Jun. 2, 2017
Joel 2:28-32 John 14:16-26 Acts 2:1-41
For Christians world-wide, we have celebrated the season of Pentecost since Jesus Christ was resurrected and ascended to heaven This Sunday June 4th is Pentecost. Pentecost means 50, Jesus walked among people for 50 days after his resurrection to specifically prepare His disciples for a time to come when they would be filled with God's Holy Spirit and become the dynamic men and women He always knew would become.
The Old Testament Prophet Joel prophesied this "Holy Spirit" in his book hundreds of years before it actually happened. The name Joel means "Yahweh Is God" and was a common name to Israel. Joel's prophecy was during a time of great devastation to the entire land of Judah due to an enormous plague of locusts that was greater than anyone had ever seen. All crops were lost and the seed crops for the next planting were destroyed. People and animals were dying and Joel saw this devastation as the judgement of God.
Readers of the Book of Joel however should not overlook the most remarkable section of his prophecy. Through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, Joel looked hundreds of years into the future to a specific time when God would pour out His Spirit upon "all flesh" meaning everyone. This event will be before the devastation and judgement of the Day of the Lord and it will be a time when all believers will experience the indwelling of the Spirit of God. It will be an event so powerful, it will form a prophetic community on Earth. It will be a time when prophecy will come from young and old alike; when both men and women will prophecy.
Salvation will not just be the unique blessing on Judah, it will be a time when whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.
In the New Testament Gospel of John beginning with Chapter 14, Jesus is preparing the disciples for His departure from them. But just like Jesus...as only He could do...He begins His lesson to them and us as readers thousands of years later with words of comfort. Verse 1...Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. These words are spoken during funeral processions, sermons from the pulpit to congregations and to us during our times of what we feel is severe trouble.
Jesus wants the disciples and us to know the power of Peace, Place and Promise. Peace in troubled times because we as Christians should know our Peace is in Jesus. Place is the eternal home in the heaven. Promise is His not leaving us alone for He reminded the disciples the Holy Spirit, Comforter, Paraclete would be with us to lead us to all truth.
Jesus told them in verse 15, If ye love me, keep my commandments (16)...And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever. Notice the gender reference he, the Holy Spirit is a man. Verse 17...Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him, but ye know him for he dwelleth with you and shall be in you.
In John 20:19-22...Jesus appears to the disciples but Thomas was not with them. When He appeared the first thing He said to them was Peace be unto you. Remember, the disciples had run from him during His time of need prior to his death on the cross. John was the only one who stayed until His death. Now, He appears. I don't know about you but I would be freaked out at this site. Jesus dead now appears from nowhere? So He tells them "Peace be unto you".
Verse 21...Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so I send you. Jesus reminds them why His Father sent Him to earth...to redeem men and women back to God...to save us from sin so we would have life eternal. As Christians we have the same assignment. The Holy Ghost will give you POWER to witness to someone who isn't saved. Winning that soul for the Kingdom.
In verse 22, after Jesus spends time calming them, He breathes on them saying "Receive ye the Holy Ghost".
The New Testament Book of Acts is where we find Jesus final words to the disciples and leads them and us to The day of Pentecost. Acts 1:3... Jesus appearance after His resurrection to many people is verified as being factual. The words infallible proofs in verse 3 means seeing Jesus during this 40 day period solidifies forever Christ is alive because that is the bedrock of Christianity...we serve a risen Savior.
Verse 5...For John (John The Baptist) truly baptized with water: but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When you and I accepted Christ, we were baptized in water which is the baptism to show our identification with Christ. We got into a pool or creek (if you lived in the country)...that new convert (you and I) going down in the water sinful and coming up out of the water in the newness of Christ.
This baptism in the Holy Ghost for the disciples is going to be different. Verse 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 Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. The power they are going to receive and you and I receive is the power of our witness. Telling all we meet about this Jesus we love and serve...we tell everyone about Him in our homes, neighborhoods, communities, cities, states, across the fruited plain and everywhere we go.
Verse 9...Jesus ascends to heaven, Verse 10...an angel appears and tells the disciples in verse 11...stop gazing up toward heaven, this same Jesus shall come come back. Acts 1: 12-26 is a 9 day period (so far a total of 49 days) preparing themselves as they were instructed. The choose a replacement for Judas (who hung himself when he betrayed Jesus) and focus in prayer with the women leading up to the 10th day (now a total of 50 days when the miracle takes place on the 50th day...
Acts 2:1...And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Verse 2...And suddenly there casme a sound as a rushing mighty wind, and filled all the house where they were sitting. Verse 3...And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. Verse 4...And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Glory
The awesome part of this experience is unity. Everyone was in one place, with focus and one goal. There was not any diivision among them, the only thing that mattered is following what Jesus told them to do.
The wonderful part of this experience is it still happens today. We have had services at Jubilee Church of God In Christ where the Holy Spirit's presence was so powerful it was like the smoke filling a room that signified God's presence in the Old Testament and it was amazing. If you have never been filled, ask God to fill you. Do as the disciples did and watch what happens.
Acts chapter 2:5-13, you will find these meely mouthed, scared of their own shadow weak guys being changed into POWERFUL people speaking in a language they never spoke before that enabled men that had gathered from all over the world to hear Christ preached in their language. The disciples laughed, talked and acted as though they were drunk and were accused of being just that.
It is amazing what one will do when the Amazing Power of The Holy Ghost leads someone and that person yields to God's Spirit. At one church service, a young lady started speaking in tongugues, our Pastor encouraged someone to allow the Spirit to use you to interpret what she was speaking. One of our Church Mothers stood and allowed God to use her to interpret and it was POWERFUL.
Acts 2:14...Peter standing with the eleven lifted up his voice and said unto them. Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem. be this know unto you, and hearken to my words. verse 15...For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour (9am) of the day. Verse 16...But this is that whch was spoken by the prophet Joel...and proceeds to preach the greated sermon ever under the anoiting of the Holy Ghost.
When he finished, 3,000 men accepted Christ and the Church was born. Challenge yourself, be bold enough to find out what work The Holy Ghost has for you. Allow yourself you be used.
We are in perilous times in our world and country but it can be the greatesr time for the Church if the Church is willing to stand for Christ. There are souls waiting for you to witness to them whether it is at the grocery store, doctors office, car dealership, bus stop, office or wherever you are. When the Holy Ghost tells you to do something, be bold enoughto do it and watch God work.