PENTECOST

 

PENTECOST

1When the day of Pentecost arrived; they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

3And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

5Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?

9Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—

we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

ACTS 2:1-11

COMMENTARY

Fifty days had passed since our Lord was crucified, and Jews and converts, from all over the known world, were coming to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Weeks, where they thanked and offered God the first grain, as commanded in the Law (Leviticus 23:15-21).

The disciples had waited faithfully the command and promise of Lord Jesus, to wait in Jerusalem until they had received ‘the baptism of the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 1:4-5).

Maybe they were the first ones to receive the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem; or maybe the same manifestation occurred in other places at the same time. We do not know this, but most likely, it occurred only in Jerusalem and not every believer was abled to be present; however, 120 of the Jerusalem community were present that day in the upper room, most probably the same place the apostles had celebrated the Last Supper with Jesus 50 days before (Acts 2:15).

The Holy Spirit descended over each of them, Mary the Mother of our Lord, Mary Magdalene, the Apostles and many other men, women and children as it was promised from God (Joel 2:28; Acts 2::17).

The Scripture also tells us that this phenomenon, the descend of God’s Spirit into human beings, making them Temple of God (1Corinthians 6:19), could not happen before Jesus had been glorified (John 7:39). That for two reasons. Only through the complete sacrifice of atonement could a human being be clean and condition to receive God in himself; and Jesus had to be resurrected and seated at the right hand of the Father, for God to send the Holy Spirit in replace of Jesus as Head of the Church on Earth (John 16:7).

The descend of the Holy Spirit into redeemed humans, means the realization of the Plan of Salvation, Jesus won for us, for all those who in faith and repentance surrender to God, through the person of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:16).

The Holy Spirit shares the divine nature with our human nature, sealing us as God’s own redeemed and starting the process of sanctification in us (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; 1Corinthians 6:11; 1Peter 1:2) until we become completely according to the image of Jesus (Ephesians 4:13) in Glory.

There is nothing a man can do to attain the Spirit of God, except accept it from Jesus, and co-operate with his stimulus to obey God’s will, pray according to his will (Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 6:18-20), and grow in sanctification every day.

The event at Pentecost was unique. Many people use the fact that either the Apostles spoke in other tongues, or that the listeners understood them in their own languages, to deny Glossolalia, saying that to speak in unknown languages it is not the ‘gift of tongues’, and therefore, it is non-existent today. This is a common mistake.

The 120 people present that day, spoke in different languages, because it marked the birth of the Church in the new era. The announcement of Jesus in Glory, of faith in Him and repentance, and Baptism in water, to receive for first time in history, the Holy Spirit of God in them (Acts 2:38) was preached for the first time, and this gift of tongues, was given to pass this message of salvation to all humankind. This time, not only Jews were called to repentance, but every human being, women and children, Jew or Gentiles, poor and rich. Everyone was invited to salvation through faith in Jesus the Son of God. The ‘other’ gift of tongues, it is not to preach the gospel, but to intercede pass our own limitations before God, in a manner that only the Spirit of God knows; and that gift is permanent, as well as the other gifts God has given to his Church.

In Pentecost, God the Father, opened the doors of Heaven, through the redemption of Jesus and the sanctification of his own Spirit, to all humanity, and the Christian Church was born, under the eternal headship of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever”

John 14:16

Omar Flores.

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