(June 3, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reflects on a very special day in church history, one being celebrated by many churches this Sunday…
Suddenly… that word which indicates something out-of-the-blue! Such as what happened to those first followers of Jesus Christ on that special Day of Pentecost over 2000 years ago!
Before the Day of Pentecost came round in the year that Jesus died at Calvary and rose from the dead three days later, and before he ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9), he ordered his disciples not to depart from Jerusalem – but to ‘wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about’ (Acts 1:4).
The incredible gift Jesus promised
- That they would receive power when God’s Holy Spirit fell on them.
- That they would be his witnesses not only locally but across the world!
What a bold promise the Lord Jesus made in Acts 1:8: ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’
And so they waited! Then, we read in Acts 2, the Day of Pentecost arrived… that annual Feast of the Harvest, one of Israel’s three major yearly celebrations, lasting only one day. It was on this particular feast day something powerful was going to happen in the plan and purpose of God!
Note the wording that opens chapter two… that ‘they were all together in one place.’ The ‘all’ this time was different from the group in the first chapter; it was the apostles and other disciples who had joined them to celebrate the Day of Pentecost.
This gathering would be unique in both Israel and the early church’s history because it was believers in Jesus who gathered in the upper room of a particular house on this particular day of celebration. It appears likely that the number was about 120 believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 1:15). And they obviously did not even dream what lay ahead! (more…)
(June 1, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares on Pentecost …
The Feast of Pentecost (also known as the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks) was observed by Israel over many centuries. It was an important time each year to celebrate the beginning of the early weeks of harvest with thanksgiving to God. Also a time to celebrate God’s deliverance of his people from Egypt.
After his resurrection from the grave, Jesus had given his followers a command to not depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father. He told them: ‘John truly baptised with water; but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’ (Acts 1:4-5).
Luke, writing the Acts of the Apostles, begins the second chapter with the words, ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.’
Then, verse 2ff, the Holy Spirit fell!
The focus of the feast
The Day of Pentecost was a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel. Devout Jews were used to celebrating the feast of Pentecost – but on the Acts 2 Day of Pentecost, the focus of the feast was changed for the followers of Jesus Christ! (more…)
Mark Ellis recounts good news …
Read Acts 2! Peter’s first sermon came at such an exciting moment in church history, with the filling or baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
120 of Jesus’ followers at a prayer gathering were filled with the Spirit and began speaking in tongues – unknown to them – but were miraculously the known languages of many of the Jewish pilgrims visiting Jerusalem for the feast.
Pentecost was a harvest festival, when the Jewish people presented to God the firstfruits of their wheat harvest (Exodus 34:22). And there were thousands of these pilgrims in Jerusalem from all over the Mediterranean region and Asia Minor. (more…)
Erica Grace, ex-missionary to South America, cuts to the chase!
I find looking at churches’ bulletin boards and websites rather interesting, don’t you?
It’s quirky, I know, but I feel CBBs/websites say a lot about the church. If the board is full of out-of-date events and has been gathering dust for a long time, it tells me no one has captured the vision of this valuable tool. It can be the same with some church websites!
On the other hand I’ve seen some masterpieces too!
But one thing I’m always looking for is their missions’ involvement. What is this church involved in outside their own building? (more…)