Be Filled With the Holy Spirit

What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?  It is not the same thing as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  While it’s true that the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost when they were Baptized in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2: 1-4), they were filled with the Holy Spirit at other times also.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a one time event in the life of the believer.  To be filled with the Holy Spirit is ongoing.  When the Baptism of the Holy Spirit took place on Pentecost,  the believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, but speaking in languages unknown to the speaker is not the only manifestation of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Examine the following verses to see what they say about being “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple [Acts 3: 1-10],and asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel:  It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed” (Acts 4: 8-10, NIV).

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly (Acts 4: 31, NIV).

In the verses above, notice that “boldness” is associated with those that are filled with the Holy Spirit.  The following verses detail other examples of what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

And Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he arose and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened” (Acts 9: 17-19, NASB).

But Elymas the magician (for thus his name is translated) was opposing them [Barnabas and Saul], seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.  But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze upon him, and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13: 8-10, NASB).

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5: 18-21, KJV).

We often hear the term “Spirit-filled” Christian in conversation, but I don’t see the term in the Bible.  “Spirit-filled” Christian implies that someone is filled with the Holy Spirit 24/7.  I would love to be filled with the Holy Spirit 24/7, but I fall short of the goal.

Everyone who has sincerely repented and received Jesus as Lord and Savior has the mind of Christ and the indwelling Spirit.  So the question is NOT how much of the Holy Spirit do believers have, but how much of us does the Holy Spirit have?  I believe that complacence, the love of money, preoccupation with the things of this world, failure to praise and worship God, fear, bitterness, and sin grieves and inhibits the work of the Spirit.

To be in alignment with God’s will and to be filled with His Spirit,  each of us must worship, seek, love, and obey Him.  As our Lord and Savior, He deserves nothing less than first place in our lives.

 

*I consulted STRONG’S EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE for the terms “filled with the Holy Spirit” and “Spirit-filled” while writing this post.

 

 

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THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit has been a controversial subject for many years.  Some believe that a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit the moment he or she is saved.  Others believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience separate from salvation.   I believe in letting scripture interpret scripture.  Without getting caught up in the controversy, I would like to begin by quoting Jesus about the nature of the Holy Spirit.  (As a matter of fact, while I thinking about the purpose of the Holy Spirit and wondering what verses to use, I opened the Bible to John 14: 16 and saw the sub-title “Role of the Spirit.”)

The Holy Spirit resides in the followers of Jesus.  “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you (John 14: 16-17 NASB). 

The Holy Spirit reveals the Messiah by opening our minds to God’s Word.  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14: 26 NASB).

The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, which leads to repentance, and enables us to live righteously in obedience to God’s Word.  “But I am telling you the truth: it is better for you that I go away, because if I do not go, the Helper will not come to you.  But if I do go away, then I will send him to you.  And when he comes, he will prove to the people of the world that they are wrong about sin and about what is right and about God’s judgment”  (John 16: 7-8, GNT).

The Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth and glorifies the Son. “When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth.  He will not speak on his own authority, but he will speak of what he hears and will tell you of things to come.  He will give me glory, because he will take what I say and tell it to you” (John 16: 13-14, GNT).

In John 20: 21-22 (NIV) when Jesus appeared to His disciples after His Resurrection, He said, “Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed  on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

it’s interesting to note that in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples to wait for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, but before that event occurs on Pentecost, He breathes on them and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit.

THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

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The Baptism of the Holy Sprit took place in Jerusalem during Shavuot (a.k.a. Pentecost), 50 days after the Resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus).

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.  Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?  Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?  Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Capadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” (Acts 2: 1-4)

The first mention of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is in Matthew 3: 11.  John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water for repentance.  But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (NIV).  (See also Mark 1: 8 and John 1: 33.)

According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus appeared to His disciples after the Resurrection, and said, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24: 46-49).  Notice the references to “witnesses” and “power.”

Between His Resurrection and Pentecost, Jesus appeared to his disciples over a forty day time scan.  In Acts 1: 4-5 He said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my  Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John Baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (NIV).

Next, Jesus informs his followers that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit will empower them to spread the Gospel. He said, “But 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” (Acts 1: 8 NIV).  As in Luke 24: 46-49, the key words are “power” (through the Holy Spirit) and “witnesses.”  Jesus’ followers need the power of the Holy Spirit to witness effectively.

On the day of Pentecost, Jesus’ witnesses were filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to speak in languages unknown to them so that Jews who had come to Jerusalem from other countries to celebrate Shavuot could hear and understand them.  This miracle led 3000 people to repent and accept Yeshua as Lord and Savior in one day.

THE TOWER OF BABEL IN REVERSE

Genesis 11: 1-9 recounts a time when everyone spoke the same language.  They settled in Babylon and started building a tower to reach the sky.  God stopped the project by mixing up their language so that they couldn’t understand each other then he scattered them.

At Pentecost, Hebrews and proselytes, who were  scattered among the nations, came together and understood what the followers of Jesus were saying.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was never meant to divide believers but to unite them into “one body.”  In 1 Corinthians 12: 13 (KJV), the apostle Paul taught that “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Hebrews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

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Future posts will include:  What does it mean to be “filled with the Holy Spirit?”  What are the gifts of the Spirit?  What is the fruit of the Spirit?

Pentecost in Acts vs. Shavuot in Exodus

WHAT DO THE GIVING OF LAW OF MOSES AND PENTECOST HAVE IN COMMON?

Shavuot

Shavuot or Feast of Weeks is an annual celebration of the wheat harvest and the Law of Moses that occurs 50 days after First Fruits of the barley harvest (Leviticus 23: 9-17).  Pentecost is another name for Shavuot and is associated with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and what many Christians call  “the birth of the church.”  Notably, during the Shavuot service, the rabbi lifts up two loaves of bread.  Messianic believers say that the loaves represent Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah.

Many parallels exist between the giving of the Law of Moses on Mount Sinai in Exodus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem recorded in the Book of Acts.   They occurred around the same feast day, Shavuot.  In Exodus, God wrote the Ten Commandments with His finger on tablets of stone on Mount Sinai.  In Acts, He wrote His Commandments on human hearts in Jerusalem.. Both were accompanied by violent noise and fire.  (Some interpret the “thunderings” on Mount Sinai as “voices,” perhaps different languages.)  The people at Sinai feared the Lord and refused to come near the mountain.  When they broke God’s commandments by worshipping the Golden Calf, three thousand of them were destroyed.  The Book of Acts records that 3000 people were saved at Pentecost. They were willing to let God write His commandments on their hearts.

Compare the following scriptures in Exodus with those in Acts.

EXODUS

So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain[Mount Sinai] and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.  And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.  Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently.  When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder (Exodus 19: 16-19, NASB).1-

In Exodus 20: 1-17,  God “spoke” the Ten Commandments.  The people responded with fear.  All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance.  Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.”  Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you many not sin.”  So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was (Exodus 20: 18-21 NASB).

When the people saw that Moses had not come down from the mountain but was staying there a long time, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, “We do not know what has happened to this man Moses, who led us out of Egypt; so make us a god to lead us (Exodus 32: 1, GNT).

MosesBreakingTabletsOfStone
My Grandmother’s Old Holy Bible

 

The LORD said to Moses, Hurray and go back down, because your people, whom you led out of Egypt, have sinned and rejected me.  They have already left the way that I commanded them to follow; they have made a bull-calf out of melted gold and have worshiped it and offered sacrifices to it.  The are saying that this is their God who led them out of Egypt (Exodus 32: 7-8, GNT).

Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get out of control and make fools of themselves in front of their enemies.  So he stood at the gate of the camp and shouted, “Everyone who is on the LORD’s side come over here!”  Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get out of control and make fools of themselves in front of their enemies.  So he stood at the gate of the camp and shouted, “Everyone who is on the LORD’s side come over here!”  So all the Levites gathered around him, and he said to them, “The LORD God of Israel commands every one of you to put on your sword and go through the camp from this gate to the other and kill your brothers, your friends, and your neighbors.”  The Levites obeyed, and killed about three thousand men that day gathered around him, and he said to them, “The LORD God of Israel commands every one of you to put on your sword and go through the camp from this gate to the other and kill your brothers, your friends, and your neighbors.”  The Levites obeyed, and killed about three thousand men that day (Exodus 32: 25-28, GNT).

ACTS

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When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.  Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans?  Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?  Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Capadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” (Acts 2: 1-4, NIV)

Peter told the people, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2: 38, NIV).

Those who accepted his [Peter’s] message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day (Acts 2: 41, NIV).

Notice that in Exodus and in Acts, violent sounds and fire accompanied the events during Shavuot/Pentecost.  Three thousand people died in Exodus for breaking God’s commandments.  Three thousand people accepted Peter’s message, repented of their sins and were saved in the Book of Acts.  What made the difference?

THE OLD COVENANT AND THE NEW COVENANT

God’s commandments have not been done away with.  The difference between the Old Covenant and New Covenant is found in Jeremiah 31: 31-33.  The LORD says, “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.  It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt.  Although I was like a husband to them, they did not keep that covenant.  The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this:  I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  None of them will have to teach a neighbor to know the LORD, because all will knw me, from the least to the greatest.  I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs.  I, the LORD, have spoken” (GNT).  (See Ezekiel 36: 26-27 also.)

THE NEW COVENANT IS SEALED WITH THE BLOOD OF THE MESSIAH

During the Last Supper, Jesus said, “This is my blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26: 28, NASB).

For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins  (Hebrews 10: 4, NASB).

Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah is God’s Lamb.

REPENT, RECIEVE YESHUA AS YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR, AND RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3: 23, Holy Bible).

Prayer:  LORD, forgive my sins.  I accept  Yeshua, Your Son and Messiah, as my Lord and Savior.  Come into my life and fill me with your Holy Spirit.  In Yeshua’s name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts Chapter 1: The Ascension

Since the anniversary of Pentecost was just a few days ago, I thought this would be a good time to study the Book of Acts.  Acts is a sequel to the Gospel of Luke, and Luke is the author of both.  The recipient is “Theophilus.”   In his Gospel, Luke puts the events of the life, death, and resurrection of Yeshua in order ( Luke 1: 1-4.).

The Book of Acts begins where the Gospel of Luke ends–with the Ascension of Yeshua into heaven.   The author identifies the place of Ascension as the Mount of Olives in the village of Bethany, half a miles from Jerusalem (Luke 24: 50-53 and Acts 1: 12.)   Today the Mount of Olives is a cemetery.  At His Second Coming, the Messiah will return to the Mount of Olives and the dead will be raised.

MountofOlivescemetery 001 (2)
The Mount of Olives is on the left side of the photograph.

 

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View of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

In the first chapter of Acts, Luke notes that between the death of Yeshua and His Assension, Yeshua appeared to his disciples over a forty day period.  In other words, he appeared to them repeatedly–almost up to the day of Shavuot or Pentecost.

According to Acts 1: 3-5 (GNT), Forty days after his death he appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that he was alive.  They saw him and he talked with them about the Kingdom of God.  And when they came together, he gave them his order: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised.  John Baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

 

*Up next:  The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

 

 

The Book of Ruth and Shavuot

RuthShavuot
The Holy Bible (a 19th century edition)

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Book of Ruth?  Naomi and Ruth?  Ruth and Boaz?  Reading the Book of Ruth during Shavuot (a.k.a. Feast of Weeks and Pentecost) is a Jewish tradition.  Why?  The story of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz occurs during the spring harvest.  You can find references to both the barley harvest (First Fruits) and the wheat harvest (Shavuot/Pentecost) in the Book of Ruth.

THE BARLEY HARVEST/FIRST FRUITS

When they [Naomi and Ruth] arrived in Bethlehem, the barley harvest was just beginning (Ruth 1: 22b, GNT).  The beginning of the barley harvest is First Fruits, which occurs the day after the weekly Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  (In the New Testament, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ occurs on First Fruits.  This is why Paul refers to the resurrected Messiah as “the first fruits of those who are asleep”–I Corinthians 15: 20, NASB.)

THE WHEAT HARVEST/SHAVUOT, FEAST OF WEEKS, PENTECOST

Shavuot or Pentecost is a celebration of the wheat harvest.  The counting of the Omer, which begins at First Fruits, ends 49 days later at the beginning of the wheat harvest or Shavuot.  The spiritual significance of Shavuot may not be obvious at first, but it is a joining of Jews and Gentiles in the Messiah. Consider the following: “From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering [First Fruits], count off seven full weeks.  Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present  an offering of new grain to the LORD.  From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the LORD (Leviticus 23: 15-17, NIV).

TWO LOAVES, ONE BODY

The loaves represent Jew and Gentile one in Messiah.  In Ephesians 3: 6 (NIV), the Apostle Paul writes that “through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.”

GRAFTED IN

Paul wrote, “In  as much as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.  For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?  If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.  If some of the branches have been broken off, and you [Gentiles], though a wild olive shoot have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches.  If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root [Israel]supports you” (Romans 11: 13b-18, NIV).

Notice the references to “dough” and “firstfruits.”  First fruits is a term used for both the barley harvest and the wheat harvest.

Ruth was not only a Gentile but also a Moabite.  The Moabites were enemies of Israel, but Ruth was an exception.  She believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.  In that regard, she was “grafted in” to Israel and became the great-grandmother of King David, whose descendant is our Lord and Savior, Yeshua  Hamashiach, Jesus the Messiah.

THE TANAKH FORESHADOWS THE BRIT-HADASHAH

The Tanakh, the Old Testament, foreshadows the Brit-Hadashah, the New Testament.  Many see Boaz, Ruth’s kinsman redeemer, as a Christ figure.  The Book of Ruth is a story of redemption.  Her name stands out–along with Boaz’s–in the first chapter of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament.  Matthew begins with the genealogy of Yeshua Hamashiach, our Redeemer.  His Hebrew name means salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 11-13, 2016, is Shavuot/Pentecost

Pentecost, Shavuot, and Feast of Weeks refer to the same Biblical feast day.  It’s one of God’s Appointed Times, spelled out in Leviticus 23.  To calculate the date of Pentecost, start with the counting of the Omer, which begins after the weekly Sabbath during Passover.  (Many believe that the count begins after the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is a no-workday but not the weekly Sabbath.)  Count seven Sabbaths or 49 days.  Day 50 is Pentecost.

BACKGROUND

Jewish men were required to go to the Temple in Jerusalem three times a year.  They went there to celebrate Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot.  On one level Shavuot was a celebration of the first fruits of the wheat harvest (not to be confused with the first fruits of the barley harvest during the Feast of Unleavened Bread).  On a spiritual level, Shavuot celebrated the giving of the Law of Moses to God’s people at Mount Sinai. (However, when Moses came down from the mountain, he found the people worshipping a golden calf.  Three thousand died for their disobedience.)

THE FIRST SHAVUOT FOLLOWING THE RESURRECTION

Fast forward several thousand years to the first Shavuot–or Pentecost–following the Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.  One hundred twenty of His followers were gathered in one place (traditionally the Upper Room where the “Last Supper” was held).

UpperRoomDark
Roman and Islamic  influences  have altered the appearance of what-is-believed-to-be “The Upper Room.”

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Suddenly  there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there.  They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak. There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world.  When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered.  They were all excited, because all  of them heard the believers talking in their own languages.  In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans!  How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages?  We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia, from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene.  Some of us are from Rome, both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia–yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!” (Acts 2: 2-11)

A miracle had occurred.  Believers in the Messiah were filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to demonstrate the gospel to non-believers.  Peter stood up and boldly quoted the following passage from Joel 2: 28-32:  ” ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN UPON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT and they shall prophesy.  AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE, AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BENEATH, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.  THE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS, AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.  AND IT SHALL BE, THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE saved’ “(NASB).

Peter continued to preach a rousing sermon highlighting the death and resurrection of the Messiah and concluded, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2: 38-39, NIV).  That day 3000 people repented, believed, and were baptized.

WHEN IS PENTECOST?

If you search Pentecost on the internet, you will come up with two different dates for 2016:  May 15 and June 11-13.  Many churchgoers calculate Pentecost based on the  Easter timeframe.  The problem is Jesus did not rise from the dead on Easter but on First Fruits during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  This year Easter was almost a month before than Passover; so Pentecost cannot be May 15.

June 11-13 (often a 2-day celebration) is the accepted date in 2016.  The date varies each year on the Gregorian calendar but stays the same on the Hebrew calendar, Sivan 6-7.

As believers in Jesus, we have much to celebrate this Pentecost.  I pray that each of us has a “road to Damascus” experience, that we return to the Hebrew roots of our faith, and that the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah will spread to the ends of the earth as we–His people–demonstrate the Gospel of Christ in love and in  *Pentecostal power.  In Yeshua’s (Jesus’) name.

 

* “Pentecostal Power” is the name of a song found in the old Baptist and Methodist hymnals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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