The Powerful Message of Pentecost

by Tad Lindley

This past Sunday marked the Jewish celebration of Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks. The Greek name for the Feast of Weeks is Pentecost, which means “fiftieth”. You see, the Pentecost occurs fifty days after Passover. Passover is the time when Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead.

Celebration of the Law

The Feast of Passover celebrates the escape of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Passover literally refers to the fact that the angel of death passed over the houses of the Jewish people in Egypt. If you have read the book of Exodus, you already know that after the Jews escaped slavery in Egypt that they traveled in the desert and in a short time ended up at Mount Sinai. It was at Mount Sinai that God gave Moses the 613 commandments (which included the “10” commandments) on stone tablets. The Feast of Pentecost is a commemoration of God’s gift of the Law to Jewish people.

Jesus sneaks into the feast

In about 28 AD, the Feast of Weeks was to be held in Jerusalem. The Jews in power were already plotting to kill Jesus, so he snuck into the Feast, but soon enough he was found in the temple teaching the people. It was at this time that many people began to believe that Jesus was the Christ. On that last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me as the scriptures hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (This spake he concerning the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified). (John 7:37-39) It was Jesus’ sermon for the day of Pentecost, but beyond that, it was a promise of the coming power of the Holy Ghost.

Power of Pentecost

The next year Jesus would be offered up as a sacrifice at the Passover, and would be buried and resurrected from the dead. After his resurrection he was seen by over 500 believers (I Corinthians 15:6). Then after forty days, he ascended into heaven (Acts 1:1-9). He directed his followers to go to Jerusalem where they would receive power after the Holy Ghost had come upon them. And so it was that the followers of Jesus were in Jerusalem at the time of the Feast of Pentecost where Jews from all over the world were gathering to celebrate Shavuot. The followers of Jesus included the disciples, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and his half brothers. (Acts 1:13-14)

They all spoke in tongues

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4) Exactly one year later on the Jewish calendar, Jesus’ promise of the Holy Ghost was poured out on those who believed on him as the scriptures said.

Do you believe on the biblical Jesus?

Do you believe that Jesus Christ, as the scriptures have said, is God manifest in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16, Colossians 2:9)? Do you believe that the I AM who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush (Exodus 3:14), is none other than Jesus Christ (John 8:58)? Do you believe that the first and the last of Isaiah (41:4, 44:24, 46:10, 48:12) is also the one who spoke to John in Revelation (1:17)? Do you believe that once we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father (John 14:9)? Do you believe that he is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man comes unto the Father, but by Jesus (John 14:6)?

Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?

If you believe on Jesus the way the scriptures have said (which may be different than the way men have described him to you), then let me ask you a question: Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? The same experience that the New Testament believers received on the day of Pentecost in 29 AD and at other times (Acts 8:17, 10:44, 19:6) is available to all people. Remember Jesus said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink”. A year later the apostle Peter, speaking of the Pentecostal experience he had just received told the people of Jerusalem, for the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call (Acts 2:39).

The good news is, you do not have to wait until Pentecost of 2015 to have your own Pentecostal experience. The powerful message that Peter gave concerning the promise of the Holy Ghost reaches across days, years, and generations, even to us today: Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).

Reverend Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.

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