Tag Archives: pentecost

It’s a new day!

photo from flickr.com   cc attribution

The Church of Jesus Christ began at Pentecost when the power of the Holy Spirit fell.

The Day of Pentecost — Birth of the church —

Acts 2: 2-4 “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they ]rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”

Pentecost–The day the Holy Spirit came in the temple and the church of Jesus Christ, the bride of Christ began a new ministry on earth.  It was a new way of communicating with the Holy God of Israel.   There would be no need for sacrificing time after time.  Jesus paid the ransom for the sin debt.  Jesus opened the way for a relationship not through rituals.

The book of Hebrews lays out for us how the new covenant was replacing the old covenant of rituals and sacrifices. (Hebrews 7:7) “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.” Read chapters 7-10 for further explanation of how the first covenant of Law was insufficient.  The old was “only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things.” (Hebrews 10:1)

Under the old covenant of Law given by Moses there were 7 feasts for Israel. Three of them required them to call a solemn assembly.  Once the temple was built in Jerusalem, they were required to go to Jerusalem for each of these three.  The feast of Tabernacles, Passover, which has just occurred and the Feast of Weeks.  The feast of weeks, Shavuot, until the Law was fifty days from Passover. Shavuot meaning (weeks).  

Pentecost and Shavuot were both feast of the first fruits.  Shavuot is the celebration of the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Remember Hebrews told us  what is in the old covenant is only a shadow.  Shavuot was a picture of the coming of Messiah and the joining of all people under the new and better covenant.  It was hidden in the picture of first fruits.

Shavuot was established by God in Leviticus 23.   It was to be at the time of harvest in early summer that these festivals were to be held.  The people were to bring the first of the harvest to the temple.   The tradition of the waving of two loaves of bread, baked with leaven, waved as a sacrifice to the Lord for His provision of the harvest.  

Leviticus 23:15-17 You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord.

Nothing in the Old Testament is without meaning.  The Torah or the Law was the beginning of Judaism.   Shavuot is the festival celebrating the giving of the Law which was the beginning of the Jewish worship..  

Now the new covenant has been revealed.  Pentecost means fifty and reflects the old shadow and now reality of new covenant is here.  It is exactly 50 days after resurrection.


Do you think God uses His own calendar to reveal His plans?


The Holy Spirit came on the day Pentecost and the beginning of the first evangelism program began.  

Acts 2: 1,2,5 “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place… And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. . And there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.”

How are they connected?  What is the symbolism?

  1. The waving of the two loaves with leaven. Leaven is symbolic of sin.  The passover bread that was baked without leaven. The bread had no leaven because it was symbolic of the sinless Christ. Two loaves looked to the future prophesy of a time when Messiah would come.  Pentecost was the fulfillment of that prophecy when the Messiah came and both Jew and Gentile were provided a way of salvation.
  2. The reading of the book of Ruth became a tradition for Shavuot.  Ruth was a story of grace, love and friendship.  Ruth was a Gentile who came to know and to love the God of Naomi, a Jewess through their kinsmen Redeemer, Boaz.   In the story was the prophecy of a time when the Kinsmen Redeemer would come to redeem man from his sinful state.  Hidden in the old, Shavuot, a shadow becomes a reality in Jesus, the Kinsman Redeemer.
  3. Another tradition the Jews had for Shavuot was the eating dairy.  For them milk or cheese was a symbol of the nourishment. Nourishment was received when studying the Torah.  For us as Christians that nourishment is obtained through the study of the Word of God and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, which was given at Pentecost.  (John 14:26) “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative–that is the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (for a further study of what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives read John 15:26, John 16:1-15)  

When Pentecost came, there were 3000 people who were saved that day.  When Moses came down from the mountain, 3000 people died because of their rebellion and worship of the golden calf.  Under the law, we were dead in our sin; now we are made alive in Jesus Christ. Pentecost was a great season of revival.  It was the beginning of the  biggest move of Evangelism.  From those 3000 people, the world was turned upside down.

ACTS 2:41 “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand   souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.43  Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and  signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 :And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”


This Sunday marks the 7th week since Resurrection Sunday.


Few people will know the hidden treasure found in the meaning of this celebration.  We should still  have a sense of awe with many wonders and signs taking place.

 


We are so set on how we think worship should be that we often miss the mystery of God working in our midst. God is still an awesome God!


 

Do we have all things in common? Are we sharing with those in need?  Are we day by day continuing with one mind in the house of the Lord?  Do we serve one another with gladness and sincerity of heart?  Are we praising God and having favor with all the people?

The secret was in verse 42. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Should we wonder why the Lord is not adding to the number day by day of those who are needing salvation?

Pray that we will return to a time of revival.  Pray that we would be of one mind and of one accord.  Pray we will stir one another to love and good works.  Pray that Satan’s hindrances  would be stopped in the name of Jesus.  Pray that we would not quench the work God may want to do in His church. God is always at work! We need to find where He is working and join Him.

https://youtu.be/GjKWeKqgSjk?list=PLUiY-PbuY64vLgRB7G7kX7l1ysHaPq7pi

Send the Fire by Lindell Cooley

Treading…watching for the later rain revival

Freda Reynolds

Discouragement, Failure and Disappointment

 

 

 

 


Live Like You’re Loved  by Hawk Nelson
https://youtu.be/Q_r47Xhkf20?list=RDQ_r47Xhkf20

John 21:1-3

After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way.  There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His disciples.  Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing’.  They said to him, ‘We will also come with you’.  They went out, and got into the boat;  and that night they caught nothing.

We are on a journey through the resurrection (Easter) to the Day of Pentecost.  50 Days of Feast for Israel.   We have looked at the appearance of Jesus after His resurrection.

This week we see Jesus on the beach by the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus had met with His disciples before.  Peter was named particularly when Jesus told the women to tell the disciples and Peter to meet Him in Galilee.  Theologians think this very spot may have been where He expected to meet them.  Jesus had met with the disciples but now days may have passed and nothing more.  Our dear friend Peter, not known for his patience, decides he has had enough.  “I am going fishing!”   This probably was not just a decision to go for the day!  It was a return to a former life.  Jesus isn’t going to set up a kingdom.  He is not going to overthrow the Romans.  We saw Him after that Sunday morning but now he has disappeared again.  Peter, Peter, Peter.

Now not only does Peter return to fishing but others follow also.  Discouragement is contagious!

Jesus and Peter haven’t yet spoken about the night he denied him.  I would imagine that he has nursed and rehearsed that evening many times.  Have you ever let someone down?  Maybe you have been the person disappointed by another’s actions.

I want to focus on something that almost if not all of us have to deal with at some point in our life.  DISCOURAGEMENT, DISAPPOINTMENT, AND FAILURE.

Peter what a study in human behavior!

Impatient, outspoken, bold, prone to speaking before he thinks, jumps to conclusions!  Ever hurt anyone by your words?  Ever ignored, avoided or said something about someone to keep from getting in trouble?

Peter did! I have! I ventured to say you have too!

In the story today, Jesus fixes breakfast for them after they have fished all night and caught nothing.

#1.  Jesus is always waiting to restore relationships.

The day is breaking and the disciples see someone on the shore.  Jesus calls to them. “Caught anything?”   “No!”  “Put in on the other side.” The net is them filled with 153 fish. At this point, John recognizes it is Jesus.  As many times, John discerns the spiritual and Peter acts.  Peter wants to get to Jesus first. Whether he has already talked with Jesus and asks for forgiveness we can’t be sure.  Peter doesn’t even try to walk on water this time, he jumps in and swims to shore.

#2. We need to learn to be quick to seek or to give forgiveness.

Jesus prepares fish and bread.  Then turns to Peter. “Do you love me?”..

“You know I do, Lord.” Three times He asks Peter.  The theology of this passage has been discussed many times.  Jesus isn’t asking Peter because of insecurities about Peter’s love for Him.  He is making a point as He always did.

#3. Love is shown by actions.

You have a calling.  I want you to go, love and tend to my kingdom.  The new way of worship and serving Me is now going to be in your hands.  Not just in your hands Peter but in every person who believes in me.

Peter then asks Jesus, “What about him? (John)  Jesus quickly tells Peter, “You take care of your responsibilities and leave others to me.”

#4.  Focus on what Jesus is doing in you.

Gratitude leads to joy and joy is how God intended His people to live.

Discouragement, failure and disappointments are all stepping stones for a closer walk with Jesus.

Diamonds by Hawk Nelson

Treading Like I am Loved

Freda Reynolds

Missing the Mark – The Great Commission

The Great Commission    Are We Missing The Mark??

I Corinthians 15:16-20

16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

These are some of the last words of Jesus before he left his disciples in charge of spreading the gospel of the kingdom.  GO!  MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS!  How you ask?  We teach them to observe all that Jesus commanded.  We are to baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!  We have the promise that He will be always with us, even to the end of the age!

These words were a command.  They were not a suggestion. Jesus didn’t say, “If you have the gift of evangelism, do this!”   This was God’s way of bringing people into the kingdom.

God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are always interested in relationships.  We build the kingdom by relationships.  We can only reach people when God draws people to himself.  Jesus provided “the way”.   The Holy Spirit convicts, teaches and leads to the truth of the gospel

For what are we responsible?  Cooperation with the Holy Spirit is our job.   Jesus wants to use us to share the good news of the gospel.

God’s plan includes the giving of spiritual gifts to empower Christians.  When each one exercises their gift, the plan works.  The future of the gospel is depends on this very generation.  If we to fail to pass the good news on to the next generation, the results could be devastating except for the grace of God.

Are we missing the mark?  The word used for sin is hamartia.  It means to miss the mark.  As Christians, are we reaching out to our world to speak the truth of the gospel to others?  I sometimes feel we gather in our holy huddles and expect the world to come to us.  That is NOT what Jesus meant when He said, “GO, MAKE DISCIPLES.”

Why is it so hard in our country?   I believe most of the time people really believe they are saved. They believe in God.  They are good citizens.  The stay away from the “big” sins.  BUT, there is no commitment to the things of God.  There is no hunger for the Word, there is no joy in serving God, and there is no desire for God. How can we say we love God, and hate our brother? (I John 4:20)  If we really love the Lord with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, then we must love others.  Loving others is risky! Rejection and ridicule are always waiting in the wings.  Real love shares the good news that Jesus will give them eternal life.  Will we will have to give an account to Jesus because we did not share the gospel?  The choice is personal.  Each individual will have to answer for himself. However, we need to consider that it may be a word of encouragement that causes them to turn to Christ and be saved from the place that was originally reserved for Satan and his fallen angels.

GO and MAKE DISCIPLES!  Are you going?  While you are building relationships, are you sharing the good news?

We have a commission!  The fields are white in the harvest.  Go forth!  God promises to be with you.

Someone’s last words are usually considered important.  The passage in Matthew 28, the great commission, is one of the last statements Jesus makes.  He has appeared to the women, Peter and John, the disciples without Thomas, the disciples with Thomas, and Paul’s epistle to the Corinthian Christians says that Jesus also appeared to 500 others at one time.

Why are these appearance before the feast of Pentecost important?  They provided proof of His resurrection.  It also gave Jesus 50 days to give the final teaching and prepare His disciples for the new covenant of grace.

He will meet with the disciples one more time by the sea of Galilee before leaving.

For today, we focus on the command given to ALL Christians!!

Go! Share the good news!!

Fifteen  Greg Long

Freda Reynolds

Let’s Eat!

 

 

Do you have anything to eat?

“While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’”  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.  He said to them, “ Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet.  It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”  They gave  piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.  (Luke 24: 36-43  NIV)

We are following Jesus after his resurrection through the Feast of Pentecost.  Jesus has met with the women at the tomb.  He told them to go tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Mary Magdalene lingers a bit and is greeted by Jesus.  She tries to hold on to him but Jesus tells her he has to return to “My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.”

The women run to tell the disciples. After telling them all they had seen, the Bible tells us the disciples did not believe the women, “because their words seemed to them like nonsense.” (Luke 24:11. NIV)  Peter and John, however, had to be sure.  They both “got up and ran to the tomb.” Luke 24:12  John tells us that “the other disciple with Peter (John himself) out ran Peter and reached the tomb first.  What a foot race that must have been!  “Peter saw and left wondering what had happened (Luke 24:12)  but John saw and believed.”( John 20:8)  But they still did not understand.

It is now evening and the disciples are in Jerusalem having what I believe is a most lively discussion of all the things they have seen that day.   The eleven disciples are there, the women are there and the two from Emmaus have joined them.  While they are talking about the past days’ events, “Jesus himself stood among them and said, Peace be with you.”

What a meeting that must have turned out to be.  First, Jesus has to calm their fears.  Then he asks, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?” (Luke 24:38)  How many times would he have to tell them?  “Don’t let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1 NAS)  But standing there, after all they had seen and been through, how could this be?   How many times have we doubted what Jesus tells us in His Word?  How many times have we forgotten that he is always with us, that his promises to us are all “Yes and Amen”?

Then Jesus shows them His humanity.  He shows them his hands and feet. But they still did not believe but this time Luke tells us it is “because of joy and amazement.” (Luke 24:41 NIV)

Were you ever so happy to see someone unexpectedly that you said, “Oh my goodness, I can not believe it is you. You are here. What are you doing here?”  In my mind, I can see the scene playing out now.  The smiles and the dancing and the squeals of delight.

Now the next line in the text just brought the reality of Jesus humanity home to me.  “Do you have anything here to eat?”  I almost laughed out loud as I reread the account in Luke.

See my hand and feet!  Jesus arrives in the room unannounced!  NOW LET’S EAT!

Luke simply concludes the story, “They gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate it in their presence.”  Was He so hungry after three days in the grave?  He had been really busy the last few days.  He had gone back to offer the blood sacrifice to the Father.  Another meeting I would loved to have been there to see, that moment when the Father God accepted and received the sacrifice for all men.  The redemption is complete.  Grace has won!   The New Covenant is now in operation.

Jesus will now spend the next 40 days teaching the disciples how to walk in the new covenant. In John we read the evenings benediction. “Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.  And with that He breathed on them and said, “Received the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:21-23)

The Word is so real and so amazing to see all that was done for me and you.  Jesus was a man, human yet divine.  He loved us so much that He became one of us and paid our debt that we might live with Him forever in His prepared place. Oh How I Love Him!  Just wondering what it will be like when we are seated with Jesus at the marriage supper and He says, “Let’s eat!”

Thank you, Jesus.

Thank you that you help us through  your Holy Spirit to make alive Your Word!

Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is Alive and Active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit.” (NASB)

This is Amazing Grace  by Phil Wickham

https://youtu.be/zPQKj2Zptr0

Treading on to Pentecost!

May 31, 2017  Fifty Days from Resurrection Sunday