The Touch Of The Master
From the psychic readings of Ray Stanford
Again and again we asked Him to reveal the Kingdom and show us the Father. One day I said to Him, “Master, show me the Father.” He raised His right hand and touched me on the forehead. He smiled broadly and laughed aloud — and you have never heard a laugh until you have heard the Master laugh. “Philip, Philip,” He said, “in the nights of your restlessness He has been beside you and you have not known Him. I am only here that the invisible may be seen.”
And then He touched me on the forehead again and said, “Philip, Philip, when the time comes that you want to see Me most, and you cannot see Me, then I will show the Father to you.” It was not until He had finally left us that I came to understand the meaning of His words and the joy of His laughter. It was not until the day of Pentecost.
His mother, Miriam, was there. Somehow it seemed appropriate, and I have often thought that had she not been there, it would not have happened as it did.
In all respects it was a normal day, filled with sunshine, yet for some time preceding the event it was as if the air were filled with electricity. I recall, in fact, walking out into the opening, which was in the midst of a building, and reaching out to Peter. As I reached to touch him on the shoulder a charge of electricity crackled between the robe of Peter and my hand. For that time of year, such an exchange was a surprise to me. Somehow the air and the bodies of those of us that were there seemed filled with that charge, and as it continued, there seemed to be a joy, a nonsensical, an almost drunken joy that filled us.
I thought to myself as I heard Peter speaking, “If he addresses the people they will surely think he has had too much to drink.” Later, in fact, they speculated on that very thing. But at the time Peter was joyous and, yes, by some tokens, almost silly with joy. I told him, in fact, that he behaved as a little child and he answered, drunken with joy, “Well, Philip, I’m just where He wants us to be.”
Peter spoke that day. His hand was upon the shoulder of one beside him. As I stood nearby I noticed that when Peter raised his hand to the sky to gesture and to speak of the Lord, sparks flew from his hand to the hair of the one who stood beside him. For a moment, had I not somehow been reminded of the Lord, I might have thought that we had all become crazed, for there came a sound like the sound of a hive of bees. First it seemed to come from the buildings which surrounded us, from behind them and above them. In looking and seeking after the source of the sound, we saw that the buildings, even the wooden parts of them, seemed to take on a luminescence and a glow, even in the bright daylight. Then vaporous spirals appeared above them and in the air above us. They took on a glow and a color like the sky — blue and yet lighter in color. All I can say to describe what happened is to say that somehow we seemed to attract them to us and they SAT upon us.
When it happened, I remember thinking to myself, “In this crowd, we will never live this down!” FOR OUR HAIR STOOD ON END! Not figuratively, but literally! My own hair bothered me so much that I self-consciously tried to press it down and keep it in position. And Peter’s hair, which was more curly than mine, was also standing on end, but he made no effort to push his down; he seemed intoxicated and filled with joy, as if he expected what was happening, and yet I knew that he didn’t.
Then I lost all concern about the hair and the weirdness of our appearance. I no longer cared if they thought we had been up all night, our hair unkept, maddened and drunken. For there in the midst of us was something we could touch, of which and for which the heart longed for more than anything which I could have imagined. And somehow the words of my Master came back to me. I no longer longed to see His face, for I felt it was the heart of Him that touched me.
The last thing I remember is all of us standing, fixed in attention and in joy. Our hands were in the air and our heads and hair were swept upward. It was as if the air and the wind swept up from our feet. Flames, literal and visible, were upon us — on our hair, our heads, our foreheads. Before I was lost in the joy of it there was the sensation of energy crackling upon my nose and fingers.
It seemed for a moment as if we might be lifted into heaven itself, as we had seen the Lord go, for there appeared above us, slightly to one side, a cloud — but not so dense as the one which took Him. Suddenly my mind was no longer my mind. HE WAS WITHIN ME, and I knew the meaning of that which He said: “I must leave you, or else you will not know the Father. Without leaving you, it is impossible for you to receive the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which I will send.”
What happened to the tongue within my body at that moment I cannot say with words. I can only say that somehow I was not separate from those who stood around me, staring — I felt their perceptions of me within my heart. A part of me laughed with joy, for I knew that somehow, there in the midst of us, stood the living Master, and that His Spirit enabled us to be one with those to whom we now spoke. For I was there when there issued from our mouths those things, those words, which may not be repeated. And what came out of our mouths was understood by all, for it was the Higher Self in everyone to which the Master, through us, spoke. Everyone understood what He said in their own language, although the words they heard with their minds were not understood.
You may know that all of us, including Peter, were filled with a great deal of willfulness. But when the Spirit came upon us that day, a new pattern was created within all of us — our brains, cellular structure, and bodily reactions were changed. Karmic patterns were burned away and we were more able to respond, instead of react; to be truly open to God, to the Divine Source within all of us.
When you come to the day of Pentecost within yourself, it will not be, as it was not with us, an experience which is anticipated, or sought after by way of desire. My brothers and sisters, it will be an experience of grace which will take you utterly by surprise. It will be an experience which all men have sought and which few have attained. It will set you free and death shall be swallowed up in victory.
From the Psychic Readings of Ray Stanford. Adapted by David Sunfellow from “1975 Membership Conference Reading: Part Two: The Brothers” Volume 3, Number 3 and “Thunupah: A White God in the Americas” Volume 4, Number 1 of the Journal of the Association for the Understanding of Man.
What Is The Christian Celebration Of Pentecost All About?
For Christians, Pentecost is a holiday on which we commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the early followers of Jesus. Before the events of the first Pentecost, which came a few weeks after Jesus’ death and resurrection, there were followers of Jesus, but no movement that could be meaningfully called “the church.” Thus, from an historical point of view, Pentecost is the day on which the church was started. This is also true from a spiritual perspective, since the Spirit brings the church into existence and enlivens it. Thus Pentecost is the church’s birthday.
The English word “Pentecost” is a transliteration of the Greek word pentekostos, which means “fifty.” It comes from the ancient Christian expression pentekoste hemera, which means “fiftieth day.”
But Christians did not invent the phrase “fiftieth day.” Rather, they borrowed it from Greek-speaking Jews who used the phrase to refer to a Jewish holiday. This holiday was known as the Festival of Weeks, or, more simply, Weeks (Shavuot in Hebrew). This name comes from an expression in Leviticus 23:16, which instructs people to count seven weeks or “fifty days” from the end of Passover to the beginning of the next holiday (pentekonta hemeras in the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture).
Shavuot was the second great feast in Israel’s yearly cycle of holy days. It was originally a harvest festival (Exod 23:16), but, in time, turned into a day to commemorate the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai. This day became especially significant for Christians because, seven weeks after the resurrection of Jesus, during the Jewish celebration of Shavuot/Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon his first followers, thus empowering them for their mission and gathering them together as a church.
This event is recorded in the New Testament book known as The Acts of the Apostles. Chapter 2 begins, “And when the day of Pentecost [ten hemeran tes pentekostes] had come, [the first followers of Jesus] were all together in one place” (2:1). All of a sudden, a sound came from heaven, like a strong wind, filling the house where the people had gathered. Something like tongues of fire rested on their heads. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak” (2:4).
The languages spoken by the early Christians were intelligible (not other worldly) and were heard by thousands of Jewish pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate Shavuot. The content of the miraculous messages had to do with God’s mighty works (2:11). Many who heard these messages in their own languages were amazed, though others thought the Christians were just drunk (2:12).
At some point, Peter, one of the leading followers of Jesus, stood up and preached his first sermon. He interpreted the events of that morning in light of a prophecy of the Hebrew prophet Joel. In that text, God promised to pour out his Spirit on all flesh, empowering diverse people to exercise divine power. This would be a sign of the coming “day of the Lord” (Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32).
Peter went on to explain that Jesus had been raised and had poured out the Spirit in fulfillment of God’s promise through Joel (2:32-33). When the crowd asked what they should do, Peter urged them to turn their lives around and be baptized in the name of Jesus. Then they would be forgiven and would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (2:37-39). Acts reports that about 3,000 people were added to the church that day (2:41).
From Acts 2, New American Standard Bible
The Day of Pentecost
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs — we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”
But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
‘The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know — this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. For David says of Him,
‘I saw the Lord always in my presence;
For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken.
‘Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted;
Moreover my flesh also will live in hope;
Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades,
Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
‘You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’
“Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”‘
Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.