Bible Study Guides – The Disciples’ Preparation to Receive the Holy Spirit

April 24, 2005 – April 30, 2005

Memory Verse

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” Acts 2:1.

Suggested Reading: Acts 1:2–13; The Acts of the Apostles, 35–37, 45, 46.


In the lessons thus far, we have traced the similarities of the trials and attitudes between the first and second advent movements from the first cleansing at the beginning of each movement to the second cleansing at the close. Following the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, about 120 disciples met together to prepare for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit.

1 When was the Day of Pentecost observed in the Jewish ceremonial system? Leviticus 23:15, 16.

2 How many days did Jesus remain on this earth following the Passover? Acts 1:3.

note: “For forty days Christ remained on the earth, preparing the disciples for the work before them and explaining that which heretofore they had been unable to comprehend.” The Acts of the Apostles, 26.

comment: The events of the remaining ten days to Pentecost are of great interest and importance to us for two reasons: (1) in heaven, it was the time of Christ’s inauguration and the opening of His ministry to become our Mediator in the Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary; (2) on earth, it was the time for the disciples to complete their preparation to receive the Holy Spirit.

3 Describe the setting of the opening of the Holy Place in heaven and Christ’s inauguration as our High Priest. Revelation 4, 5.

note: “Before the foundations of the earth were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped their hands in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for the human race. This pledge Christ has fulfilled. When upon the cross He cried out, ‘It is finished,’ He addressed the Father. The compact had been fully carried out. . . .

“The voice of God is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. . . . The Father’s arms encircle His Son, and the word is given, ‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’ Hebrews 1:6.

“With joy unutterable, rulers and principalities and powers acknowledge the supremacy of the Prince of life. The angel host prostrate themselves before Him, while the glad shout fills all the courts of heaven, [Revelation 5:12 quoted].

“Songs of triumph mingle with the music from angel harps, till heaven seems to overflow with joy and praise. Love has conquered. The lost is found. Heaven rings with voices in lofty strains proclaiming, ‘Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.’ Revelation 5:13.” The Desire of Ages, 834, 835.

4 Of what was the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost a token? Hebrews 5:8–10; Romans 8:34.

note: “Christ’s ascension to heaven was the signal that His followers were to receive the promised blessing. For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished. According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to His followers as a token that He had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over His people.” The Acts of the Apostles, 38, 39.

exercise: The coming of the Holy Spirit for the “early rain” on the Day of Pentecost is the fifth event on the First Advent Time Line on page 42. Enter “Day of Pentecost” above the fifth upright on the First Advent Time Line. Below the line enter “early rain.”

5 While this ceremony was taking place in heaven, what did these approximately 120 disciples do during these ten days that prepared them to receive this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit? Acts 1:14, 15; 2:1; Luke 24:53.

note: “These disciples prepared themselves for their work. Before the day of Pentecost they met together, and put away all differences. They were of one accord. . . . The gospel was to be carried to the uttermost parts of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of the power that Christ had promised. Then it was that the Holy Spirit was poured out, and thousands were converted in a day.” The Desire of Ages, 827.

6 What was the burden of Jesus’ prayer for His disciples at the time of the Lord’s supper? John 17:20–23.

note: “In order successfully to carry forward the work to which they had been called, these men, differing in natural characteristics and in habits of life, needed to come into unity of feeling, thought, and action. This unity it was Christ’s object to secure. To this end He sought to bring them into unity with Himself. The burden of His labor for them is expressed in His prayer to His Father, [ John 17:21, 23 quoted]. His constant prayer for them was that they might be sanctified through the truth.” The Acts of the Apostles, 20.

7 What did the disciples need to learn in and through Christ? Philippians 2:1–4.

note: “The apostles differed widely in habits and disposition. . . . These were brought together, with their different faults, all with inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil; but in and through Christ they were to dwell in the family of God, learning to become one in faith, in doctrine, in spirit.” The Desire of Ages, 296.

8 List four things the lessons of the Master would do for the disciples? John 13:31–35; Luke 22:24–30; John 17:20–23.

note: “His love would lead to love for one another; the lessons of the Master would lead to the harmonizing of all differences, bringing the disciples into unity, till they would be of one mind and one judgment. Christ is the center, and they would approach one another just in proportion as they approached the center.” The Desire of Ages, 296.

9 Describe the character preparation the disciples did during these ten days prior to the Day of Pentecost. Ephesians 4:2; Acts 17:30; 1 John 1:9.

note: “As the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief. As they called to remembrance the words that Christ had spoken to them before His death they understood more fully their meaning. Truths which had passed from their memory were again brought to their minds, and these they repeated to one another. They reproached themselves for their misapprehension of the Saviour. Like a procession, scene after scene of His wonderful life passed before them. As they meditated upon His pure, holy life they felt that no toil would be too hard, no sacrifice too great, if only they could bear witness in their lives to the loveliness of Christ’s character.” The Acts of the Apostles, 36.

10 What two things did the disciples need to do before they could come together and fulfill their desire to bring souls to Jesus? 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 2:3.

note: “The disciples prayed with intense earnestness for a fitness to meet men and in their daily intercourse to speak words that would lead sinners to Christ. Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship. . . .

“These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the power that Christ had promised.” The Acts of the Apostles, 37.

11 What was the ambition of the believers? Philippians 1:21.

note: “Every Christian saw in his brother a revelation of divine love and benevolence. One interest prevailed; one subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.” The Acts of the Apostles, 48. (See John 13:34, 35.)

12 Since the disciples completed the work of character preparation before the Day of Pentecost, what then was the purpose of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost? Acts 2:4, 6, 8.

note: “The Holy Spirit, assuming the form of tongues of fire, rested upon those assembled. . . . [It] enabled them to speak with fluency languages with which they had heretofore been unacquainted. . . .” The Acts of the Apostles, 39.

[All emphasis supplied.]