Pentecost: Acts 2:1-4
by Contributing Author Ryan Reynolds
Waiting for an expected blessing that has been promised by one in whom you love, trust, and adore is a hope that finds its surety in the faithfulness of the one who promised. We all look to the hope and pleasure of a promise in which it will come to pass at a time most needed to fit the context of our condition that will bring restoration and healing. Joy and excitement brings the long-suffering of this expectation to a place of contentment.
But living in a world where promises are given and then neglected on intended or unintended selfishness and forgetfulness, a word not coming to fruition will bring saddened pain. Even the most faithful person will fall short on their desire to bless the one in whom they love and count worthy to receive their thought out gift of generosity. Sin taints our desire to be sincere and our ability to perform.
Yet a God who is pure and holy in all His ways (Isaiah 6:3) is untainted by the sin-sickness of man, which gives Him exuberant joy in following through on His promises of blessing to His children to do good. The day of Pentecost is the fulfillment of a covenant promise that has eternal obligations of guaranteed dedication to those who are His beloved children.
Yet a God who is pure and holy in all His ways (Isaiah 6:3) is untainted by the sin-sickness of man, which gives Him exuberant joy in following through on His promises of blessing to His children to do good.
What is the significance of Pentecost? Pentecost comes from a Greek word (πεντηκοστῆς) literally meaning ‘fiftieth.’ The relevance of the number fifty is traced back to the Old Testament in the number of days that passed from the Passover to the Feast of Weeks (Lev. 23:15). The Feast of Weeks (שָׁבֻעֹת )was primarily a celebration at the end of harvest time to honor God with their first fruits.
It was to be considered a Sabbath day in which no labor would be performed with focused adoration on Yahweh, the God who brought His people out of the bondage of Egypt (Lev. 23:21; see Deut. 16:2).The excitement of this festival is embedded into the hearts and minds of the people of Israel as they remember their bondage in Egypt the night the holy God passed over their homes with the blood of the lamb smeared on the doorposts and lintels (Ex. 12:7).
The Passover in the Old Testament is a foreshadowing of the true sacrificial Lamb who will come and wipe clean the sin of God’s predetermined treasure: His people of all nations of all time. After Jesus was crucified as the sinless Lamb, He rose on the third day, “appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). Following this, with a misguided understanding from the Apostles, they asked, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom of Israel” (Acts 16)? It was misdirected, because the purpose and mission of Christ was to establish a spiritual kingdom with all tribes and nations.
Christ then refocused their attention on the bigger issue concerning the promised Holy Spirit that would be poured out to regenerate their hearts, while empowering them with a special purpose to be His witnesses throughout the earth. Our Lord then ascended into heaven to take His seat at the right of His Father in all authority and power (Acts 1:11; Eph. 1:20). Being obedient to their Master and Lord, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem to wait for the long awaited promise that they had attentively heard about from their Savior and Prophets of old.
And God being faithful to His character, unleashed the manifestation of His glory on an underserving people, as we all are not worthy of such a gift.
"When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:1-4
The day of Pentecost marks the foundation of the Church as a people who are filled, empowered, and gifted with the promised Holy Spirit, the greatest blessing ever given. While the ministry of the Lord on earth came to a close, it opened the floodgates of heaven to the ministry of the Spirit, for without Jesus’ earthly accomplishment the Spirit would not have been given (Acts 2:33). With the arrival of the Holy Spirit being poured out on all flesh, not Jews only but also Gentiles, gifts have been given to men and women who are in a covenantal relationship with the God of the universe.
In all the supernatural gifts that we receive as God’s children—tongues, prophecy, healing, dreams, visions, words of knowledge, and wisdom—the Administrator of these gifts that make them fruitful and effective in our lives is the most needed and precious. The Holy Spirit is the promise of our inheritance that we receive to mark and consecrate us to the service of God for His glory.
Paul prays in Ephesians that we would receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, so that we may know what is the hope to which He has called us (Eph. 1:15-18). That hope is further clarified in Scripture, all being intrinsically tied with the salvation we receive by His Word and Spirit. He has called to a hope to bring us out of darkness into light (1 Peter 2:9). He has called us to a hope by the word of His power to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). And He has called us to a hope to be His witnesses to a dying and hurting world (Matt. 28:18-20). All this is made possible because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that divinely appointed day of Pentecost some two thousand years ago.
Paul prays in Ephesians that we would receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him so that we may know what is the hope to which He has called us (Eph. 1:15-18). That hope is further clarified in Scripture, all being intrinsically tied with the salvation we receive by His Word and Spirit.
Just as the Apostles had a misguided focus when they thought Christ would restore Israel as an earthly kingdom after His resurrection (Acts 1:6), so we too can be led into the avenues of life that rob our joy, hope, and trust in the Lord. So as life vehemently comes and seeks to divide our family through jealousy, drugs, and unfulfilled promises, we must remember and take hold of the gift that we have received from a faithful God who will never leave us nor forsake us.
The world wants your purpose and destiny that God has divinely and eternally mapped out for you as a uniquely created individual. Satan laughs and taunts as his legions of spirits seek to overcome your victory in a fallen world. What do you do? You must take hold of the Holy Spirit as the empowerment you have received through faith and boldly declare with the Prophet Isaiah and the Apostle Paul, that “no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment…for where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom” (Isa 54:17; 2 Cor. 3:17).
Ryan Reynolds was born in Houston, Texas and has spent most of his life residing in Houston and the surrounding suburban areas. He grew up in a tightly knit family of six who have encouraged and helped push him along his desired path of advancing God's kingdom.
In a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ through the Word of God, Ryan was graciously saved at the age of twenty-two. Since then he has made it his aim to thoroughly understand the Bible, so that he can help re-insert sound teaching into a culture that has lost sight of godliness.
Ryan is a third year student at Sangre de Cristo Seminary in Westcliffe, Colorado. He is studying for a Master of Divinity, which he hopes to attain after completion of an undergraduate degree in biblical studies.
You can also view highly informative programs in our media center by clicking below:
If you liked this article you might also like: