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Entries in Feasts (1)

Tuesday
May212013

The Holy Spirit Empowers Us

Today is Pentecost Sunday.  For the Church of Jesus it is sort of like our birthday.  So this will be a perfect day to finish our series on the Work of the Holy Spirit.  We are going to see today that He is the source of power that God wants us to rely upon in this life.

Pentecost Is A Feast Of The Lord

Under the Old Covenant with Israel, God had commanded them to celebrate 7 feasts.  They are sometimes referred to as the Feasts of Israel.  But it is technically more correct to call them the feasts of the Lord.  Pentecost is feast number four in this list if you start at the beginning of the year.

1. Passover

2. Unleavened Bread

3. First Fruits

4. Weeks (Pentecost)

5. Trumpets

6. Day of Atonement

7. Tabernacles (Booths)

The first three Feasts happened several weeks into Spring and thus were called the Spring feasts.  They would happen in rapid succession together.  Pentecost usually is considered a part of the Spring feasts.  However, there is a clear separation of 50 days between it and the first 3 feasts.  Originally the feast was called the feast of weeks because you would count off 7 weeks and then on the next day the feast would begin.  As the Greek language became dominate, the Greek term for 50 (i.e. Pentecost) was used.  Of course with the New Testament being written in Greek, the term stuck.

The last three Feasts similarly happen in rapid succession at the beginning of Fall.  These are the Fall Feasts.  So, the Feast of Pentecost was conspicuous in its separation between the other two groups of Feasts.

Jesus revealed to his disciples that these feasts had prophetic significance.  In fact, each time Israel had celebrated them in the way prescribed by the Lord, they were acting out a prophecy of things to come.  The first 3 Feasts point to the first coming of Christ.  The last three point to the 2nd Coming of Christ.  So what was Pentecost?  Well let’s walk through them.

Passover spoke of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross so that the angel of death (our punishment) would “Passover” us.

Unleavened Bread spoke of who Jesus was.  He was the bread from heaven that had no corrupting influence of sin within him (leaven or yeast) , which was provide by God the Father.  The disciples of Jesus spiritually “fed” upon who he was.

First Fruits points to the resurrection of Jesus.  Not only was he resurrected, but also several Old Testament saints.  They were the first fruits that recognized the later full harvest that would come in and be resurrected to God.

Pentecost was also connected to the harvest.  It was a celebration of the summer harvest and points to the Church being filled with the Power of the Spirit to be a witness to the world.  The last 2,000 years have been a Spirit-empowered harvest time.  Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles all point to the coming of Jesus to be King over the earth.  There will be separation and judgment to the wicked and atonement and grace for righteous.  Those who are worthy will be allowed to dwell with Jesus forever in new resurrected bodies.  Thus we will “tabernacle” (dwell) with him, never to be separated.

All of the first four feasts had their prophetic fulfillment exactly on that day.  Thus we can see the reason for the separation between Pentecost and the other two sets.  Though it would begin shortly after Christ’s fulfillment of the first 3, it would initiate a long period of time in which the Harvest was gathered.  Now don’t get depressed that we are only on feast 4.  When the next three happen they will also happen in rapid succession.  Will they also happen exactly on the feast days?  I guess we will have to wait and see.  It would fit the pattern, but there is no such statement in Scripture.

At Pentecost The Holy Spirit Came To

This brings us to the Feast of Pentecost that happened 50 days after the Passover in which Jesus was sacrificed.  This was the day that the Promised Spirit of God was to be poured out upon the Church.  Now the Holy Spirit had been active in their lives already.  It was the Spirit that had drawn each of them to the Lord and convinced them that He was the Christ.  But this day is the day in which the Holy Spirit came to officially take His place among believers.  He was the Other Helper that Jesus had promised them.  Only this Helper was not limited to a human body.

He also came to supply them with power.  Clearly not all believers had the same scope and level of power in the things they did.  Even Luke records that the Lord did unusual miracles through Paul and Peter.  But all of them were empowered for the ministry and work to which they had been called.  Thus the majority of them were empowered for the “Normal Life.”  You know what I mean: growing up, getting married, giving yourself to a task that helps your fellow-man (AKA a job), raising kids, being a light to the world, and passing the Truth to the next generation.  Do we need God’s power for such tasks?  Isn’t that rhetorical?  Be careful of being dissatisfied with the task that God has given you.  By definition there are few apostles, but many believers.  Paul would start a church but then leave it in the hands of capable leaders who would lead Spirit-filled believers.  We can despise the day of “small things” when we have an inordinate desire for “something better.”  In Jesus there is nothing better than Normal (as defined by God not the world). 

However, we should never let satisfaction be about the mere physical satisfaction of life.  That kind of satisfaction will lead to laziness, drunkenness, spiritual sleep, and even spiritual death.  Thus we should be about our Father’s business: point out Jesus to a lost world.

Lastly the Holy Spirit came to lead them in being a witness to the world of Jesus.  When we think of the picture of a harvest, we see the workers and master as people.  But the truth is that even the wheat being harvested is made up of lost people.  No farmer asks wheat if they would like to be harvested.  You don’t see a guy out in front of a combine trying to convince the alfalfa to just surrender to what he is about to do.  People are more than wheat.  Yet, in the end they must believe and surrender themselves to a process by which they are bundled together with other believers (local churches).  Then, in the midst of that, they are drawn into the Master’s house. 

Final Thoughts

Pentecost is not about strange languages, although God does manifest himself through speaking in tongues.  Pentecost is mainly about harvest.  The Spirit of the Lord takes believers and fills them with His power to be His harvesters on this earth.  He first gives us power to be a follower of Christ.  He also gives us power to open our mouths and speak the words and deeds of Jesus to others.  Lastly He gives us power “to do” like Jesus did, that is to live a Spirit-led and Spirit-empowered life.

Don’t let the pleasures of life cause you to be absent from the Lord’s harvest field.  He is looking for workers.  Won’t you go and labor for Him today?

 

The HS Empowers Audio