Well here we go my favorite Christian holiday probably the most important time during the year in the Christian church! What do you mean what am I talking about? This is the time of year we celebrate the birth of the Christian Church the first day men and women could get born again.
Christmas more important, you have to be kidding right? First off don’t get me wrong here Jesus Christ did need to be born. He was a man so he wasn’t hatched or transported here he was born to a real nice couple, Mary and Joseph. Of course there was that thing where Joe considered divorcing her during the betrothal but he seems to have had an angel tell him to go ahead and marry Mary.
Getting a bit more serious here I believe that the “Christian” community has the importance totally backwards. They make Christmas the most important day followed by Easter but not very closely and ending with Pentecost way in the background if even mentioned mostly just lip service I doubt if most people who go to church on Sunday would even remember the day. In truth that is backwards it should be Pentecost followed closely by Easter and Christmas dangling in the rear someplace.
Why you may ask? Well Pentecost was the birth of the Church we belong. The day it was born no one really understood it. It took a long time for people to understand what happened on the day of Pentecost it wasn’t fully revealed till Paul wrote about it in the book of Ephesians. The book of Ephesians was written sometime between 60AD and 63 AD that is a good 30 years after Pentecost.
Now that is really important it may explain some verses that seem to make little sense, for instance in the book of Acts.
Act 21:20 And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
These Jews still wanted to practice the law of Moses, Jesus Christ was the end of the law of Moses or maybe more appropriately Jesus Christ fulfilled the law. Remember the book of Ephesians as I said was written in 60 AD or later. This is close to the end of Paul’s life. The Apostles were starting to be killed or exiled and God was able to finally reveal the Sacred Secret what is normally transliterated into the word mystery.
The explanation starts in Chapter 1 verse 9 of Ephesians and continues through chapter 3 verse 15. In there it speaks about how Israel had been the chosen people but that now the gentiles were to be fellow heirs with the Jews. This would be like Osama bin Laden becoming president of the USA. It was so far out of anyone’s idea of what the box was that no one would have guessed that this was even possible. Let’s look at that section:
Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Those seven verses changed everything. People had to change four thousand years of thinking. The gentiles went from being dogs to being fellow heirs. It took me 4 years to get to the point where I started to understand how big what was said in these few verses is. Most of us just read this and it is almost like we think yea so what. There are books of the bible that were written before this and according to verse 5 this revelation had not been given when those books were written. As an example the epistle of James, many believe that James was written in 50 AD if not earlier. So when James was written the “mystery” or perhaps better translated as the Sacred Secret had not yet been revealed. There was not knowledge of Grace of God at that point.
Think of it this way if I were trying to teach a five year old about the civil war I could not approach it the same way I would teach someone studying for his doctorate degree. A five year old would never understand the differences between an industrial economy verses an agricultural economy so the five year old you tell them it was about slavery.
Okay now that I set the fact that no one had any idea of exactly what happened or how big it really was let’s look at Acts Chapter 2. One thing to remember is that Luke wrote the book of Acts. Before we start with chapter 2 look at chapter 1.
Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
The word treatise in the Greek is the word logos in John 1 it is translated word or maybe it could be translated writings so it is important to know this when we start into chapter 2.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Again in four versus God sets forth what happened the single biggest event of all time because God now had a family set up in just four verses.
In verse two it says there was a sound as of a rushing mighty wind. To understand that you have to look back at John.
John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Some will teach that at that point they received holy spirit. I think they have it wrong he was showing them what they were supposed to do when they got the go sign from God. Because the new birth was not available at this time it became available on the day of Pentecost. Some of the older texts I am told say he breathed in. Sort of like a sucking sound. Maybe deep inhaling. Also the acoustics in the temple were great so if a group of people were breathing heavily you would hear it over a good portion of the temple.
The tongues like as of fire was only seen by the 12 I believe, I could be wrong but it was meant for the twelve and no one else would have needed to see it.
Now ask most Christians where this all happened and most if not all will tell you in the upper room. Wrong!! The upper room would have been where the 12 slept. In eastern culture men and women did not intermingle the way they would today. There is only one place where this could happen and that was in the temple. Also remember I said it was important that Luke wrote Acts? Let’s go back to Luke and have a look at what it says there.
Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Okay in Luke it says they were in the temple continually. What does that mean? Well it does not say continuously. Now if it said that that would mean that they were there 24/7. Because it says continually it indicates they were there when they were supposed to be. When was that you may well ask. There were certain times when they had what is called hours of prayer. The first hour would be six am. The third hour was nine am and was another hour of prayer. The sixth hour which would be noon time was another hour then the ninth hour would be three pm remember it said that at about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice it is finished so just as they killed the Passover lamb Jesus Christ died he was sacrificed for you and for me. Then the twelfth hour of prayer was six pm. So at those times the believers would have been in the temple.
Now let’s peek ahead a bit to verse
Acts 2: 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Okay so three thousand people got saved how in the world did they get three thousand people into the upper room? The only place where you could get that many people together was in the temple. It says nothing about them moving to the temple after they had spoken in tongues. Pentecost is a big festival or a Holy day in the Old Testament it is called the feast of weeks. It was seven weeks and a day after Passover thus the word Pentecost it means 50 days. It was a required attendance at the temple by everyone born Jew or convert they were there. That is why you had so many people there.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
In verse seven it is noted that the ones speaking were all Galileans. On the social structure they were at the bottom. The only thing that might have been worse was a Samaritan or a gentile. They were not educated people so when they heard them speaking in tongues it really shook them. In some translations it says they were flabbergasted the people hearing the 12 speaking.
Now Peter and the twelve stood up and started to speak. This is where you learn to depend on God. No one has any idea of what is going on and the 12 have no idea other than what Jesus had said to them about what is going on. Anything Jesus may have told them in the past just changed. Jesus Christ did not know about the age of grace because remember Ephesians it was first revealed unto the apostle Paul. Peter then delivers one of the most dynamic sermons of all time.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
Fifty days before this Peter and the 12 were hiding behind closed doors in a locked room hiding from some of these same people. What changed in fifty days? Peter had just received the gift of holy spirit. He was filled and was a child of God by birth.
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
See Peter didn’t know you are are not suppose to say something like you have taken by wicked hands. You’re always suppose to include yourself. Guess he missed that day at the seminar.
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
See David is in the grave.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The word repent means to change your thinking, it has nothing to do with saying Lord I did this or that wrong or Lord I’m not perfect and I’m sorry and forgive my sins. To repent is to confess with your mouth the lord Jesus and believe God raised him from the dead. As it says in Romans 10:9.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as theLord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
What else got said I have no idea we are not told but I believe it was all either revelation or inspiration from God.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
So there you have Pentecost. So is the Christian world going to change their thinking about this day and Christmas probably not but I hope I have given you some food for thought.
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