The Significance of Pentecost
Some of you may not agree with what I am going to say, but I am a Pentecostal preacher. Some immediately associate that with a doctrine or a denomination, but hear me out for a moment. I, like Peter, need the presence and the influence of the Holy Spirit if there is going to be any hope that the preaching is going to be effective. It is not that I am expecting to see some physical manifestation in the room, but that conviction and assurance would be evident as the Word is preached. There were three times a year that Jerusalem would be overcome with pilgrims. For the feasts of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Pentecost was celebrated 50 days after Passover, and it is not called Pentecost until the days of the New Testament. It is referred to Feast of Weeks because seven weeks were counted from Passover to Pentecost, and also the feast of Harvest because it marked the traditional end of the annual harvest.
Leviticus 23:15-17 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the firstfruits unto the LORD. There is something very significant about this particular day of Pentecost mentioned in Acts chapter 2, it is the day it was fully come. You see there had been 1500 days of Pentecost previous to this one, but this day it was fully come. As a matter of fact we can say that it is here to stay. There several references to this day throughout the Scripture, the earliest being found in the prophecy of Joel..
Joel 2:28-29 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. In the NT there 6 more verses that talk about this event:
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. I want you to understand that the Holy Ghost doesn’t baptize anyone. Each of the 6 verses in the NT clearly state, that the baptism is with the Holy Ghost. Although the event of Pentecost is a one time event, the significance of that day lives on in us. Those that have believed on Jesus, have received the promise of the Spirit. This morning I am going to preach a message called, “The Significance of Pentecost.”
1. The presence. We already discussed the fact that the day had fully come, but I want you to notice again that the people were in one accord in one place. We explained this at length last time we were together in the Book of Acts, but again I want to remind you of the importance of being in one accord or in unity. I really think it is a crucial step in the life of an assembly to determine to be in unity. To put aside personal differences, and to say that we want God’s best for us. They were also in one place. They weren’t scattered throughout the city with the attitude that I can worship God anywhere. You can worship God anywhere, but you can’t do it with one accord if you aren’t in one place. Remember they had come together to pray, and their prayer was about to be answered. Suddenly. From out of no where the atmosphere of the room changed. First there was a sound like a mighty rushing wind. There was no wind, but the sound could be heard. This wasn’t a feeling brought on by an overdose of emotion, it just sounded like the doors were going to blow off. Secondly, there was the sight of fire over each of the believers in the room. First the sound then the sight. We prefer to have the order reversed; show me then I will believe. But the Bible is clear that a special blessing exists for those who can believe without seeing.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
John 20:24-294 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. The signs of fire and wind are symbolic (no one was blown to the ground, and no one was burned by the flame) of the presence of God.
1 Kings 19:11-12 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
2. The purpose. In verse four, we have one of the most controversial accounts in all of Scripture. For me there is no controversy, but for many the balance of their doctrine hangs on the account we are about to discuss. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. There are many that believe that a proof of salvation is Holy Spirit baptism in which case you will begin to make some ecstatic utterances. In most cases, these ecstatic utterances of our day are nothing more than gibberish, and they lead others into confusion day after day. These people that were assembled together in one place in one accord were given a magnificent gift with a marvelous purpose. They began to speak in the various languages of the people who had assembled in Jerusalem. Verse 5 tells us that every nation was represented, and the news spread like wild fire, and people were coming to hear and to see what was happening. Every man heard them speak in their own language. There are 15 people groups mentioned in the following verse, and in 11 we are told what was being uttered from the mouths of the believers: The wonderful works of God. The purpose of the Day of Pentecost is summed up here. People were going to have the opportunity to hear and receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is going to illuminate and convict, as the preacher gives the sermon. Of course there were scoffers, and we still have them today (Atheists, agnostics, pluralists). These folks are drunk, then Peter gets up and says, “It’s only 9:00, no one in this crowd is drunk, so listen up.” Once he has their attention, he begins to explain from the Scripture what they were witnessing. I have already mentioned the prophecy of Joel, so let’s move on to verse 21. This is the purpose of the sermon stated.
The guilt of the people is determined. For all have sinned.
The perfection of Christ is mentioned.
2 cor 5::21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The sacrificial death. But God commendeth…
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The glorious resurrection.
In the resurrection there is power. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
There is privilege. Eph 2:6-7 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus
There is promise. Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
3. The Product. This is First there was conviction. They were pricked in their heart. The Holy Spirit was knocking on their hearts saying, truth, truth, truth. They had recognized their sin, and realized their need for a Saviour. They said Peter, “What shall we do?” Repent. Turn from wickedness to God.
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Be baptized make a public profession of your faith (verse 41). Notice that the people in the crowd were begging for an invitation rather than the preacher begging for people to come. That is the way that it should be. The preached Word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit should cause us to respond without delay.