The Meaning of Pentecost Sunday
GWEA Monthly Message, June 2019
REVEREND GORDON WILLIAMS
"Pentecost Sunday” is a reminder of the first time the Holy Spirit came down from heaven like the "rush of a mighty wind," and filled them all in the house where they were sitting. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:2-4).
This was the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Joel (Jl. 2:28–32). When Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:5). Jesus tells us there are two parts to being born again. The first part is John’s Baptism of water for repentance of sin which gives us salvation, and the second part is Jesus’ Baptism of the Holy Spirit which allows Jesus to be Lord over our lives (Matt. 3:11; Lk. 3:15–17).
Today it is still necessary to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit just as the first 120 people received it and who spoke out in "tongues”. Speaking in tongues is the evidence to receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). Jesus refers to tongues as "new languages” (Mk. 16:17) and Paul describes tongues as "speaking in international languages" (1 Cor. 12:10). "Speaking in tongues" is traditionally how you would describe "speaking in languages" which are real languages spoken today or somewhere in the past. There are over 6,500 languages spoken today in the world.
This Gift of the Holy Spirit is God’s "new communications system". When used publicly, the messages can be interpreted by people who speak the actual language, or from someone who has the spiritual "Gift of Interpretation of languages” (1 Cor. 12:10). When speaking in tongues privately or alone, the Holy Spirit will edify (or heal) us (1 Cor. 14: 4), and explain "the mysteries in the Spirit" (1 Cor. 14:2).
With our Spirit-given language, prayer is no longer a "guessing game”. This is the reason Paul instructs us, to "pray at all times in the Spirit (meaning in tongues, our Holy Spirit given languages) with all prayer and supplication" (Eph. 6:18). Paul teaches us that there should be no more than 2 or 3 messages in tongues languages with interpretation in any worship service where there are unbelievers or they will think you are crazy or mad (1 Cor. 14:23).
When a person does not use the gift or gifts of the Holy Spirit, "fear" will develop within them. Timothy had this problem 'cause he was not praying in his tongues language every day. Paul tells us how to get rid of our fear: "Hence I remind you to stir up/rekindle the Gift (charisma) of God that is within you through the laying on of hands for God did not give us a spirit of fear (timidity, cowardice) but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind” (2 Tim. 2:6–7).
According to the book of Acts, the gift of speaking in tongues (languages) is the first gift of the Holy Spirit that is given when a person receives the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4, 8:14; 9:17; 19:1 Cor. 14:18; Act 10:45; 19:6). Speaking in tongues is necessary. James reminds us, "no human being can tame the tongue - a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (Jas. 3:8).
The Holy Spirit "tames the tongue” by giving us "self-control” (Gal. 5:23). Then we can be effective "witnesses” for Jesus (Acts 1:8). If you haven’t had your own "Personal Day of Pentecost” with the "signs following” (Mk. 16:17– 20) or need help to stir up the Gift of tongues, please contact me or come to one of our meetings and you can experience your Day of Pentecost.
The gift of tongues is for everyone! (Acts 2:21,37-38; 10:34–35)
If you have not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, I invite you come to one of our house meetings or to contact me for prayer and guidance. If you have a prayer request or praise report, please contact me so we can pray for you!
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