Pentecost

 

Church we should not just endure till the end! We should enjoy every moment with God! We should be a HOLY SPIRIT driven church! We are His bride ready to be consummated by our Groom! The HOLY SPIRIT would help us to become the PERFECT BRIDE  for our GROOM!

 By: Pastor Ranjee Salvacion

 

Deuteronomy 16:9-12 (NIV) The Festival of Weeks

9Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you. 11And rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you. 12Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.

BACKGROUND

What is the Pentecost?(Exodus 19-24) An annual feast of the Lord, a pilgrimage festival. Pentecost is a Greek word which means “The Fiftieth Day”. In Hebrew it is known as “Shavuot” which means “weeks”(Feast of Weeks, Festival of Reaping, Day of the Firstfruits). In the Talmud it is known as “Atzeret” which means refraining or holding back, referring to the prohibition against work on this holiday. The Torah mandates the seven-week Counting of the Omer, beginning on the second day of Passover, to be immediately followed by Shavuot-marks the completion of the seven-week counting period between Passover and Shavuot.(“Counting of the Omer”.) It marks the end of the barley harvest and marks the start of the wheat  harvest.

DEEPER SIGNIFICANCE…

It commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire nation of Israel assembled at Mt. Sinai.(Torah means “instruction or guide”- five books Moses had written- the written and oral law). Every year, the Jews renew their acceptance of “God’s gift” and God “re-gives” the Torah.

Shavuot also means “ oath”. It is a picture of marriage between God and His people. For this day God swore eternal devotion to His people and His people in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him. God signed this contract, this COVENANT with His own finger!

 Stages of a Jewish wedding- Erusim(Engagement), Ketubah(Marriage Contract-the stage where in the bridegroom presents conditions for his bride) and the last stage the Nesu’in or the consummation of Marriage. Which happens under a “chuppah” which means a canopy or a covering.

 Song of Solomon 3:11  11come out, and look, you daughters of Zion. Looka on King Solomon wearing a crown, the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, the day his heart rejoiced.

 When Israel began to settle in the Promised Land, the meaning of Shavuot was transformed into an agricultural holiday that celebrated God’s provision for His people- “the land flowing with milk and honey!”  And in Acts 2 Pentecost marks the birthday of the CHURCH the coming of the Holy Spirit! This year, Shavuot begins at sunset on May 23 and ends on the evening of May 25 (beginning at sundown of the 5th of Sivan and lasting until nightfall of the 7th of Sivan).

Two Biblical Characters that Jews relate to Shavuot:

1.RUTH

The book of Ruth is read during Pentecost because her story is a picture of harvest! More importantly Ruth left “her people and her gods” to enter into a new covenant, to enter a Ketubah with the God of Israel!

 Ruth 1:16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

 2. DAVID

He was believed to be born and also died on Shavuot. He was the spiritual successor of the Prophet Samuel and was linked to the transmission of the Torah to God’s people. He studied and spend large amounts of time and resources in studying God’s laws. The Book of Psalms was a prove to that. Although he did not write all of it, the songs he has written showed how much he delighted in the written and spoken word of the Lord!  The book of Psalms is divided into 5 books parallel to the 5 books written by Moses.

 From the beginning of time, God has shown us the power of His Word! (John 1:1) The spoken word brought forth life in all His creation, yet from all His creations, one was really different- MAN! Indeed He was pleased with the one He created in His image and likeness calling it very good! (Genesis 1:27) But what made man different? Let’s go back to where it all started…

Genesis 1:1-2 The Beginning

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

The word Spirit here is the Hebrew word “ruach” which means breath of mouth or nostrils, wind, life, emotion. The Spirit of God has always wanted a place to rest! The earth was dark and formless, it was empty! Just like our lives, the Spirit in us makes us physically alive but unless it rests on us there  is disorder, confusion and every work of evil in our lives!

Genesis 2:7  7Then the Lord God formed a manc from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Breathed is the Hebrew word “napach” which means blow, breath, give up, cause to lose, life. Breath is the Hebrew word “neshamah” which means vital breath, divine inspiration, intellect, It also means “hot wind kindling a flame”. This is what keeps us alive! God gave us a part of Himself that we may have life! The Breath of God the Spirit  brought us to life! From the beginning, the design of the Lord for man is to be a resting place for the Holy Spirit to dwell!

Genesis 2:5-9a

5Now no shrub had yet appeared on the eartha and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6but streamsb came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7Then the Lord God formed a manc from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food

The Lord sent rain and water only when the time for man to be created was near! The plants did not bear fruits until God has caused to water them! They were created for man! God waters what he has planted! This also applies to all that God has planted in our lives- His dreams for us, our destiny! It only shows that we should only rely and depend on God completely! People most of the time focus more on our fleshly/earthly desires- the cravings of our flesh. We should focus more on what lasts for eternity our soul, our spirits!  It is foolish for man to care for our “bodies” more than we care for our souls!

 

Acts 1:4-5,8   4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized witha water, but in a few days you will be baptized withb the Holy Spirit.” 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After His resurrection, Jesus spent 40 days with his disciples. He made sure they would be ready for bolder and bigger steps of faith, nine days after, Who He had promised to come finally arrived! In verse 4 and 5 it was clear that Jesus was telling them that it is time for the disciples to be more mature, but they can not expect to walk in power unless the Holy Spirit comes! The word Spirit in verse 5 is the Greek word “pneuma” (in Hebrew “ruach”- Gen.1:2) which means  wind, breath, spirit and life it also means possessed of the power of knowing, desiring, deciding and acting!. Power comes when the Holy Spirit rest on us! It what gives us anointing! The ability of God given to us so that we can do what He wants us to do!

We are living in these last days, the end times, the finest hour! No time to waste! Acts 1:8 is a call for the church to stay awake until Christ’s return.  A mark that a church is alive is the presence of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is the power that dwells in us- making us effective, enabling us to do powerful and marvelous things!(“dunamis”).

 

 Acts 2:1-4 The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tonguesa as the Spirit enabled them.

God is telling us, it is never by our own strength that we become equipped! We can only be equipped when the Spirit rest in us! The word fire here is the Greek word “pur” which means “fire of God which transforms all it touches into light and likeness with itself”. The Holy Spirit should continually enlighten and purify us so that we can be more and more be like Jesus! The fire that God gave them brings uninterrupted privilege of being transformed which happens by experiencing faith from His promises! Rest is the Greek word “kathizo” which means to sit down, settle, stay and to continue!

The Upper Room…

The word when in verse one means “inside the realm of” They were above the flesh in the realm of prayer, worship and the Word! It was the reason why they were all together! They were in unity seeking the Lord! The promised Holy Spirit in this chapter came like a violent wind! Many resists Its work yet the violent wind should bring us comfort- it shakes and removes everything that is not in unity with what the Lord wants in us! The coming of the tongues of fire purifies and cleanses! The word come/came in the verses means to fulfill! It is the Greek word “supleroo” which means to fill up completely, hence to fulfill.  They were all unique and different individuals yet they were united, ready and expectant for the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit’s “infilling”! Surely God filled them, making them complete! Completed to do the work by the promise Jesus left them!

The Holy Spirit in Acts 2 does not only speak of a Spirit that keeps us alive but of a Spirit that empowers us to finish! They were filled with the life-giving Spirit enabling them to be holy empowering them to live in the likeness of nature with the Lord- making them different from the people of this WORLD! This is what we are called to do CHURCH!

This turn of events marked the start of the OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!  When the Holy Spirit comes the effects are power, change, hunger and thirst, fruitfulness, selflessness! The harvest of souls!

We need to go up the UPPER ROOM and leave all the carnalities in our lives for us to be FILLED COMPLETELY! It is not a “one event” thing! In the Upper Room, all 120 of them were filled, they all received the Holy Spirit! As a believer of Jesus Christ washed by His blood, you are qualified to receive it! Intimacy is being one with God, which only happens to a Holy Spirit controlled Christian!

 

 Acts 2:14-16 Peter Addresses the Crowd

14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

We could see how Peter was restored by this event. The power came upon Him because of these two important words: THE SPIRIT(the Promise, Spoken word of Jesus) and the Scriptures! These awakened the people around them, they joined the church and embrace who the Lord Jesus Christ is! The work of the Holy Spirit!

Joel 2:28-29 The Day of the Lord

28“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

Acts 2:17-18   17“ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

Acts 2:41-47(The effect!)  41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (The Fellowship of the Believers) 42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 “Humans are not meant to depend upon humans’ strength. When God created us, He created us in a way that we would be . Power assisted!”- Reinhard Bonke

Church we should not just endure till the end! We should enjoy every moment with God! We should be a HOLY SPIRIT driven church! We are His bride ready to be consummated by our Groom! The HOLY SPIRIT would help us to become the PERFECT BRIDE  for our GROOM!