am interested in has intelligence, not just emotionality. To receive that intelligence, we have to be open to the specificity of the spiritual urge. It is not just one giant, mighty rushing wind but an intelligent outpouring that calls us to be something beyond just emotional. It calls us to be wildly intelligent about all the details of a human life and what we are capable of as human beings.
If we have a spiritual experience, its calling urges us to respond. How does that happen without the essence of spirit working us? Is that not your experience, that you get worked?
Pay attention over here and do this! Be up for this! Stop dragging your feet. Open up! Open heaven’s portal for this part of your life.
The story tells of how people gathered from around the known world—from Crete, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Asia, and many other places. They were astounded that they could understand each other.
And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. (Acts 2:12,13)
They are drunk! That was the accusation.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven [the other disciples], lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:14-17)
We are here to dream dreams and see visions inspired by what moves through heaven’s portal. If a person is not having that experience, and they observe someone who is, what do they see? They don’t see cloven tongues of fire. They don’t hear a mighty rushing wind. They don’t see the Holy Ghost. All they see are people who are experiencing those things. And how much fun is it to be a bystander at a spiritual event?
Perhaps they’re drunk.
What is this spiritual outpouring all about for those who are experiencing it? Yes, it is emotionally moving and perhaps life-changing for the person. But is there no more significant purpose for it than that?
Perhaps a spiritual intensification, such as the one told of on the Day of Pentecost long ago, is only the initiation of something. Perhaps it is an opening of heaven’s portal that allows what is in heaven to pour through.
While today is the Day of Pentecost, celebrated by people worldwide, it is also the last day of the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, honoring her 70 years as monarch. Might there be a relationship between these two commemorations?
The patriotic song I Vow to Thee, My Country was played numerous times during this jubilee period. The song is from a 1921 poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice, which went by two names: Urbs Dei (“The City of God”) or The Two Fatherlands.
Here is the last verse:
And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.
The song honors both love and loyalty given to one’s nation and to the inner kingdom on the other side of heaven’s portal—the kingdom of heaven. This is referred to in the song as “another country.”
Queen Elizabeth II represents a sovereign presence to the people of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Nations, and to people around the world. I am not claiming perfection for the Queen, nor am I nominating her for sainthood. I am simply acknowledging what she means to many people. Her sovereignty does not dominate with worldly power. For the United Kingdom, most of that is held by the Prime Minister, the Parliament, and the people themselves. And yet, as the Queen, she represents to her people the sovereignty they each have for their own lives and for their fields of service.
It is the role of the sovereign of any land, any people, or any group to stand in heaven’s portal as the connection between the outer kingdom and the inner kingdom—the kingdom of heaven. A true sovereign knows both countries and allows the presence and power of the kingdom within to come into the outer world.
That presence and power comes through the outpouring of the holy spirit through heaven’s portal. The sovereign presence of a human being standing in the portal allows that to happen.
So, a spiritual outpouring is not just a personal gratification or fulfillment. It is a sovereign act. This is how the true sovereign governs. As the angel said, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. A spiritual intensification, such as the one pictured in the story of the Day of Pentecost, initiates someone into their sovereignty if they allow it to do so.
How do we unite the world of possibility we know within ourselves with the world outside us—the world in which we live? Is it not because we stand in heaven’s portal as sovereign? We stand as sovereign in our world in the name of Divine Presence, not claiming that for ourselves as a human being, but nonetheless expressing it and embodying it and bringing the authority of heaven.
How is that authority brought? By an outpouring of the holy spirit. No outpouring, no authority. The authority we are speaking of is spiritual in nature. We are not talking about worldly authority. And how else would spiritual authority be brought? Not by might, nor by power, as it is said, but by my spirit—the spirit of Divine Presence, and the outpouring of it because we are present.
That outpouring is the outpouring of love, wisdom, and care in the living of life, day to day. There are those occasions when we leave the usual activities of our life to let a spiritual intensification occur. And still, spiritual authority is present in our world because we are sovereign, standing in heaven’s portal in the daily living of life.
The frequent view of sovereignty—or of any kind of leadership—is, It’s all glamor. The outer fineness associated with the royal family in the United Kingdom is on show. And nobody does pomp and circumstance better than the British. What many do not recognize is that Queen Elizabeth II has been a hardworking woman for 70 years, carrying on public appearances, official meetings, and the business of the monarchy into her 90s.
And so it is with any authentic leadership. Any glamor is obvious enough. What is not so apparent to some is the devotion, the loyalty, the selflessness, and the fortitude.
So, I celebrate how this grand woman who, after having come through the Second World War with her country and having chosen to be there for her people, has stood in her sovereignty. May each of us do the same.
May we stand in heaven’s portal as sovereign, letting the presence and power of the kingdom within flow into the world.