Grace Life Church
Purpose of Pentecost
This Sunday the church celebrates Whitsunday. Why and what do we really celebrate this seventh Sunday after Easter? There seems to be some debate and confusion as to the purposes of Whitsunday or maybe more commonly called Day of Pentecost.
In Acts 1 we read that it was exactly 40 days after his resurrection that Jesus ascends into heaven as the disciples stood by watching him go up into the clouds. What the church is to commemorate and celebrate is not the ascension but the decent of the Holy Spirit that was the promise of Father. Jesus says in Luke 24:49 "I am going to send you what my Father has promised;" Again we read in Acts 1:4-5 On one occasion, while he was eating a meal with them, he emphasized that they were not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father's promise. 5 "You have already heard me speak about this," he said, "for John used to baptize with water, but before many days are passed you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
In obedience to Jesus, the disciples and about 120 are in one accord, in prayer in the upper room. As they wait in prayer the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them in exactly 10 days after the ascension. This day was referred to as the Day of Pentecost (50th day after the resurrection) and the fulfillment of Joel 2:17-21 as preached by Peter In the Gospel of John, there are a number of names given to describe the Holy Spirit and the purposes. John 14:16-17 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever 17 The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you (constantly) and will be in you.
I believe one of the greatest purposes of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh is to teach and lead us all into all truth. We have an adversary the devil who does nothing but lie, steal, kill, and destroys us. From the beginning of time this father of lies has been questioning and challenging the word of God. He has tempted men and women to live in sin believing they will never have to face the consequences. Some of his chief lies are to dispel creationism, promote theory of evolution, that we came from primates, that he really does not exist, nor does hell or heaven, and to create doubt as to the validity of the Word of God. He tempts man into believing that even if there is an all loving God, He will never judge them and send them to hell and torment.
Another of the greatest lies of the devil foisted upon the church is that we as a people of God are hopeless, helpless, and powerless since the gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer needed or available. Acts 1:8(AMP) 8 But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. That word for power is dynamis meaning force, miraculous power, ability, abundance, might, strength, violence, and mighty wonderful work. The word for witness is really martyrs. Supernatural power is needed to face death if we testify to saving grace of Jesus Christ as the only way to a relationship to the Father.
So many today are being deceived and destroyed as they ignorantly agree with the lies of the devil. As it says in Isaiah 5:20-21(NLT) 20 What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.21 What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever. The list could go on and on. Just consider, what we believe today that are half-truths or out and out lies that requires this Holy Spirit of Truth to give us God's revelation and perspective. Every man is a liar but God's word is always true.
Even Jesus needed the baptism of the Holy Spirit to face the lies of the devil in His tests in the wilderness. The devil used portions of scripture out of context to tempt Jesus; but, He being full of the Holy Spirit was empowered to counter with another word of truth. You can read these accounts in Matthew 3-4 and Luke 4.
My thought for today is that we all could use a fresh experience of Pentecost. We need to be baptized (total immersion) in the Holy Spirit declaring our dependence upon this Spirit of Truth in order to discern and counter the lies of the world and the devil being forced upon us. This is available to all flesh and all we need to do is ask. Luke 11:13 (NLT) 13 So if you sinful people 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." Acts 2:38-39 (TNIV) 38 Peter replied, "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. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call."
Jesus we ask You to baptize us in the Holy Spirit. Be blessed as we all experience the promised purposes of Pentecost.