Pentecost Sunday-The Coming of The Holy Spirit

The prelude to the Coming of The Holy Spirit

  • Seven weeks ago we celebrated Easter. We remembered the death of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, on a Roman cross. Three days later we celebrated The Resurrection of Jesus; the fulfilment of Old Testament prophesy(Psalm16:10) and Jesus’ own words (Mark :8:31) prior to His death. We saw how he appeared to Mary Magdalene ( Mark 16:9 ) and other women at the tomb , to two Disciples on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13- 32), to disciples fishing on the Sea of Galilee  ( John 21: 1-14 ), to the disciples and other followers in a closed room (Luke 24: 33-48 ) and to 500 people in one place on another occasion (1Corinthians 15:6)

Jesus continued to teach His followers over the succeeding  forty days and prepare them for the day that He would leave this earth, “….to return to my Father…” ( John 20:17 )

The Ascension of Jesus                                          

  • The Ascension and Exaltation of Jesus Christ is mentioned 33 or more times in the New Testament.  This event occurred 40 days after the Resurrection. The celebration this year was held last Sunday – 16th May – in some Christian denominations. The actual Day was last Thursday, 13th May.
  • Jesus met with His disciples near Mount Olivet to the north-east of the town of Bethany. Once again He told them that He was leaving them. They were distressed at the thought. The thought they had lost Him at the Crucifixion and now they were about to lose Him again. He pointed out that it was necessary for Him to go, but He would send ”  a Counsellor, Comforter or Helper (Paraclete)- The Holy Spirit. His promise was that when The Holy Spirit came, He would give them extraordinary  powers so that by placing their hands on sick people they would be cured , they would cast out demons and speak languages that they had not learned (Mark 16:17-18).  Most importantly, they would be given the ability to  carry out Jesus’ command , to “….go into the whole world and preach The Good News ….” ( Matthew 28: 18-20 ).
  • Until that time, Jesus instructed them to go and wait for that Day (Luke 24:49.  and     Acts 1: 4-5 ).“After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them.  “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” (Acts:1 9-11)
    • Pentecost- The Coming of The Holy Spirit

    • Ten days later the Disciples and other believers met together in Jerusalem as they had been instructed to do by Jesus.
    • ” Suddenly there was a  sound like  roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them and it filled the  house where they were  meeting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on their heads. And everyone present was filled with The Holy Spirit and began speaking in languages they did not know, for the Holy Spirit gave them this ability “. ( Acts 2:2-4 )
    • The sound was so loud that people in the streets heard it and came rushing to find out what was happening. There were people from many of the surrounding countries visiting Jerusalem at the time for  they had come to celebrate the Jewish Passover. Fifty days after the Passover is another Jewish celebration, the Festival  of Weeks or First Fruits, so many had remained in Jerusalem for that event.
    • The Apostle Peter stood up in front of them and began preaching reminding the people of the events of the last few weeks. How they had rejected Jesus and demanded that He be crucified. Peter reminded them of the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of The Messiah, how he would be rejected by  His own people ,the Jews, spat upon, whipped and killed but would rise from the dead after three days (Isaiah : Chapter 53 ).
    • The thing which  amazed the people was that,  although they spoke different languages, they all were all able to understand what was being said. Other less charitable and cynical characters accused the Apostles of being drunk.Peter pointed out that it was too early in the day for that to be the case. Instead he reminded them of a prophecy by the prophet Joel about 800 years before the birth of Christ, that the events they were now witnessing would occur. ” …I will pour out  My Spirit………” (Joel  2:28-32)
    • As a result of Peter’s preaching 3,000 became believers that day.
    • The coming of the Holy Spirit and the events following are recognised as the Birthday of the Christian Church

The Significance of the Coming of The Holy Spirit

Hundreds of books have been written have been written on this topic, so I will list only a few things which the Bible teaches and are foundational to Christian belief.

1. When  God speaks to people it is by The Holy Spirit

2. The Holy Spirit is a Person Who has come to take the Place of Jesus on earth

3. The Holy Spirit reveals our spiritual sickness– Sin in our lives.

4. The Holy Spirit is the source of  spiritual life and health to the believer.

5.  The Holy Spirit guides the believer in the details of daily life and living.

6. The Holy Spirit gives the believer the ability to live the Christian life

If you are not a believer , then my prayer is that The Holy Spirit will reveal these Truths to you.

A good place to begin is, to read either the Book of Mark or John, in The Bible The Bible is one of the important ways God communicates with us today ( 1 Timothy 3:15-17). Begin by reading either the Book of Mark or John.

42136: The Holy Spirit The Holy SpiritBy Billy Graham / Thomas Nelson

Exciting, revolutionary power is available exclusively to you as a Christian. It’s the supernatural power to transform human nature, to enable you to be the salt and light to your world, to help you face any crisis, and to bring about a dramatic but peaceful revolution in those around you. It’s the power residing within you, a gift from God — the power of the Holy Spirit. With prayerful reverence and focused wisdom, Billy Graham puts an understandable face on this mysterious third Person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit will open your eyes anew to see how the Spirit can transform your life and give you the power “to be truly good” and “to live victoriously.”

Doctor Bill