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The Day of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-4

 

A sundial was given to a tribe who lived deep in a jungle. They had no idea what it was, but it was unlike anything they had ever seen before.  To them it was a novelty…special, but with no known purpose. They built a house over it to keep it safe and holy. Of course, this kept the sun away from it and made it useless. They had beautified it, but in the process guaranteed that it wouldn’t be effective. It reminds me of a powerless Christianity. The Holy Spirit, if He is recognized at all, is treated as just a simple emotional high or a mysterious theological concept, rather than the supernatural person He really is.

 

Acts 2 is a very controversial chapter!  Some denominations build their entire belief system around it.  Actually it is just a bridge…between the old and new testaments.  Bridges are important, but you don’t build your structures on top of them.

        On the other hand, some set Acts 2 aside, afraid of looking like they are holy rollers…but let’s not be afraid of it [Pentecost is a great word!]…the truths here in ch. 2 are needed badly right here, right now!

 

Most Christians/churches, are bogged down somewhere in-between Calvary and Pentecost…they’ve been to Calvary for pardon, but not to Pentecost for power.

 

J.B. Phillips: “Churches today are fat and out of breath thru prosperity, they are muscle bound thru over-organization…what we need today is the wind and the flame of Pentecost.”

 

That wind and flame was the Holy Spirit arriving on the scene, ready to do powerful things!

 

Charles Finney:  “When the presence of God is in the church, the church will draw the world in…but if the presence of God is not in the church, the world will draw the church out!”

 

We are living in a day of pep, promotions, and programs…the church is trying to make up w/ enthusiasm and organization what we do not have in Pentecostal power.  [good, but no substitute!]  We are hooked up to our own battery pack because we’re not really connected to our heavenly outlet!

 

Several years ago Billy Graham went to visit a large, influential church.  The pastor told him the sad story of how the church recently had to vote out a member for public drunkenness…church discipline didn’t result in repentance, so they had to ask him to go.

        Graham said, that’s sad, but when was the last time you voted someone out for not being filled w/ the Holy Spirit?/what do you mean?/the same verse that says it’s a sin to be drunk w/ wine commands filling of the spirit!

 

So, let’s talk about the day of Pentecost [already talked about the price!]…and the coming of the Holy Spirit.

 

2 things:

  1. The Meaning of Pentecost

I’m gonna do some teaching here before preaching…so listen on purpose!

v. 1  “fully come”

Means “fulfilled”…understand when we think of Pentecost, we think of Acts 2, but Pentecost was actually a Jewish celebration, held for 1,500 years by the time this chapter was written! 

        They had several annual celebrations they called “feasts”…these were times of special worship for them. [read about them in Lev. 23]…these were instituted by God Himself…and all of them had a “double meaning”.

        Each of them meant something in the day and time that the Jews were celebrating…but, little did they know, each of them also predicted something concerning the Lord Jesus Christ!

        Study the 7 Jewish feasts and you’ll find them to be an outline of the work/ministry of Jesus!

 

Ill.1st Feast--Feast of Passoverend of March

Celebrating deliverance from Egypt [10th plague: death of firstborn, if blood not on doorposts when death angel “passed over.”

        Unwittingly predicting the death of Jesus on the cross [lamb/blood on wood] …and the freedom/liberation that followed!

John  8:36

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

 

Here’s the point:  when Jesus died on the cross, the feast of Passover was “fully come”!  So, we no longer celebrate Passover, for it was just a type/symbol…but we have the real thing now!

I Cor. 5

5:7

…even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

 

I Peter 1:18

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold…

1:19

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot…

 

A 2nd feast pointed to burial of Christ

Feast of Unleavened Bread

        Yeast/Leaven is symbolic of sin

Jesus body [bread] is buried (put into the ground)

Unleavened bread (he was without sin)

And John 12:24 takes on a deeper meaning:

12:24

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

 

The 3rd was the feast of Firstfruits:

Every year they would take the firstfruits of their crop and offer it to the Lord, thanking the Lord for the harvest.

        Predicting the resurrection of Christ!

 

I Cor. 15

15:20

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

15:21

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

15:22

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

15:23

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

The feast of firstfruits had fully come!

 

The 4th feast was called the Feast of Pentecost

Pentecost means 50th…it always came exactly 50 days after the feast of firstfruits. [also corresponds to giving of law/10 commandments!]

        Every year for 1,500 years:  they would take grain and grind it to fine flour/mix in oil and make dough/divide into 2 loaves of bread/use yeast [leaven], unlike Passover/would sacrifice 10 animals…7 lambs, 1 young bull, and 2 rams.

        What did all of this symbolize?

We know the feast of Passover predicted His death on the cross / unleavened bread His burial / firstfruits predicted His resurrection…what did the day of Pentecost predict for 1,500 years?  The coming of the Holy Spirit!/birth of the NT church!

The 10 animal sacrifices represent the completeness of salvation

The oil=Holy Spirit

Grains of wheat=individuals [separate before Pentecost, but ground and made 1 by the Holy Spirit]

2 loaves, because the church was now comprised of both Jew and Gentile!

Why yeast?  Leaven is a picture of sin…so here is a reminder to us that tho’ indwelled by the Holy Spirit, we are not sinless! [tho’ we should try to sin LESS!]

 

By the way, I mentioned this feast corresponded w/ Moses receiving the 10 commandments…[came down and found them sinning, then Moses broke all 10 commandments!]

Exodus 32: 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

How many got saved in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit came?

3 thousand!  [v. 41]

 

So, when the Holy Spirit came, the feast of Pentecost was fully come!

 

Guess what feast is next…#5The feast of trumpets!

        It always begins w/ the blast of a horn!  And what’s the next event in Bible prophecyThe rapture!  [announced w/ the trump of God!]

 

That’s the meaning of Pentecost, now…

 

  1. The Miracles of Pentecost

It will take 3 weeks to cover all 3 miracles, we’ll just introduce them now…

v. 2  miracle #1

v. 3  #2

v. 4  #3

3 miracles on the day of Pentecost:

a miracle of sound/sight/speech

Sound:     rushing mighty wind/like a tornado passing thru the very room! [ever heard that in real life, anyone?]  They say you’ll never forget it!

Sight:      cloven tongues of fire/each of the 120 of them had a flickering flame which sat on top of their head!  Like human candles!

Speech:   other tongues

 

The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost in a sound to awaken them, in a wind to move them, in fire to enlighten them, in tongues to make them speak. Out of this grows some questions: Are we awake today? Are we on the move for Christ? Are we enlightened and on fire for God? Are we using our tongues for Him?

 

The Miracles of Pentecost: [just the first today!]

 

In the Bible, wind is a symbol of the Holy Spirit…

For 3 reasons:

  1. Because it is invisible

You can’t see wind…but how about the effects?  Yes, but not the wind.  Can’t take a picture of the wind. [contrary to what you may have heard it can not be broken!]

Jn. 3:8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Yet many say, “I’ll believe it when I see it, but not until!”

Many things are very real and yet you and I cannot see them:

Colors in rainbow—naked eye can see 7 basic colors there/but scientists say if you look thru a special lens you can see thousands!  They’re there!

 

Take somebody steeped in sin, let the wind of the spirit sweep across their soul, and you’ll see the difference!

 

I Cor. 6:9

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

6:10

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

6:11

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

The wind is invisible…can’t see it/but effects!  You can tell where it has been!

 

There is a mild southerly wind in Europe called the foehn. It blows up from the Mediterranean Sea bringing spring-like weather right in the midst of winter. So, too, even in the dark winters of the soul, it is possible to feel the gentle warmth of the presence of God and the blessed influence of the Holy Spirit.

 

Invisible…

 

  1. Because it is irresistible

You can’t stop the wind/control it…with all our scientific expertise, if a hurricane is approaching the shore, there’s nothing we can do to turn it!

 

Ill.a preacher was going to preach on the wind being a symbol of God / asked himself, who would know the most about the wind? / I know, I’ll talk to that old sea captain I know…he’ll know about the wind!…he sails by the wind. / went and asked him, what do you know about the wind / answered, I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t know much about the wind, it’s so mysterious…but I’ll tell you what I do know: how to set my sails!

 

At FBC, we need to get things in order, yes, that’s chapter 1, but now in faith we need to set our sails to catch that wind!

 

Invisible/irresistible…

 

  1. Because it is indispensable

You can’t get along w/out it!   All life on earth would cease.

 

Remember story of Ezekiel [ch. 37] Valley of dry bones, old battlefield…scattered, dry, dead…        [see full sermon]

“Prophesy to the 4 winds” [life came in!  Surfed desert, clicked together, and rose to their feet an army!]

 

We are wasting our time unless the breath of God breathes upon our efforts!

Just as we cannot fly a kite without the wind, our lives cannot be truly spiritual without the Holy Spirit.

 

Obedience/unity/leadership/prayer – pay the price of Pentecost, and then set your sails for wind!  

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