Pentecost

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“What is the day of Pentecost?” GotQuestions.org

Answer: “Pentecost” is significant in both the Old and the New Testaments. Pentecost is actually the Greek name for a festival known in the Old Testament as the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15; Deuteronomy 16:9). The Greek word means “fifty” and refers to the fifty days that have elapsed since the wave offering of Passover. The Feast of Weeks celebrated the end of the grain harvest. Most interesting, however, is its use in Joel and Acts. Looking back to Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:8-32) and forward to the promise of the Holy Spirit in Christ’s last words on earth before His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:8), Pentecost signals the beginning of the church age.

The only reference to the actual events of Pentecost is Acts 2:1-3. Pentecost is reminiscent of the Last Supper; in both instances the disciples are together in a house for what proves to be an important event. At the Last Supper the disciples witness the end of the Messiah’s earthly ministry as He asks them to remember Him after His death until He returns. At Pentecost, the disciples witness the birth of the New Testament church in the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers. Thus the scene of the disciples in a room at Pentecost commences with the beginning of the Holy Spirit’s work in the church with the conclusion of Christ’s earthly ministry in the upper room before the crucifixion.

The description of fire and wind mentioned in the Pentecost account resounds throughout the Old and the New Testament. The wind at Pentecost was “rushing” and “mighty,” a powerful wind that nevertheless did not extinguish the tongues of fire. Scriptural references to the power of wind (always understood to be under God’s control) abound. Exodus 10:13; Psalm 18:42 and Isaiah 11:15 in the Old Testament and Matthew 14:23-32 in the New Testament are only a few examples. More significant than wind as power is wind as life in the Old Testament (Job 12:10) and as spirit in the New (John 3:8). Just as the first Adam received the breath of physical life (Genesis 2:7), so the second Adam, Jesus, brings the breath of spiritual life. The idea of spiritual life as generated by the Holy Spirit is certainly implicit in the wind at Pentecost.

Fire is often associated in the Old Testament with the presence of God (Exodus 3:2; 13:21-22; 24:17; Isaiah 10:17) and with His holiness (Psalm 97:3; Malachi 3:2). Likewise in the New Testament, fire is associated with the presence of God (Hebrews 12:29) and the purification He can bring about in human life (Revelation 3:18). God’s presence and holiness are implied in the Pentecostal tongues of fire. Indeed, fire is identified with Christ Himself (Revelation 1:14; 19:12); this association naturally underlies the Pentecost gift of the Holy Spirit, who would teach the disciples the things of Christ (John 16:14).

Another aspect of the Day of Pentecost is the miraculous speaking in foreign tongues which enabled people from various language groups to understand the message of the apostles. In addition is the bold and incisive preaching of Peter to a Jewish audience. The effect of the sermon was powerful, as listeners were “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37) and instructed by Peter to “repent, and be baptized” (Acts 2:38). The narrative concludes with three thousand souls being added to the fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayers, apostolic signs and wonders, and a utopian community formed in which everyone’s needs were met.

Recommended Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns.

 

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Lord Send the Wind of a Fresh Pentecost/ J. LEE GRADY

In the days leading up to the Global Day of Prayer, let’s bombard heaven on behalf of the United States.

Twelve years ago a South African businessman, Graham Power, felt God nudge him to organize a prayer gathering in the city of Cape Town. About 45,000 Christians responded to the call by jamming into a rugby stadium in March 2001 to intercede for their nation.

That was the beginning of the Global Day of Prayer, an event that will likely involve millions of Christians in 220 nations on Pentecost Sunday, May 27. This year organizers are encouraging people to extend their prayers for 10 days prior to the event, beginning on May 17. They are also urging pastors to fuel the prayer with sermons about the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s power.

“One breath of the Holy Spirit can bring life to dry bones! Lord, send the refreshing wind of Your presence into lifeless congregations.”

It’s obvious the Holy Spirit is orchestrating this grass roots movement, and I hope you will join it, either by attending local gatherings during the next 10 days or by focusing your personal prayers on the need for a fresh Pentecost. I believe we are on the verge of a new season of spiritual awakening, and the concentration of prayer this month is a key to unlock it.

During these next 10 days I will be meditating on the first chapters of the book of Acts and praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the United States. If you’d like to join me, you can use the following prayer points as a guide:

1. Lord, send the wind of sincere repentance. The original outpouring at Pentecost triggered a wave of repentance that resulted in 3,000 conversions. This level of raw conviction is never the result of eloquent sermons, staged events or man’s programs. Only the Holy Spirit can do this. The greatest miracle on earth occurs when a sinner’s heart breaks before God and he or she is born again. Lord, unleash a flood of conversions in America! And as sinners repent, let backslidden Christians, disillusioned believers and weary saints return to You.

2. Lord, send the wind of spiritual renewal. Many churches in the United States are feeble and powerless, and some are dying. Many denominations are paralyzed by the spirit of religion. Many pastors are battle-scarred and discouraged. But one breath of the Holy Spirit can bring life to dry bones! Lord, send the refreshing wind of Your presence into lifeless congregations. And with Your wind, send a flame on every Christian’s head—especially those reluctant Gideons and timid Timothys who know they are called but need Spirit-inspired confidence.

3. Lord, send the wind of a youth awakening. When the winds of Pentecost blew the first time, Peter preached from the prophet Joel, saying, “ ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions’ ” (Acts 2:17, NIV). This promise is still ours to claim. A huge percentage of America’s youth are fatherless, addicted, abused, sexually confused or somehow at risk. Lord, raise up and strengthen ministries to reach our schools and college campuses. Give students the courage to stand for Christ and speak for Him. Send another Jesus Movement to this generation.

4. Lord, send the wind of supernatural demonstration. The most pitiful heresy ever hatched was the idea that God stopped doing miracles after the Bible was written. Forgive us, Lord, for limiting You! We need the power of Pentecost today more than ever. When the first Pentecost occurred, normal people were “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49), and they began to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons. Forgive us, Lord, for being so smug and sophisticated that we pulled the plug on Your power. (And forgive us, too, for misusing, merchandising and exploiting the Holy Spirit’s gifts for personal gain.) Unleash the miraculous in the American church. Let the same miracles that are occurring in Asia, Africa and Latin America become common in our nation.

5. Lord, send the wind of bold evangelism. When the first disciples were touched by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they declared “the mighty deeds of God” (Acts 2:11, NASB) to every racial and ethnic group that had gathered in Jerusalem. We need this boldness in the United States because we have become the largest English-speaking mission field in the world. Many of our communities have no gospel witness—and many Christians never share their faith with anyone. The true anointing of the Holy Spirit always results in evangelism. Lord, turn up our volume! Raise up laborers to touch every sector of American society, including our forgotten and ignored Native American reservations. Send immigrants to this nation who can reach their own ethnic groups. Let the gospel be preached in every language spoken within our borders.

6. Lord, send the wind of divine intervention. Our nation is in desperate crisis. Families are disintegrating, morality has eroded, perversion is celebrated, and our culture is becoming hostile to biblical faith. Unless the Lord answers with His holy fire from heaven, we are sunk. Lord, deliver us from evil! Extend Your mercy and send a Third Great Awakening. Amen.

J. LEE GRADY is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. You can find more details about the Global Day of Prayer at globaldayofprayer.com.

 

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Are you Spiritual or Religious?

John 4:24: God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Now, the Word does tell us: Hebrews 10:25: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

It is something that happens when the body of Christ comes together. There is something about being in an anointed atmosphere. When I was younger; there were times in my life that I felt that if I could just make it to the church; everything would be alright. Whether, I just had built myself up; whatever the case was. Things always seem to be better once I made it to the church.

Church is wonderful. I am thankful that I did grow up in the Church. I would not trade my life with anyone. I truly mean that!

Ephesians 4:11: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; Ephesians 4:12: For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

In this day and time more than ever we need Jesus, first. We also need one another. It is not what I can do for you or what you can do for me. We need to help keep one another on the right track.

I mean spiritually. My mind is made up. As I have said before; if you don’t want to go to Heaven. Please don’t hinder me.

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

Acts 2:2: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

Acts 2:3: And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Acts 2:4: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:5: And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:6: Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

Acts 2:7: And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

Acts 2:8: And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Acts 2:9: Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

Acts 2:10: Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

Acts 2:11: Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

Acts 2:12: And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

Acts 2:13: Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

Acts 2:14: But Peter, standing up with the eleven, 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:

Acts 2:15: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

Acts 2:16: But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

Acts 2:17: 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 2:18: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Acts 2:19: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

Acts 2:20: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

Acts 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 2:22: Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Acts 2:23: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Acts 2:24: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Acts 2:25: For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

Acts 2:26: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

I have a great imagination; just to think of Pentecost! I wonder; what would happen; if we got together?

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