Pentecost

A Call to Worship
 
Opening Song from YouTube
 
The Feast of Weeks, Shavu'ot, Pentecost from YouTube
 
Shavuot Song - "Stay Up All Night" from YouTube
A Most Significant Event
 
Kid's Story of Pentecost from YouTube
 

The most significant event of the New Testament.

What happened in Acts Chapter 2 is to me the most significant event of the New Testament.
 
Some might consider the birth of Jesus, the Messiah to have been the most significant event of the New Testament.  How Jesus got here as a baby was significant, but probably not the most important event of the New Testament.  Only Matthew and Luke actually wrote about the birth of Jesus.
 
All four gospel writers tell about the water baptism of Jesus by John.  It was an important event in the life of Jesus but not terribly different than what happened to hundreds of other followers of John’s teaching.  Jesus was immersed in water like everyone else.  The difference was that John recognized Jesus as someone special who would one day Baptize with the Holy Spirit, not just water.
 
Some might argue that the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus was the most significant event with respect to the life and teachings of Jesus.  All four gospel writers tell the story with some detail.  However, Jesus was brutally executed by Roman soldiers who controlled the area at the time.  Death by crucifixion was not unique to Jesus.  The Romans executed thousands by crucifixion to maintain control over rebellious peoples they had conquered.  Jesus was just one of many who died inhumanely on a Roman cross.  He was killed along side two other common criminals who died similar deaths.  We might not even know about Jesus today if it were not for the fact that he rose from the grave just three days later.
 
That gives some credence to the idea that the most significant event of the New Testament was the resurrection of Jesus just three days after he was publicly executed by crucifixion.  According to the scriptures, Jesus spent forty days with his disciples between his resurrection and the day he disappeared from them in the clouds.  Jesus was not the only character in the New Testament who was raised from death to life, there was Lazarus, friend of Jesus, the son of the widow of Nain, and the daughter of Jairus.  The apostle Paul brought Eutychus back to life after he fell asleep during one of Paul’s sermons and died when he fell from a third story window.  Coming back to life after dying while rare was not a totally unique New Testament experience.
 
Maybe the disciples’ witnessing Jesus ascending into the clouds after he had spent forty days with them after he had been resurrected was the most significant event.  Jesus had told his disciples that he needed to return to the Father and that he would send what the gift Father had promised, but they only witnessed him rising and disappearing in the clouds.  They could not really say where he went from there.
 
I believe what happened on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 was the most significant event of the New Testament.  Jesus said that when he had ascended to the Father, he would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be with them.  The disciples had seen Jesus leave but had no proof of his destination until the Holy Spirit was poured out on them that day.  The awesome signs that accompanied the outpouring of the Spirit were essential to confirm the reality of what was happening.  The large number of people who spoke many different languages and understood what was said were also important.  The timing was important.  Jesus died at Passover as the lamb that was slain to bring life.  Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks, was a time celebrating the harvest and celebrating the giving of the law to the Israelites through Moses.  The Holy Spirit outpouring fulfilled an Old Testament promise that the day would come when God’s law would not be written on stone tablets but on the hearts and minds of God’s people.  The teachings of Jesus throughout the four gospels pointed to the events of Pentecost as did many prophecies of the Old Testament. This was the fulfillment of all that Jesus came to do and to say.
 

Acts 2:1-6 (Easy to Read Version)

Acts 2:1 "When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place." 
The King James Version says, "They were all with one accord in one place."
 
Ever wonder why one accord (not a Honda) and one place?
 
Acts 2:2 “Suddenly a noise came from heaven.  It sounded like a strong wind blowing.  This noise filled the whole house where they were sitting.” 
 
Is a reference to wind noise with regard to the Spirit of God found elsewhere in the Bible? 
 
1 Kings 19:11-12  "Then the LORD said to Elijah, "Go, stand in front of me on the mountain. I, the LORD, will pass by you."  Then a very strong wind blew.  The wind caused the mountains to break apart.  It broke large rocks in front of the LORD.  But that wind was not the LORD.  After that wind, there was an earthquake.  But that earthquake was not the LORD.  After the earthquake, there was a fire.  But that fire was not the LORD.  After the fire, there was a quiet, gentle voice."
John 3:8  "The wind blows wherever it wants to. You hear it, but you don't know where it is coming from or where it is going. It is the same with everyone who is born from the Spirit." 
 
Acts 2:3 “They saw something that looked like flames of fire.   The flames were separated and stood over each person there.”
 
What is the significance of flames of fire and why did they separate over each person?  
 
Old Testament examples
Exodus 3:2  On that mountain, Moses saw the angel of the LORD in a burning bush. Moses saw a bush that was burning without being destroyed.
Exodus 24:17  The Israelites could see the Glory of the LORD.  It was like a fire burning on top of the mountain.
 
Acts 2:4  “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages.  The Holy Spirit was giving them the power to do this.”
   
Different Languages?  Why?
Is this typical of Holy Spirit immersion? 
Is it an essential sign? 
What about wind and fire? 
All three?
 
Acts 2:5  “There were some godly Jews in Jerusalem at this time.  They were from every country in the world.’
 
Other translations say Jews, devout men. 
 
Why were there so many Jews from other places in Jerusalem on that day?
 
Acts 2:6  “A large crowd came together because they heard the noise.   They were surprised because, as the apostles were speaking, everyone heard in their own language.”  
 
Why would there have been a large crowd to hear the noise at 9:00 A.M.? 
 
Why different languages?
 
What is more amazing?  That the disciples, all from galilee, could speak in so many different languages or that the people from so many different countries heard them speaking in their own language?

Significant Results

When Peter got up to speak in Acts 2:14 which language did he choose to speak? or did he use all of them?
 
It was a large crowd and they seem to have understood Peter pretty well because the scripture says 3,000 people were added to the group of believers that day.
 
3,000 died in Exodus 32:28 when Moses brought down the first commandments from the mountain and God's law was rejected. 
 
On this Pentecost day 3,000 received new life in the Spirit when they changed their minds to accept God's law in their hearts. They had been up all night reading the word.
 
There were definite signs that the Father had sent the Promise of the Spirit to the followers of Jesus on this important day. 
 
Were the signs necessary? 
 
Why? 
 
Are signs necessary today with respect to Holy Spirit immersion (baptism)? 
 
Is spiritual infilling like what happened to the followers of Jesus important for believers today?
 
Do you desire to be filled with His Spirit?
 
 
Acts 2 Word Search puzzle is interactive.  It uses words from Acts 2.  Complete the puzzle on-line.  A printable PDF copy can be downloaded or printed for use off-line.