Sadly there is one really great event mentioned in scripture that gets overlooked virtually every year by many Christians, especially – of all people – Pentecostals and their pastors! And I for one can’t understand why!
Funny thing is…how do I find out each year when Pentecost Sunday is going to fall? Easy! I don’t only count 50 days after Easter, but I phone a local Anglican church! They always know. Yet, such mainline churches don’t relate to the fiery Pentecostal message as we Penties do!
The incredible first Pentecost
Jesus had given his disciples an assurance that they would not be left on their own to fulfil the great commission after he’d returned to heaven. That the great Holy Spirit – the Comforter – would come to assist them in supernatural ways to establish the kingdom.
This stupendous event happened on the first Pentecost Sunday when 120 disciples were gathered in the upper room (Acts 2). Jesus had directed them to wait until they were endued – clothed – with the power of the Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1: 8) and they waited in great expectation.
And he had promised them a Spirit baptism akin to fire (Acts 1:5)! Indeed at times the infilling of the Holy Spirit and his refreshing touches are likened unto fire which cleanses and energises.
The early disciples’ obedience led to incredible events. Read with excitement Acts 2…the infilling of the Spirit (v1-4), worshipping God in languages new for the disciples (v7-11), the birth of the church through the first great outreach and 3000 saved (v41), the expectation for more (v38).
More than worship in tongues!
Some people still wrongly think Pentecost is only about speaking in tongues and they have a couldn’t-care-less attitude toward it. How sad!
Jesus himself received the touch of the Holy Spirit before he began his ministry (Mark. 2:10). So does every Christian who wants to faithfully serve him! This was why he advised his first followers not to leave Jerusalem until they were filled with the power of the Spirit.
Filled with the Spirit, baptised with or in the Spirit, clothed, endued, swamped, overwhelmed… whatever term one chooses to use, we’re talking about the supernatural of God coming on us to assist us mere human beings represent Jesus in our neighbourhood, church, workplace, marketplace, overseas trips, our ministry.
Whatever you may call it, I call this the visa to go through the gateway of the supernatural into the operation of the 1 Corinthian 12 manifestation gifts of the Spirit to help grow the church.
Expect a special Pentecost Sunday every year!
Personally, I delight to share somewhere every Pentecost Sunday. It’s May 31 this year and I’ll have the privilege of sharing to around 20,000 people in India. I’m expecting the Spirit to move, richly bless and bring glory to Jesus! And I have prayer supporters believing accordingly.
What are you expecting in your church? And through you, not just the preacher or pastor?
Here’s what Pentecost should mean to every Christian. It is about the…
Traditionally it was a time when people gave thanks in anticipation of the coming harvest. Now a new harvest was coming about when souls would be saved and God’s laws would be so written on their hearts so that they would love, obey and serve him with a new inner strength.
It was the first real ‘soaker service’ …120 people waiting on God. And their lives would never be the same again. They would go out, make history, and change the world!
Your own personal baptism in the Holy Spirit is to enable you to be a more effective witness for Jesus and to be a carrier of his good news to a lost generation.
People often let people down through promise-breaking. God never breaks his promises! Read some of them in Eze. 18:31; 36:27; Isa. 32:15; 44:3 and Joel 2:28.
In John 14 -16, Jesus reiterated the promise of something outstanding for his disciples… the Holy Spirit. And, as promised, the Spirit came to enable them to fulfil Jesus’ work on planet earth.
We too need the Holy Spirit. His infilling enables us too to extend the kingdom of God in our day, in this troubled and very insecure world. And we can do so with confidence as we move in faith.
The Holy Spirit is the most wonderful person you can know. He is the gift of God! Not a thing or force but an incredibly wise and powerful person. In John 14 Jesus kept referring to ‘him’ as a ’he’… a person. He’s the third person in the godhead!
The Message Bible describes the Spirit this way: ‘I (Jesus) will talk to the Father and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you.’ Hey! I like that. No wonder I call the Holy Spirit my Forever Friend!
We all need the Holy Spirit. I sincerely encourage you to develop a deep relationship with him! Talk to him every day and expect to be used by him powerfully (or simply) to bless others.
He’s also a precious presence…the presence of love. Some sense his touch – the breath of love or a flowing river or a refreshing breeze. Or that dynamic fire mentioned earlier. Whatever, you just know he’s there and he’s going to communicate God’s love and power in some special way.
However you sense him, you’re aware he’s there caring for you. At times you can feel the strength of his arms around you and you get encouraged, renewed and replenished. And you’re enabled to overcome satanic opposition and achieve much for Jesus.
I encourage every Christian to develop a deep relationship with the blessed Holy Spirit through prayer, trust and active service. And to seek a fresh touch of his presence daily. Just ask him!
Mark 16:10 tells us that as the first disciples accepted the privilege of the great commission, the Holy Spirit moved with them in power.
The Message Bible puts it this way: ‘(They) went everywhere preaching, the master working right with them, validating the message with undisputable evidence.’ How? Signs and wonders in amazing action as the Spirit responded to their faith! (Read the book of Acts)
We need to soak in the Spirit and believe for signs and wonders to flow through us at every given opportunity! Remember the old chorus ‘We are a People of Power’? Let it be so today! Jesus is in heaven; we are his representatives on earth today. And we have the authority to move in the Spirit’s supernatural to make both Christians and non-Christians take notice.
Satan and doubters and ‘putter-downers’ would have us think that we can’t achieve anything. But we can in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Jesus wants to use all of us, not just pastors! You are a person of immeasurable potential when you allow the Spirit to flow through you. Believe it!
Great confidence comes as we wait on God and the assurance of an ability to do whatever he wants us to. Don’t let the enemy – or anyone – put us off achieving much for Jesus.
The ministry effective holy fire of the Holy Spirit is also about today…the present day!
Some people still foolishly teach that the days of signs and wonders are over, that they were only for New Testament days. That somehow they ‘died off’ after Paul and Peter died. And – worse still – that we don’t need them now because we have the Bible.
How ridiculous! Nowhere on scripture does it teach that the Holy Spirit’s work is over for our day! We need Spirit-filled Christians who will boldly go through the gateway of the supernatural, let the fire of the Spirit fall afresh on us and then and do mighty things for Jesus!
We live in a day of trouble when both unsaved and Christians need to see God in action! And we can…supernaturally through his saints filled with the enabling, the anointed fire of the Holy Spirit.
Let the fire fall afresh this Pentecost!