PENTECOST – WHERE IS THE POWER?
Now that we are in the very season of Pentecost, we were requested to republish our article “PENTECOST – WHERE IS THE POWER?” The truths addressed in this teaching are especially pertinent now with all the buzz regarding revival in the air (many of you have no doubt heard by now of the “healing explosion” in
While we embrace God’s promises of revival and have personally experienced God’s power in various ways and at different times, we must never lose sight of the centrality of Jesus and the supremacy of His Word. The saints must realize that the power gifts cannot fix character flaws nor replace the need to be made whole and mature as a new creation. These marvels take place only as Christ is formed in us, and as we abide in Him!
Secondly, it is imperative that God’s people understand that the Lord pours out His Spirit publicly in large waves of power only at strategic times and for the purpose of arming and strengthening His people to withstand approaching battles. Historically, every major outpouring of God’s Spirit served to counteract waves of darkness encroaching upon the earth. Just as the first outpouring in
The two greatest global outpourings promised us in the pages of scripture, Joel 2:28-32 and Isaiah 60:1-3, are both framed in the context of great darkness and upheaval. Both are emphatically for the purpose of separating God’s children from the children of this world as it plummets into chaos and the final night. So, let us rejoice in the demonstration of God’s goodness, mercy and power as He extends His hand to touch multitudes today. Let us do so, however, fixing our eyes on Jesus, abiding in His Word, and taking our stand against the dark powers of our times. We must overcome today’s battles if we are to claim our heavenly rewards, and this outpouring, as every other true outpouring, was sent to empower us.
Pentecost is for you! Passover is our past, speaking of our personal exodus out of slavery and oppression by the blood of the Lamb. Tabernacles is our future, speaking of the grand finale of the age, the harvest, the epic victory of God and the coming of His awesome Kingdom. Pentecost, the summer feast, is where the
The sun was hot and bright over the eastern slopes of the
“And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” Acts 2: 1-4.
As the Church and the nation of
PENTECOST - A SECOND GENESIS
The historic Pentecost in
Following thousands of years of tragic separation between a Holy God and fallen man, heaven kissed earth in blessed reconciliation. In fact, just as Pentecost is a natural progression following Passover in God’s calendar, so the infilling of the Spirit is likewise the natural progression following our salvation.
Passover inevitably leads to Pentecost. Passover without Pentecost is unthinkable since it was the very outpouring of the Father’s Spirit Jesus secured through His sacrifice! At Passover, we were freed from the curse of sin and death. At Pentecost, we become members of God’s family and partakers of His divine nature. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13.
THE FIRST PENTECOST
Redeemed out of
Many today, unwilling or unable to hear and receive God’s voice, still choose to hear man instead. Our churches are filled with spectators, not unlike the sports arenas of the world. Some perform, others are entertained, but how many hear and obey the voice of God?
Moses, descending from the mountaintop with the tablets written by God’s finger in his hands, found
The name of that wilderness mountain is
THE SECOND PENTECOST
1,500 years later, once again at the exact Day of Pentecost, 3,000 other souls were touched by heaven, but under a very different dispensation as they were called out of the
The same God who judged 3,000 at the giving of the Law now revived 3,000 by the giving of the Spirit. At that second Pentecost, 3,000 souls were translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light by the ministry of the Spirit, just as the apostle said, “… the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2-Cor. 3:6.
God’s two-edged SWORD serves both life and death. The sword of the Spirit is the Word, and in order to return to God and live, we must first die. That HEREV is His word of truth that convicts us of our sin and rebellion, and the same word that kills us also revives us by the power of His Spirit. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Heb. 4:12.
At the first Pentecost, God gave His people the Law at
THE LONG WAIT
For thousands of years heaven longed for this moment in time; for the great reconciliation of fallen man to the Holy God. Painful millennia of separation and alienation swept millions in its relentless torrent, while the Father’s hands remained open and His heart longing. But all along, plans had been made in heaven; intricate preparations carried out with great anticipation for this one special Pentecost in
On that special Pentecost, fifty some days after the cross, after the blood was shed and the price was paid, the gates of heaven opened wide and the Father’s breath of life poured down upon His children. As Peter testified in Acts 2, “This Jesus… having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.”
“And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were bewildered… and marveled … and they all continued in amazement and great perplexity… But others were mocking and saying, ‘They are full of sweet wine.’” Heaven was at hand, yet most of those present for the occasion had no clue.
God’s holy fire filled those who waited in faith and obedience in the upper room, and they carried it to the streets. Those who had been afraid, timid, doubtful and self-condemned were now transformed and their message shook the city. Still, among their audience some were troubled, others amazed, confused, mocking and saying “they are full of sweet wine” to explain away the phenomenon. The choice is always ours to make. Are we in the camp of the prepared and obedient, or are we walking among the scoffers?
FEAST OF REPENTANCE
Peter, in less than three minutes of anointed speech, drove the message home and declared the whole counsel of God to his audience. He served them the hard truth of their desperate condition, God’s gracious provision and the only hope of redemption. “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brethren, what shall we do?’” As simple as this question is, as humbling as it sounds to a self-centered and self-reliant soul, this is the only proper response of a heart freshly convicted by the truth.
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself…’” True repentance, Peter said, has generational, long-term consequences that will produce a harvest far and wide.
Pentecost is not about tongues or prophecy alone. It’s not about the gifts of the Spirit or the last days in which we live. Pentecost is primarily about repentance and receiving the Father’s Spirit in order to initiate the miracle of personal and familial transformation. Peter offered a simple answer for a simple question: Repent, return, and join the new community to partake in the new life.
By divine authority, this still is the only invitation given to mankind: Repent, return, join the commonwealth of the Israel of God, and be born anew. This straightforward message must be heard in the highways and byways of mankind, and though our streets are still filled with perplexed and mocking mobs, those who are called will hear the voice of the Spirit.
THIS IS WHAT WAS SPOKEN…
“But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of
Facing the wide-eyed crowd, Peter interpreted the Pentecostal phenomenon to the bewildered masses. He explained that God was giving
This prophesied final great outpouring is Heaven’s intervention for times of crisis; a supernatural global baptism of divine life and power that will enable and authorize God’s children to serve Him during the final and traumatic days of this age. With darkness covering many nations, natural disasters shaking the continents, and
Pentecost, as Peter prophesied, ushered in the “down payment” of that great spiritual promise. A generous portion of divine life and power was poured out on that day for all who believed and for all who will believe after them. With this fullness of Spirit, those first century disciples were able to serve God’s purpose with zeal and devotion during the times of distress and conflict that the young church was soon to undergo as the good news was “exported” from
ONE MESSAGE FOR ALL
From scripture we know that the sound of the heavenly wind was noticed throughout all of
The gift of tongues that was realized on that historic Pentecost made the good news plain and understandable to people from different nations who heard the message in their own language! In this way, that gift brought an end to the historic and painful cycles of confusion and hostility that had plagued humanity ever since God’s judgment at the
OUR NEW LIFE
Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged… when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.” John 16:7-14.
Pentecost is our day. Passover has passed and Tabernacles is not yet upon us, but we live today, in Pentecost. Our lives are in God, and we live by His Holy Spirit who alone can convict (and convince) us concerning the nature of sin; becoming God’s righteousness in Christ; and the Lord’s ultimate judgment and victory over evil. We need to wait on Him as the disciples did in the upper room; and we need to seek Him who alone can lead us into all truth, be our Helper, Counselor and Comforter. Let us be sure we are not as
While the nation of
In His grace,
REUVEN AND MARY LOU DORON
(C) 2008 One New Man Call
One New Man Call
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Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org