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The Amazing Pentecost PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ir. David Kurniadi   
Monday, 28 May 2018 06:24

At the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, John the Baptist introduced Jesus to Israel as the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit and the Son of God. John the Baptist said: “I did not know Him (Jesus) nor recognize Him, but He (God the Father) Who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon Him Whom you shall see the Spirit descended and remain, that One is He Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I have seen that happen and my testimony is that this is the Son of God!” (John 1:33-34).


On another occasion Jesus offered to the people the Holy Spirit, Whom they would receive if they would believe in Him. He said: “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me as the Scripture has said, from his innermost being shall flow continuously springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed in Him were afterward receive. For the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-39).


The future coming of the Holy Spirit makes Jesus believes that those who believe in Him will be able to do the things that He does, and even they will do the greater things, because the Holy Spirit will help them and works through them. Jesus said: “If anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father (to send Him to you)” (John 14:12).


And then Jesus said: “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” (John 14:16). Further He said: “You know and recognize Him, for He lives with you constantly and will be with you” (verse 17). Thus the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the believer is constant and permanent. The Holy Spirit makes the believers’ bodies as His habitation and sanctuary (1 Corinthians 6:19).


“Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, whom you have received as a Gift from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19).


The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the believers is (actually) the answer of God the Father to Jesus’ prayer. And the Father answers His prayer by promising Jesus to give the Holy Spirit at His glorification, and then Jesus will pour out the Holy Spirit upon His people (Acts 1:33).


“Being therefore lifted high by and to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promised blessing which is the Holy Spirit, He has made this outpouring which you yourselves both see and hear” (Acts 1:33).


Thus the coming or outpouring of the Holy Spirit was happened after Jesus returned to heaven. Jesus said: “I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go away, I will send Him to you (to be in close fellowship with you)” (John 16:7).


And after His resurrection, before His ascension to heaven, Jesus commanded His disciples not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised. He said to His disciples: “Not many days from now you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5).


After waiting for ten days in prayer (Acts 1:14), then the Holy Spirit came upon them with amazing supernatural phenomenon (Acts 2:1-4).


“And when the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, when suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each of them. And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues) as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression (in each tongue in appropriate words)” (Acts2:1-4).


The question is, why they had to wait for ten days?


It’s because the Father had set the appropriate time for the event. He chose the time to give the promised Holy Spirit at the Pentecost day, because that was the day when Moses, 1400 years before, received the two stone tablets from God (Exodus 31:18).


“And He gave to Moses, when He had ceased communing with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the Testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18).


Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the stone tablets, while Jesus went up to heaven to receive the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). And we know what was happened after Moses went down from the mountain with the two tablets in his hand, he found the Israelites were worshiping the golden calf. Moses’ anger blazed hot and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain (Exodus 32:15-19). And that day 3000 men were killed (verse 28).


And 1400 years later God reversed the history of Pentecost. Jesus went up to heaven, received the promised Holy Spirit, and then He outpoured the Holy Spirit upon the people who were gathering in Jerusalem: upon the 120 disciples and also upon the people who were gathering to celebrate the Pentecost festival. As the result, 3000 souls were saved (Acts 2:41) by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and baptized. It’s the redemption of the history.


What was Jesus’ purpose of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the festival of Pentecost? It’s because, that day the Jews, devout and God-fearing men from every country under heaven were gathering in Jerusalem (Acts 2:5) also to celebrate the Feast of Weeks, the first fruits of the wheat harvest (Exo. 34:22).


The Feast of Weeks is the celebration of the first fruits of the wheat harvest. It was the shadow of what will happen 1400 years later: the harvesting of souls. At that day 3000 people accepted Christ in Jerusalem. This was the initial harvesting of souls that the church of Christ will do in the world. Since then till now millions of souls are continuously harvested in many places on earth. 


We must know that the prophet Joel prophesied that the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon “all flesh” (Joel 2:28): upon all men, the believers and also the unbelievers: upon the believers, to equip and empower them to become God’s instruments for the salvation of the unbeliever, and upon the unbeliever, because only the Holy Spirit can convince and convict their sins to make them repent and receive the grace of salvation.    


These people came from various countries and spoke in their own particular dialect to which they were born (Acts 2:8-11), and they then believed in Jesus Christ. So these people became a capital for spreading the Gospel to all the nations of the world according to the Great Commission (Mat. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15) and the very purpose of the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).


“Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).


“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” (Acts 1:8).


In the future, these people become the seeds of the churches among the nations. They would welcome Christ’s witnesses who come to preach the Gospel in their areas. So we see, the Lord Jesus through His Holy Spirit has prepared the way for the Gospel to be preached among the nations in all the earth.


“And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature (of the whole human race)” (Mark 16:15).


Obviously the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is not a monopoly of the church, as the prophet Joel was clearly prophesied about it.


“And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28).


During the Pentecost in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit was outpoured not only upon the 120 disciples at the upper room, but also upon the people who were gathering outside the room. The difference was that upon the believers, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was accompanied with supernatural power and phenomenon, while outside the room the Holy Spirit was moving (hovering) upon the people who were gathering there (though without any phenomenon). The Holy Spirit was anticipating the words that would be spoken by the disciples who were experiencing the anointing of the Holy Spirit inside the upper room.


The outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon believers is always accompanied with supernatural phenomenon and power. The supernatural phenomenon makes the believers could recognize and realize that the outpouring was just happened upon them. Without phenomenon how could the believers know that they have received the anointing?


But together with phenomenon must also come divine and supernatural power that gives strength and courage, ability and zeal. Some believers stop at the point of experiencing supernatural phenomenon and enjoy it. So they entertain themselves with the phenomenon. This is not the main purpose of the outpouring. We must receive also the power to make us Christ’s witnesses. The power of the Holy Spirit will give us strength, ability, courage and fruitfulness.


Though without any phenomenon, the Holy Spirit also actively works upon the unbeliever, anticipating the word of God that would be spoken through Christ’s witnesses, otherwise they could not repent. The Holy Spirit is the One who will convince and convict them about their sins and lead them to repentance (John 16:8). So we see here the cooperation between the Holy Spirit and the believers. The believers are the Holy Spirit’s working partners.


“And when He (the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict and convince the world …” (John 16:8).


While the 120 believers inside the room were enjoying the supernatural experience of the baptism in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit were waiting for them outside the room while He hovering upon the people. The Holy Spirit was waiting for the believers to open the door or the window of the room to speak the words of God, because the Holy Spirit will work only upon the spoken words of God.


We might remember how did God created the light in the world. The Bible says: “The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters. And God said, let there be light; and there was light” (Genesis 1:2-3).


We see that things were created when the Holy Spirit worked out the word of God. The Holy Spirit doesn’t need a lot of words to create something great. He just needs few words.


In the same way, the Holy Spirit was hovering upon the people who were gathering outside the upper room, waiting for the believer to speak the words of God that He may use it to touch the people’s heart and convict them of their sins for not believing in Christ (John 16:8-9). But the believers were enjoying the anointing inside the room. So God must provoke them to speak. He used some people outside the room to provoke them by making a joke of them, saying that the people inside the room were drunk of sweet wine (Acts 2:13).


Hearing this provocation, the apostle Peter opened the window (or door), and standing with the eleven, he raised his voice and began to preach (Acts 2:14-36). Then the Holy Spirit began to work, using the words spoken by Peter as His sword (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12). He touched, convinced and convicted the people about their sins of rejecting and not believing in Christ (Acts 2:36-37).


“Therefore let the whole house of Israel recognize beyond all doubt and acknowledge assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ (the Messiah) – this Jesus Whom you crucified. Now when they heard this they were stung (cut) to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren what shall we do?” (Acts 2:36-37).


When the Holy Spirit had touched these people, they were ready to harvest. Then Peter immediately took this opportunity and said to them: “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). And as the result, they accepted the message and were baptized; and their number was 3000 men (Acts 2:41). What a great harvest?


And that day the Church was born. The Church was born in glorious state. They steadfastly persevered devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles. Many wonders and miracles were performed through the apostles. And day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose and also in their homes. The Lord kept adding to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).


The early church in Jerusalem was growing and became a mega church in spite the threats from the Jewish leaders, the Scribes and the Pharisees (Acts 5:42). But they just enjoyed the fellowship among themselves and never moved out from Jerusalem to spread the Gospel as the Lord intended (Acts 1:8).


“And the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem” (Acts 6:7). And while they were enjoying the blessings, the Holy Spirit was ready to move further and waiting for them to spread the Gospel in all Judea, Samaria, even in the other regions in the world. Remember, the Lord had already put believers there (in those regions) who had received Christ during the Pentecost in Jerusalem. But the apostles were so busy with the church in Jerusalem that was increasing greatly in number. So the Lord must drive the believers to move out from Jerusalem. He let the internal problems arose in the church that was complaint about the church service for the widows (Acts 6:1).


“Now about this time, when the number of the disciples was greatly increasing, complaint was made by the Greek speaking Jews against the native Hebrews because their widows were being overlooked and neglected in the daily ministration (distribution of relief)” (Acts 6:1).


When the church begins to neglect its original purpose that is to carry out the Great Commission, the church will start to face many internal problems. Actually this is the way God speaks to them to return to their mission. But the church could not listen to God’s voice that spoke to them through this problem. Instead of realizing their neglect they tried to solve the problems by making a new institution called “the deacons.”


It’s obviously not a bad idea. In fact it is necessary for the church. But the main point is that the church must not neglect their mission because they were too busy with internal problems. The power of the Holy Spirit is too big to deal with only small matters; it is the power to make the believers the Christ’s witnesses, the living proof of Christ’s power and to change the nations to become His disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).  


And we see, Stephen and Philip the deacons, they didn’t do their functions as deacons, who in charge for “serving the tables and superintending the distribution of relief” (Acts 6:2). The power of the Holy Spirit within them is too big to do that. In fact we read that Stephen, who was full of grace and power, became a great witness for the Gospel of Christ. He performed great wonders and signs among the people (Acts 6:8) and gave powerful testimony about Christ. The people (Sanhedrin) who opposed him could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke (Acts 6:10). Stephen – the deacon, who supposed to take care the distribution of relief - preached the Gospel with the anointing of the Holy Spirit so that the Sanhedrin saw that his face like the face of an angel (Acts 6:15). That was obviously the work of the wonderful and powerful Holy Spirit.


Stephen, the deacon, eventually became martyr. The Jews killed him. But before he gave up his last breath, he gave another powerful testimony about Christ: He sees Christ was standing at the right hand of God. Jesus stood up to honor Stephen, who has kept his faith till death, and welcome his spirit (Acts 7:55).


“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).


What a great privilege that Stephen received? He died a glorious death as a martyr. And till the last breath Stephen held his faith and prayed: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” And after saying this he fell on his knees and returned to heaven (Acts 7:59-60).


This was an alarm ringing for the church that besides its remarkable progress the church must never neglect its main calling: the Great Commission; never let “the tables’ affairs” draining the church’s energy and attention that make it distracted from its main purpose the Lord has given them.


Stephen martyrdom triggered the great and severe persecution against the church in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1). But this had brought the church back to its track: spreading the Gospel to Judea and Samaria according to the Lord’s command (Acts 1:8).


“On that day (when Stephen died as martyr) a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1b).


When the church returned to its calling, the Holy Spirit began to move and exerting His great power. And (after Stephen departure) He used another deacon, named Philip, who was full of anointing: Philip preached the Gospel to a city in Samaria. And when the people in that city heard Philip’s message and saw signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said and accepted Christ. So there was great joy in that city (Acts 8:4-8).


The great Holy Spirit can use an ordinary man to become His great instrument. Even Stephen and Philip who was only a deacon, not an apostle, who supposed to do “the tables affairs” and “superintending the distribution of relief,” had become great evangelists. The Holy Spirit only needs one deacon to win the souls of one city in Samaria; one simple fisherman like Peter to win 3000 souls in one sermon. But it had not yet reached the maximum capacity of the power of the Holy Spirit: the greater things are still going to happen.


After Philip winning the souls in Samaria, the sorcerer in Samaria, named Simon, who had mislead many people in Samaria was repented and became Christian (Acts 8:13). Not long after that, a high-ranking officer of the Ethiopian kingdom accepted Christ after Philip taught him about the Scriptures he was reading, and Philip baptized him (Acts 8:38).


The story went further. Saul who was once persecuted the Christians met Jesus when he was on his way to Damascus to persecute the believers. He then became a great apostle, whom we know as Paul. Through Paul the Gospel of Christ was preached also to the gentiles and reached European continent. European countries become Christian and from there the Gospel was introduced to all nations in the world. And the great works of the Holy Spirit will continue through the believers around the world until the end of the world (the close and consummation of the age).


The book of Acts of the Apostle is an open book. It doesn’t have a closure, because the Holy Spirit is still working His great works on earth. And we, the believers, are His working partners. What a privilege to become His coworker?


The Holy Spirit continues the work of Jesus to its completion. Since the first outpouring at the Pentecost in Jerusalem until today He keeps doing His work in and through the life of the believers. Actually we are part of the unending Book of Acts. We involve and take part in the writing of history of the Kingdom of God (the Christendom).


Through the Pentecost – the outpouring of the Holy Spirit – heaven and earth are connected: the supernatural is connected with the natural. God is connected with His elects in an intimate fellowship when He sends His Holy Spirit to dwell within the believers. The Holy Spirit is wrapped Himself in the bodies of the believers and make it as His sanctuary. The Holy Spirit dwells within the believers with His entire strength and ability, and ready to do the great works of Jesus through the live of the believers. He just waits for the believer to take an obedient step to carry out Jesus’ command: the Great Commission; to make the whole nations in the world His disciples. And then Jesus will come again to reign as a King over His Kingdom on earth.


“And the good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then will come the end” (Matthew 24:14).  

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