Our Pentecost theme and request to God is that He would once again pour out His Spirit on the church. Yesterday at the end of the blog, I asked that you pray God would Acts 4:30 “Stretch out (His) your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And continue praying until He hears our cry and responds. 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.” On the homepage of the Rock’s website, (therockstrathroy.ca) you will see that verse. The background on the homepage is fire which represents God dwelling in His temple. 2 Chronicles 7:1 “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, (we will be talking about faces to the ground) and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” In the same chapter we have this promise from God which applies to the church also because the church is in a severe famine of hearing the word of God and the church has been devoured by our enemies. 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” When we call out to God, He will hear our cry. Solomon also prayed 1 Kings 8:46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.” We are also told what happens when we do not humble ourselves and refuse to obey. Sadly this has already come true in the church. 2 Chronicles 7:19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’” Israel and Judah failed to listen and even though God said, “My eyes and my heart will always be there,” disobedience and rebellion changes that as we saw when the Assyrians and the Babylonians invaded the land, leaving only a remnant of survivors. The abomination that causes desolation has decimated the church for the same reason, rebellion and disobedience. 

        When Jesus came, the temple would no longer be a building. You wouldn’t know that by looking at the church and its desire to build things with their own hands. We are told, 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.” 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Pentecost took place and fire came down and God’s glory filled the temple, just like when Solomon dedicated the temple. 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. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 11 we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Later we will look at the deception of tongues in the charismatic movement.

        The disciples prayed this prayer asking God to “stretch out (His) your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus” after Pentecost already took place. This means the Holy Spirit was poured out again to the same people. Acts 4:23 “On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.” Scripture makes it clear that the power that started at Pentecost would continue. Disobedience and rebellion cause God to turn His face, therefore no power. There is only one Jesus and one birth and Jesus was born into this world just as was prophesied. Isaiah 7:14 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” This was a one-time event that would be continuous. John 3:16 “Everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” There was one day when Jesus was born but Christmas is supposed to be everyday and not at all what it has turned into. The same with Easter. This was a one-time event that is also continuous and like Christmas should also be every day, not just once on the calendar. Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” Romans 10:8 “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart that is the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” Just make sure you are professing the right Jesus and the true gospels. 1 Corinthians 15:3 “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”

        Then we have Pentecost that was also prophesied about. Moses said Numbers 11:29 “I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” Isaiah 44:3 “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” Zechariah 12:10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” Joel 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” As the Holy Spirit was poured out and the spoke in tongues, Peter responded, Acts 2:15 “These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 36 Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Some heard and some did not. Those who heard said “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

        So like Christmas and Easter, Pentecost was to be an ongoing event. Yes, Pentecost had a beginning, but the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was not just a one-time event as we see the Holy Spirit being poured out multiple times in Acts. The church is to be a Christmas, Easter and Pentecost church every day. The church is not a one-hour event on Sunday with an emphasis on a few holy days, but it is to be seven days a week 24 hours a day. Pentecost has been neglected which explains the powerless church. Christmas and Easter can be manipulated but Pentecost cannot. You can have wonderful programs and worship celebrating the birth of Jesus, and you can have powerful Easter services but if you truly believe Jesus has risen, Pentecost is about that power. That cannot be faked with a great service. Sure, you can tell stories but is what we read in this verse happening regularly? When Jesus healed it was instantaneous. Is James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.” Are you being sent out in power as the disciples were? Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” The powerless church was exposed long before Covid, but when Covid hit the world globally, the church was exposed to all the world for its powerlessness. Even the charismatics, those who say the power of God is with them were exposed as counterfeits. God has turned His face from the church so be very careful with the likes of the charismatics saying God is present in power. We will talk more about that.

        Today we are in desperate need for God to pour out His Spirit on us once again. So many in the church say they have the Holy Spirit, but they do not act like it nor do they have power from on High. Many have settled for satan’s deception that God no longer intended for His power to flow from His disciples. They say this power was just there to start the church which is ridiculous as scripture says no such thing. We will talk about that nonsense also. People are still sick and possessed by demons and satan has destroyed the church, so yes, we need the power of the Holy Spirit poured out on us once again. Church buildings, great worship, programs, silver-tongued orators, best sellers will not defeat satan. Many in the church fight against the power available as laid out in God’s word because His word doesn’t line up with their doctrines and theology. When Peter and John healed the lame man, it was the chief priests and the elders who told them to no longer speak in the name of Jesus. They of course refused. Acts 4:23 “On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 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.” 

        Continue to seek God and turn from wicked ways and pray that God would stretch out His hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.