I often hear Christians ask God to send “another” Pentecost down from heaven. This is how many perceive revival—a time when God comes down. Yes, even though there are moments where we feel as though God has come down and His Presence is strong among us, the reality is He is here.
Perhaps the more home-hitting reality is that if you are a born again, child of God, redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, God has come down and He is here, living inside of you. You are His house on the Earth! (See 1 Cor. 6:19, 2 Cor. 6:16, Eph. 2:22 for powerful reminders of this reality.) We don’t need another Pentecost. Truth be told, we need to start stewarding the one we have already received. After all, the Son of God paid a high price for us to walk in the reality of Pentecost every day of our lives.
Does God Need to Rend the Heavens and Come Down?
How many times have you heard people pray Isaiah 64:1—Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! This would be akin to asking for another Pentecost or crying out for revival. Without question, I have prayed similar prayers over the years, desperate to see the power, purpose and Presence of the Acts church restored in our day.
So, what’s the problem with this? While the desire is pure and legitimate, the prayer has actually been fulfilled. Isaiah was offering up a prophetic prayer, yearning to experience a consistent habitation of God’s Presence. With Isaiah being the prophet that he was, he surely caught a glimpse (as prophets do) of another day—a day, an hour, an era where the habitation of God’s Presence would be a consistent reality, not merely a hope.
Old Testament prophets experienced these prophetic foretastes time after time. Joel foresaw a day when the Spirit of God would be poured out on all flesh and all, young and old, would prophesy (see Joel 2:28). Ezekiel saw a time when the face of God would no longer be hidden from His people and His Spirit would be poured out (see Ezekiel 39:29). He also spoke of a forthcoming period where people would not only become inhabited by the Spirit, but their very hearts would be supernaturally transformed by His Presence (see Ezekiel 36:26). Isaiah saw a generational momentum, where descendants and offspring would experience the Spirit’s outpouring in a sustained measure (see Isaiah 44:3, Acts 2:39).
These are just a sampling of the Old Testament prophecies that pointed to the glorious day that Jesus would inaugurate.
The Day When Heaven Was Torn Open
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove” (Mark 1:9-10, ESV).
The English Standard Version of the Bible most accurately captures the power of this historic moment. Clouds did not simply part over the Son of God; Heaven was torn open. Truly, Isaiah’s prayer was being answered. The heavens were rent and the Presence of God was being released into the Earth.
Make no mistake, Jesus was, is, and forever will be God. There is so much confusion on this topic, when there should not be. Jesus did not graduate to godhood. He did not attain God-status. He was in the beginning as God. He was born of the Virgin Mary as God. He lived as God. He died as God. Jesus Christ is God. I want that to be plainly and clearly communicated.
That said, only God could pull off what He did in the person of Jesus Christ. My mind has difficulty processing it, so I have to rely on the inspired nature of the written text to direct my theology here. Jesus was God, but likewise, Jesus was dependent upon the Presence of God. How is it possible that God could be filled with God? That is exactly what happened during Jesus’ baptism in the Spirit. God was standing in the Jordan River, being baptized by a clearly overwhelmed John the Baptist. Heaven opened over God, and God descended upon God. I repeat, only God could pull this one off!
So why did God let Himself be filled with the Holy Spirit (God?) Simple. He was giving you and I a model for what normal life could look like being filled with the Spirit. Jesus Christ demonstrated what a consistent habitation of God’s Presence (the one Isaiah was crying out for) could look like for every single Christian. It was no longer exclusive for the king, priest or prophet. It was not for the elite. The anointing was not simply task-oriented, where God would come down for a season and empower a chosen vessel to complete a certain job. God made Himself available to all who would call upon His name from generation to generation!