The Father, the Son and the Feast of Pentecost

You are here

The Father, the Son and the Feast of Pentecost

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up

×
Downloads
MP3 Audio (14.29 MB)

Downloads

The Father, the Son and the Feast of Pentecost

MP3 Audio (14.29 MB)
×

How did the 12 apostles change from men who ran for their lives when their Master was arrested (Mark 14:50 Mark 14:50And they all forsook him, and fled.
American King James Version×
) to giants of the faith, willing to die if need be for their Lord and Savior? How did Peter and the rest of the apostles get to the point where they could proclaim they were willing “to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29 Acts 5:29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
American King James Version×
) even if it meant imprisonment and possibly death?

The biblical Feast of Pentecost gives us the answer. Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told them, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 Acts 1:8But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
American King James Version×
).

These 12 men had no idea of the magnitude of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit that they were about to receive!

Why do we strive to live by God’s commandments? We obey God not to earn our salvation, which of course is impossible, but rather as part of genuine love for God the Father and Jesus Christ.

This power came upon them 10 days later. In Acts 2:1-2 Acts 2:1-2 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
American King James Version×
we read: “When the Day of Pentecost had 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 the whole house where they were sitting.” 

Just as Jesus had promised, His disciples received this mighty power! The apostles went from men who hid behind closed doors in fear to men who were willing to be beaten for the name of Jesus (John 20:19 John 20:19Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the middle, and said to them, Peace be to you.
American King James Version×
; Acts 5:40 Acts 5:40And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
American King James Version×
). They went from self-centered individuals to men of godly love and deep faith and conviction in something far greater than themselves.

The cause of this transformation was the power of God—what the Bible calls the Holy Spirit!

The promise of the Father

Among Jesus’ final words to the apostles were the instructions that they were to wait in Jerusalem until they would receive the “power from on high,” the “Promise of My Father” (Luke 24:49 Luke 24:49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father on you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.
American King James Version×
).

Even before His crucifixion, Jesus promised them that they would receive this amazing transformative power. He said in John 14:16 John 14:16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
American King James Version×
, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, [which] will never leave you” (New Living Translation 2015).

Jesus further explained that both God the Father and He would dwell in the hearts of believers: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23 John 14:23Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him.
American King James Version×
).

This miracle—the fact that both the Father and the Son make Their dwelling within Christians—is made possible because the Father sent His Holy Spirit to us. We read of this in John 14:26 John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.
American King James Version×
: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, [which] the Father will send in My name … will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

And of course, Jesus also had a key role in sending the Holy Spirit: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send [it] to you” (John 16:7 John 16:7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.
American King James Version×
).

Both the Father and the Son were to send the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Both Father and Son would dwell in the hearts and the minds of Christians by this invisible power called the Holy Spirit.

This was profound instruction, and the disciples could not fully grasp it at that time. So Jesus made things easier to understand. “I will not leave you orphans,” He said. “I will come to you” (John 14:18 John 14:18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
American King James Version×
). That is why Paul could later write in Colossians 1:27 Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
American King James Version×
that Christ lives in us as the hope of our future glory.

Conditions to receiving the Holy Spirit

God sets forth in His Word certain conditions to receiving the Holy Spirit. Just to be clear, in speaking of “conditions,” we do not mean that there is any way that we can earn God’s precious gift.

The plainest condition set forth in the Bible regarding how we can receive the Holy Spirit is the matter of baptism. In Peter’s sermon on that Pentecost, God inspired him to say, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission [or forgiveness] of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout).

To repent means to stop sinning and to in faith give our lives in full surrender to God’s will and purpose for us. It means obeying Him in everything He tells us to do. It means a total and complete change of life and priorities.

Peter’s sermon, given on this special Holy Day, was so powerful that 3,000 people were baptized! (Acts 2:41 Acts 2:41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.
American King James Version×
). The power of God’s Spirit cannot be measured.

The Scriptures themselves are clear that God’s Spirit is only given on the condition that we start obeying God—an important part of true repentance. Acts 5:32 Acts 5:32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him.
American King James Version×
explicitly tells us that God gives His Holy Spirit “to those who obey Him.”

Notice at least two key verbs in this verse: God gives the Holy Spirit—it is a free gift. And He gives it to those who obey Him—so this is a clear condition. Obedience cannot earn the gift. But the gift is not given unless the condition is met. Obviously God will not give this precious gift to a rebellious, carnally minded individual. When Simon the sorcerer, who had managed to get baptized, offered to buy the Holy Spirit (his devious heart was set on power rather than on obeying God), Peter strongly rebuked him (Acts 8:19-22 Acts 8:19-22 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said to him, Your money perish with you, because you have thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter: for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
American King James Version×
).

The specified requirement of baptism is a sacred ceremony, but there is also another ceremony that must take place for us to receive the Holy Spirit. It is the laying on of hands by true ministers of God. In Acts 8:17 Acts 8:17Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
we read, “Then they [Peter and John] laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” (This was the power Simon coveted.)

In Hebrews 6:1-2 Hebrews 6:1-2 1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
American King James Version×
the laying on of hands is listed as one of the foundational doctrines of the Church, along with repentance, faith and baptism. This ceremony, which must take place for the receiving of the Holy Spirit, shows that God gives the gift of the Holy Spirit through His true and faithful ministry.

We show our love to God by our obedience

Godly love involves much more than just thinking about God. It involves more than attendance at church services. In Jesus’ final instructions before He was crucified, He said this to His followers: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15 John 14:15If you love me, keep my commandments.
American King James Version×
).

He followed this with: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21 John 14:21He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
American King James Version×
).

He then continued with the same theme, stating, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23 John 14:23Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stayed with him.
American King James Version×
).

Indeed, the Bible is consistent. We show our love for God by our obedience to Him!

And of course, Jesus was not requiring of us anything He did not Himself do. As He said: “But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do” (John 14:31 John 14:31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
American King James Version×
). Just as Jesus showed His love for the Father by obeying the Father’s commands, so too do we strive to follow Jesus’ example.

So, then, why do we strive to live by God’s commandments? We obey God not to earn our salvation, which of course is impossible, but rather as part of genuine love for God the Father and Jesus Christ. Obedience is not saying, “I’m earning my salvation by my works.” Rather, it is saying, “I love God, and my obedience is the proof!” Godly love is more than an emotion. It involves active obedience.

It was God’s gift to the New Testament Church on Pentecost that made it possible for all Christians to show our loving obedience to Him.

The miracles of Pentecost

What happened on Pentecost opened the door for many miracles. People from various lands were able to hear the apostles’ words in their own native languages (Acts 2:8 Acts 2:8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
American King James Version×
). God gave to Peter the gift of inspired preaching (Acts 2:14-40 Acts 2:14-40 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said to them, You men of Judaea, and all you that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known to you, and listen to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22 You men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the middle of you, as you yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held of it. 25 For David speaks concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you shall make me full of joy with your countenance. 29 Men and brothers, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us to this day. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, 35 Until I make your foes your footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brothers, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
American King James Version×
). Three thousand people were baptized.

Miracles continued in the days following. A man lame for over 40 years was healed (Acts 4:22 Acts 4:22For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed.
American King James Version×
). The early chapters of Acts show inspired preaching, conversions of more thousands (Acts 4:4 Acts 4:4However, many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
American King James Version×
) and even more dramatic miracles (Acts 5:14-16 Acts 5:14-16 14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15 So that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about to Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
American King James Version×
). And for us today, the greatest of miracles from the Holy Spirit is to be led to true faith and willing obedience, being changed from the inside out into the kind of people God wants us to be.

The loving Father and His dear Son offer this same gift to you today. Are you willing to take Them up on Their offer?