Pentecost The Birthday of the Church

Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the church on the 50th day after Easter. They had been told by Jesus to go and wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. Lu 24:49. As the water baptized believers were gathered in one accord seeking the Lord in prayer, a mighty wind came upon the place where they were gathered. The wind filled all the house. Ac 2:1-2. The Holy Spirit came upon the apostles, Mary, the mother of Jesus and 120 faithful followers as they waited in the upper room. Ac 1:13,14. It was probably the same upper room where they had celebrated the Passover and communion together with our Lord. They all received the gift of tongues that sealed their baptism in the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:1-31.
This happening birthed the Pentecostal movement of Christianity. That first Pentecost the Apostle Peter stood and quoted out of Joel 2:28,29, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
Peter declared the outpouring was the fulfillment of that prophesy. Ac 2:16-19. Peter, the rock that the Christian Church was built on, declared this gift was available from that point on to believing Jews and Gentiles. Ac 2:38,39.
It was a new day for the church. It was the day the power of God was released upon believers, sending them out as powerful witnesses into all the world. Ac 1:8.
There are three things that stood out concerning these faithful believers on the day of Pentecost..
1. They were in one accord Ac 1:14
2. They were waiting on the Lord Ac 2:1
3. The were open vessels to receive justAc 2:3,4
Three things happened at Pentecost
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit Ac 2:4
They all spoke with tongues Ac 2:4
They all received the power to become extraordinary witnesses Ac 2:42-47
The results in the lives of those believers was amazing.There are three things that stand out about the happening.
Their hearts were changed – There was strife before about who would be the greatest Lu 22:24. After Pentecost they held all things in common. Ac 2:44-46.
Their speech was changed – They were limited in their preaching to their own language, but after Pentecost they witnessed to Gentiles in their own languages Ac 2:3-12
Their thinking was changed – Peter, who once denied Jesus, after Pentecost became a martyr.
I know in my own life, when I had my own personal pentecost, it was a life changing experience. My mom called me one afternoon and said, “There is a miracle meeting in Sacramento tomorrow night, would you like to go?” She knew I had been ill with a kidney disease for over 8 years. We were conservative Lutherans and we prayed for healing, but I had never seen anyone instantly healed.
The Morris Cerello meeting was packed with over 5,000 people. My younger brother, who was battling drugs in his life, also went with us. The preaching was inspiring and when the altar call came my brother got up, and went forward to give his life to Christ. I went with him to pray for him. While people were praying for my brother there was a man next to him that was touched deeply. He fell to the floor and the pastors were praying and casting out demons. When they were through praying for that man he looked like a totally different person. His face was filled with peace. I had never seen anything like that before.
Some people came and prayed for me. I had forgotten all about my own need of healing, in seeing my brother give his heart to the Lord. As they prayed, a beautiful language began flowing from my lips. I recognized some of the words, as being words that I had spoken in a sheep pasture the day my father died when I was 12. I had gone there to be alone, but God met me there. He whispered in my heart that He would be my Father and then I spoke words that I had never heard or spoken before.
Now again, I was hearing those same words flow out of my lips. There was such peace in my heart, just like that day in the sheep pasture. I went home pondering these things in my heart. The next day I realized that something else had happened also. I was healed of the kidney disease. I had no symptoms and felt healthy. Since that day I have never had that disease again. God reached down and touched me. “He is Jehovah, the God that healeth thee!”
Pentecost is still alive and operative for today in every believer''s life. The Bible tells us that God is the same, “yesterday, today, and forever”. Heb 13:8. I know in my life, since that day, I cannot be silent about the love of God and His free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. I have had zeal to preach and reach the lost, with a boldness, that I would never have had in myself. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
The joy of witnessing has taken me to other lands and peoples. In each place the Holy Spirit has gone before me to open doors to hearts. God desires to bless you with power to be the witness He has called you to be so that you will complete your mission on earth. I don''t know about you, but I want all He has for me. May you open your heart to Him to receive all He has for you.