Last May 19, 2013- The Brethren and I celebrated Pentecost Sunday in Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines. Now many who might read this may wonder as to why celebrate Pentecost, or even question the meaning of Pentecost thus I was led by the Holy Spirit to share with a particular 3 point message that drives the point across as to why we ought to celebrate this Joyous day.
Probably the first question that comes to mind is: what is Pentecost? To understand the great meaning of this day; let’s catch up on its context; When our Lord Jesus Christ Resurrected; he spent forty days fellowshipping with his disciples; preparing them for their ministry, strengthening them and praying with them as found in Luke 24:39-43. Just imagine the joy of fellowshipping with the Risen Christ in His glorified body; but despite the joy of being with the Lord- it cannot last for Jesus must ascend to the Father and establish his everlasting reign by receiving, as the God-man, all dominion, power, and authority (Luke 24:44–51) Watching Jesus ascend to heaven (Acts 1:11), the disciples must have felt an immediate sense of loss, the Master whom they wept over in death, who they rejoiced over at His resurrection has now ascended to His throne. But Jesus steadied them with an important promise found in
Acts 1:5 -“you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So, on the seventh day after the ascension, we find the disciples gathered in Jerusalem, praying, waiting, and celebrating the Feast of Weeks. This important annual festival was observed on the seventh Sabbath after Passover. At the conclusion of Passover, the first sheaf of the barley harvest would be offered before God in the temple, anticipating the greater harvest that was to follow in the summer. On the fiftieth day after Passover (Pentecost comes from the Greek word for fifty), all Israel would come to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate in God’s presence in memory of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage as found in Deuteronomy 16:9-12; Now in Acts 2:2-4, Luke tells us that when the disciples were gathered together on the day of the Pentecost; “suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
This stood as the validation of the great commission set forth by Christ and the fulfillment of His promise that the Holy Spirit will come upon the disciples and all flesh as the gospel was declared in every tongue that all may hear the Redemption set forth by our Savior.
Peter then explains the miracles as the fulfillment of God’s word in Acts 2:16-18; he states- “This is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, 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 male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.”
Pentecost is not a movement, organization, denomination, it is not a religion but it stands as the day the helper came, baptizing those who stood firm in God’s truth, anointing and blessing Jesus’ disciples with the gifting they need to spread the Good News and finally the testament and proof that utter the most profound statement in the great commission; Not Go, or make disciples but more so the promise uttered by Christ; understand that no matter how much we go; if Christ is not with us; If His presence is not upon us; we are powerless but Pentecost affirms the promise that empowers us to spread the good news; in Matthew 28:20 – “..And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Thus I would define Pentecost as the day when each Christian never stood alone for God is with us as His grace stands sufficient; for even in our weakness; we proclaim His greatness; as we stand to witness His great faithfulness unfold in our lives by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in us all. Thus we celebrate, for this is the day the Lord has made; this is the day of affirmation as we shine His light to all by abiding in Him.
In John 16:13-14 we understand who the Holy Spirit is; “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.”
The completion of God’s glorification is set not by the workings of man but by the power of the Holy Spirit whom Christ has sent to guide us to all the truth; the greatest gifting we received in this day of Pentecost is His presence that dwells in all who stand obedient and trusting to Him. That is why it is imperative to celebrate this day; first because Pentecost is the fulfillment of Jesus’ Promise to never forsake His own; the fulfillment of this promise was the outpouring of gifts from the Holy Spirit to the disciples then and to us today such as the gift of utterance such as Prophecies, tongues and its interpretation, gifts of power such as healing, faith and miracles and the gift of revelation; such as a word of wisdom, revelation and discernment. Unless we have the Holy Spirit in us; we cannot accomplish the great task set by God in our lives; unless we have the Holy Spirit in us; we were not saved nor redeemed in the first place.
Second, Pentecost launched the global proclamation of the Gospel, the death of Christ and His resurrection signaled the first fruits of God’s victory over sin and death; and at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; Pentecost signals the great harvest to come; today friends we are witnesses to such a harvest as we stand on the march to draw the lost back to the King and finally the third reason for such a celebration is- Pentecost signals the coming fuller restoration and greater celebration as found in another striking promise in Joel 2:25:27 – “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lᴏʀᴅ your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.”
That in itself is the fullest expression of the coming days of glory when God shall wipe of every tear from the former things have past away, behold all things are new. Thus friends we rejoice this day as we stand witnesses to such exciting times; when our King comes and flies us home. But till that day I call to you dear brethren to cleave to the King of Kings, never yield nor weaken but stand strong as we recalibrate our Christianity and refocus our hearts and minds to Christ alone as we quicken into our hearts our need for His presence. Know that we are called to live holy, righteous and true; we are called to do great work for God but this call was never intended to be done by our waning strength but by acknowledging our need for the Holy Spirit to bring upon us great revival, A great renewal that restores unto us the joy of our salvation as we stand to see things with spiritual eyes; to see each test as an avenue to create a testimony, to turn each trial to a praise report and to respond to every hardship with pure joy as we are chiseled to perfection by the workings of endurance as we cleave to our King.