In the United Kingdom this year we celebrate Pentecost on Sunday 19th May.
In the Christian churches we celebrate Pentecost 50 days after Easter Sunday. Originally it was celebrated 50 days after Passover. We celebrate it because it was the day the Apostles of Jesus received the Holy Spirit. This gave them power to preach to the people and 3000 received the Good News of Jesus Christ. This was the beginning of the growth of the Christian church.
God is Three Persons in One; God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. This is difficult to understand but as you go on learning more and more about God, through prayer and reading The Holy Bible you will be able to understand. The Holy Spirit gradually teaches us about God and guides us into the correct way to live.
When we first ask Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour we receive the Holy Spirit and He comes to live inside of us. We cannot live the Christian life without the continual help from the Holy Spirit. When we remember to ask Jesus to fill us with His Holy Spirit every day, we are enabled to walk closely to God and to receive help, strength, comfort and guidance. He also gives us strength to overcome temptation. The Holy Spirit also gives us gifts (different according to our need) and the fruit of the Spirit which gradually grows in our lives as we follow Jesus more and more.
The sacredness of the Holy Spirit is affirmed in three Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), which proclaim blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as the unforgivable sin .
In the Holy Bible three separate terms, “Holy Spirit”, “Spirit of Truth” and “Paraclete” are used.
The New Testament details a close relationship between the Holy Spirit and Jesus during his earthly life and ministry. The Gospels of Luke and Matthew and the Nicene Creed state that Jesus was “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.” The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus as a dove during his Baptism, and in his Farewell Discourse after the Last Supper Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples after his departure.
The Holy Spirit is referred to as the Lord and Giver of Life in the Nicene Creed. The participation of the Holy Spirit in the tripartite nature of conversion is apparent in Jesus’ final post-Resurrection instruction to his disciples at the end of the Gospel of Matthew (28:19): “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Since the first century, Christians have also called upon God with the name “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” in prayer, absolution and benediction.
Paul said in Colossians 2:16-17 that the Jewish feasts and celebrations were a shadow of the things to come throughJesus Christ.And though as Christians we may not commemorate these holidays in the traditional biblical sense, as we discover the significance of each, we will certainly gain a greater knowledge of God’s Word, an improved understanding of the Bible, and a deeper relationship with the Lord.
Pentecost – Shavuot – Feast of Weeks:
Pentecost or Shavuot has many names in the Bible (the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, and the Latter First fruits). Celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover, Shavuot is traditionally a joyous time of giving thanks and presenting offerings for the new grain of the summer wheat harvest in Israel. The name “Feast of Weeks” was given because God commanded the Jews in Leviticus 23:15-16, to count seven full weeks (or 49 days) beginning on the second day of Passover, and then present offerings of new grain to the Lord as a lasting ordinance.
Shavuot was originally a festival for expressing thankfulness to the Lord for the blessing of the harvest. And because it occurred at the conclusion of the Passover, it acquired the name “Latter First fruits.” The celebration is also tied to the giving of the Ten Commandments and thus bears the name Matin Torah or “giving of the Law.” Jews believe that it was exactly at this time that God gave the Torah to the people through Moses on Mount Sinai.
Time of Observance:
Pentecost is celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover, or the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan (May or June).
The observance of the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost is recorded in the Old Testament in Exodus 34:22, Leviticus 23:15-22, Deuteronomy 16:16, 2 Chronicles 8:13 and Ezekiel 1. Some of the most exciting events in the New Testament revolve around the Day of Pentecost in the book of Acts, chapter 2. Pentecost is also mentioned in Acts 20:16, 1 Corinthians 16:8 and James 1:18.
Acts Chapter 2 The Disciples receive The Holy Spirit
2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
22Ye 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 midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
29Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30Therefore 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;
31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Throughout Jewish history, it has been customary to engage in all-night study of the Torah on the first evening of Shavuot. Children were encouraged to memorize Scripture and rewarded with treats. The book of Ruth was traditionally read during Shavuot. Today, however, many of the customs have been left behind and their significance lost. The public holiday has become more of a culinary festival of dairy dishes. Traditional Jews still light candles and recite blessings, adorn their homes and synagogues with greenery, eat dairy foods, study the Torah, read the book of Ruth and attend Shavuot services.
Jesus and Pentecost:
In Acts 1, just before the resurrected Jesus is taken up into heaven, He tells the disciples about the Father’s promised gift of the Holy Spirit, which will soon be given to them in the form of a powerful baptism. He tells them to wait in Jerusalem until they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which will empower them to go out into the world and be his witnesses.
A few days later, on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples are all together, to celebrate Shavuot, when the sound of a mighty wind comes down from heaven, with tongues of fire resting on them. The Bible says, “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” The crowds observed this event and heard them speaking in different languages. They were amazed and thought the disciples were drunk on wine. Then Peter got up and preached the Good News of the kingdom and 3000 people accepted the message of Christ! That same day they were baptised and added to the family of God.
The book of Acts continues to record the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit that began on Pentecost. Once again we see the Old Testament revealing a shadow of the things to come through Christ! After Moses went up to Mount Sinai, the Word of God the Torah (The Ten Commandments) was given to the Israelites at Shavuot. When the Jews accepted the Torah, they became servants of God. Similarly, after Jesus went up to heaven, the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost. When the disciples received the gift, they became witnesses for Christ. Jews celebrated a joyous harvest on Shavuot, and the church celebrated a harvest of newborn souls on Pentecost.
More facts about Pentecost:
Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage feasts when all Jewish males were required to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem.
One theory on why Jews customarily eat dairy foods such as cheesecakes and cheese blitzes on Shavuot is that the Law was compared to “milk and honey” in the Bible.
The tradition of decorating with greenery on Shavuot represents the harvest and the Torah’s reference as the “tree of life.”
Because Shavuot falls around the end of the school year, it is also a popular time for holding Jewish confirmation celebrations.
A hymn which you can use as a prayer to dedicate your life God.
Take My Life and Let It Be
Take my life, and let it be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet, and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be Filled with messages from Thee.
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold: Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Ev’ry pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine, It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own, It shall be Thy royal throne.
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be,
Ever, only, all for Thee. Ever, only, all for Thee.
Words: Frances R. Havergal 1874.
If you would like to know how to become a follower of Jesus Christ,(a born again believer), (a christian), you may like to read my article ‘What is a christian’ at the top of this website.
I also recommend that you watch The Revelation TV Channel on Sky channel number 581 or Freesat channel 692 and Roku box (UK and USA). You can also watch live and catch up programmes on their website http://www.revelationtv.com/ They are a Christian channel. They have live, interactive programmes, which are wonderful for people who are lonely and many programmes that help people learn about the love of God and how to live the Christian life. The presenters and guests make you feel that you are part of the Church family.
If you feel you need God in your life and you don’t know how to find Him and you feel alone, lost, guilty and frightened, I recommend the website from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association www.PeaceWithGod.net