30th May 2020

Pentecost

“Now when the Day of Pentecost had 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 whole house…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Act 2:1-4 (NKJV)

The word Pentecost is not found in the Old Testament. It was after Israel was delivered from Egypt, that God gave them a liturgy of worship and instruction to follow His ways. Thus the Feast of Harvest of the firstfruits was observed by Israel as recorded in Exodus 23:16. This festival was often referred to as the Feast of Weeks because it fell seven weeks or fifty days from a set day during the spring festivals (Leviticus 23). And it is from this instruction that we have the word Pentecost, which is a Greek word meaning to count fifty.

In the New Testament, the new Christian Church was founded on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out as prophesied by Joel. There is not much mention of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, although we know that King David prayed that God would not take the Holy Spirit from him, so we know that God was working in and through some of the leaders like Moses and Elijah. However it would seem that most of Israel did not understand the implication and the application of this celebration that came to be known as the Christian Festival of Pentecost, which celebrated not only the coming of the Holy Spirit but the birth of the Christian Church.

We see the power of the Holy Spirit evidenced in the lives of the Apostles. Peter, who cursed the Lord and denied Him three times on the night He was taken by the enemies; was transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and he preached Jesus, and Him crucified and His resurrection from the grave, with such conviction and authority and power that on the same Day 3000 souls were added to the Body of Christ. It was a most spectacular event in the history of the Church of Christ.

Today, that same Holy Spirit is given to those who accept Jesus as their personal Saviour, which we show by our baptism, which is a participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are raised to new life in Christ (Romans 6:4). We find in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” And as human parents bestow good things upon their children, our Father in Heaven wants to bless His children with His Spirit. Luke11:13 says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

The Old Testament Festival celebrated the physical harvest, while the Christian celebration of Pentecost pictures the spiritual harvest. The Holy Spirit has brought spiritual revivals and through powerful preaching of the gospel many souls have been reaped—people have come to the Lord. My prayer is that God will stir up the hearts of the ministers and members alike to reach out to the world with this hope of new life in the Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth (John 16:13), renew our minds daily to help us walk in the Spirit (Romans 12:2).

Prayer
Father God, we thank You for the day of Pentecost. Help us to appreciate the gift of the Holy Spirit who reveals the deep things of God to us. I pray and praise You in Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Natu Moti
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About the Author:
Natu Moti is a Deacon in the Birmingham Congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
BIRMINGHAM
B23 7QB

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 07777-667635
Email: birmingham@gracecom.church

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