Another year has gone by, and this Sunday will be Pentecost Sunday. This day is lesser known / celebrated than Christmas and Easter but that should not be the case. Although some churches follow the liturgical calendar and Pentecost is an important day, most churches do not have the power the day of Pentecost represents. The problem with dates on the calendar is that year after year nothing changes and the power those dates represent is missing. Pentecost was the beginning of power for the church, not the end. This was supposed to be the beginning of power the church would have so the church could do as Jesus did. Jesus said John 7:38 “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” This would be power given to all who would believe. As Paul said Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.”
God’s plan for the church was to go out in the same power and authority of Jesus and then do as He did. Sending His disciples out was a prelude to Pentecost. We would see what the church would be capable of doing. Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” The disciples did as Jesus did as we see in Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” This was to continue in the church except the church decided to go in a different direction and depended solely on their own power. 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” The church would not be able to defeat satan with their own hands plus because the church rebelled against God’s plan to follow their own, God turned His face from the church.
As the church quickly turned away to follow other gospels, the church became powerless against our enemies, which led to the desolation we see in the church today. Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are just dates on a calendar that come and go as the years go by. People falsely taught that they would be filled with the Holy Spirit when they were saved but at the same time excluded the supernatural power the church was given and became content not to have it. If you were filled with the Holy Spirit as many say they are, then these gifts would be given. 1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” False teachers then, at the direction of satan came up with doctrines to explain away the power. Cessationism is a doctrine of demons and satan is very pleased that many in the church bought into this lie as he knows what the power given by the Holy Spirit will do to him. Nowhere does the bible say the power of the Holy Spirit is no longer available. It is not just the cessationists who say this but most in the church are not seeking the available power of the Holy Spirit as they have become content being powerless. Many like the charismatics who are seeking have not tested the spirits and were deceived.
This power would return if the church would return to God’s word. Malachi 3:7 “Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.” This describes the beginning of the church and the power it would have. Jesus said to the disciples Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:4 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This idea that people are filled with the Holy Spirit so they can sit in church and not go to the ends of the earth to heal the sick or cast out demons is not what Pentecost was about. Jesus and the disciples showed us that the church was supposed to go out with power from on High. The teaching that Pentecost was a one-time event is not even what scripture teaches us. Pentecost was the beginning of a continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This outpouring stopped because the church rebelled against God.
We see the Holy Spirit come in Acts 2 just as Jesus said. Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” That was just the beginning. Acts 4:8 “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!” Jesus had said Matthew 10:18 “On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” They then prayed together Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Acts 6:3 “Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word. 5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip. 8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.” Acts 8:6 “When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Acts 9:17 “Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” Acts 10:44 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” Acts 19:1 “Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.”
This is what the church was supposed to look like but the church tried to build with their own hands and in their own strength and rejected God’s plan. God turned His face from the church and the church was powerless against its enemies. This happened almost right away. Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all.” The same happened with Solomon right after David. He lost the kingdom due to his rebellion against God. 1 Kings 11:9 “The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.”
As the church returns to God’s word, God will once again come near to us and dwell among us once again. Jesus said Mark 1:14 “proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” When the kingdom comes near, power from on High will return. Ephesians 2:19 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” When this happens, once again power from on High will once again flow in the church.