THE HOLY SPIRIT AND PENTECOST

After our Lord Jesus Christ arose from the grave, he showed himself to his disciples and well over 500 faithfuls. Some of these people heared him talk, walked beside him, touched him, sat near him and ate with him, over a period of 40 days. These eyewitness accounts therefore provide overwhelming proofs to the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! The fact of the empty tomb is another shocking, terrifying (to his enemies), yet rejoicing evidence to all the faithfuls through time and all of eternity. Having completed his major assignment on earth, Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after his resurrection, under the amazing gaze of believers who gathered at the Mount of Olives as they had been previously instructed. Ten days later, making up 50 days since the Passover festival, when Jesus, as sacrificial lamb was crucified, it was Pentecost Festival. It was on that first Pentecost after Christs’ crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, that God the Father chose to send the Holy Spirit from heaven to dwell permanently for the first time inside believers in Christ! In response to anxieties and questions from his followers, Jesus stated just before his ascension: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea,and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1.7-8). As some of his parting words Jesus also said: “And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high”. In obedience to this command, the believers in Christ stayed in Jerusalem, meeting regularly to fellowship and to pray. As they did so on that specific day of Pentecost, in one accord, the Holy Spirit came upon them all in the room. Cloven tongues like as fire appeared and rested upon each one of them and they began to speak with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. Many people (both Jews and strangers)from different parts of the world, who had gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost were able to hear the disciples praising and glorifying God in their own languages. It was so definite, yet amazing that they expressed this observation. Some skeptics, as usual, tried to ridicule the believers, saying that they were drunk. Peter, no longer fearful nor timid, confounded the skeptics and preached powerfully, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, explaining to them that it was a fulfilment of God’s promise through the prophet Joel that was visible before their eyes and audible to them. He urged the peole to repent. The Jesus whom they crucified is risen and alive, because it was impossible for death to hold him down. God has glorified him and made him to sit at his right hand in heaven. That same Jesus is now both Lord and Christ(the Messiah).From his exalted position he did send down the Holy Spirit. Many were convicted in their hearts and cried out to the disciples: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter stated: “Repent and be baptised, everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 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 2.14-40). About 3000 persons repented, received Christ and were baptised that same day.A new change came not only over Jerusalem, but over the whole nation. The risen Christ has demonstrated his power, timid men and women had become bold. The less educated disciples had become inspired and learned, able to teach and silence the educated skeptics by words and by deeds. It was the birth of the Church of Christ and the dawn of a new day! What then is the purpose of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? The purpose is to powerfully give birth to the powerful Church.The purpose is through empowered men and women, to break down all barriers confronting the church then and today.The purpose is to unify the church powerfully as a formidable team. The purpose is to impact the church with the love of God.The purpose is to reach every nook and corner of this earth with the liberating power of the gospel, by the Holy Ghost through the church. The purpose is to have the same vision as God- vision of a world lost in sin; a hurting, needy, sick, poor, confused, ignorant and arrogant world, in need of the unlimited power of God through the Holy Ghost to rescue it, by the church. The full price for the world’s redemption has been paid; yet there are stubborn manifestations of Satans’ oppressive grip on many people. O for a heart of like-minded men and women who would selflessly arise today to rescue the 21st Century world from the brink of disaster! Are you a Christian? Are you appreciative of all that Christ did? Does your spirit and mind burn inside to help! How dry are your eyes? How compassionate are you? Do you love the people? Do you love your brother/sister in Christ? For how long have you been holding grudges and keeping malice? Are you ready to meet Christ in this your present state? O for a heart that is a true copy of Jesus Christ in you and me! Jesus said: “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not overcome it”.
That is reality. Satan has lost,no matter how much he tries to bark like a toothless bull-dog or pretend to harrass as a roaring lion. We are to stand up to resist him, steadfast in the faith, in the name of Jesus, his conqueror! Because of the victory of Jesus and the elevated status to which Jesus has brought the church, we are more than conquerors! Imagine what Jesus said: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14.12-14). When the church today thinks, plans and acts selflessly, people would increasingly ask again “WHAT SHALL WE DO”? Are we building for God? What materials are we using to build? Are we using wood, hay, silver, iron, bronze or gold? Are we listening to and obeying the Holy Spirit, as he seeks to lead the Church of Christ today or are we just doing our own stuffs? Charles Wesley wrote:
“A heart in every thought renewed, And full of love divine; Perfect, and right, and pure, and good, A copy, Lord, of thine”. The purpose of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is to produce ‘Proof Producers’- men and women, who seek to be more like Jesus Christ and prove to the world his unlimited power in love! Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? Then, walk also in the spirit. The purpose of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost is to produce loving, obedient, willing and effective witnesses for Jesus Christ. God bless you.
One of the greatest hymn writers God gave to the church in all generations so far was Charles Wesley. His hymn, ‘Give me the faith which can remove’ still speaks volumes of goodness to the church this 21st Century:

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