by Rev. Dr. Toni M. Caldwell
The very first Harvest Feast, which is now called the Pentecost, was held fifty days after the ancient Hebrews were delivered from bondage and commemorates the revelation of the Law at Mount Sinai. It was a celebration of the wheat festival in the ancient times. The Jewish people continued the Pentecost worship to God for thanksgiving every year along with many other festivals. Because of this celebration, it is called Pentecost. Pentecost means fifty, or fiftieth, or fiftieth day, or fives times ten. It also means people entitled to vote or people attending worship.
Pentecost also commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Christian Trinity. Some call Him the Holy Ghost and some call Him the Holy Spirit, and He is the One and the Same. The Holy Spirit had brought about the pregnancy of a peasant virgin girl to bear the Son of God. The Holy Spirit enabled the aged Simeon to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. At Jesusí baptism by John the Baptist, John saw a vision of the Holy Spirit like a dove that set upon the Messiahís head. The Holy Spirit is a Person and is God, and these events took place before He formally arrived on the Day of the Pentecost.
Seven weeks had passed since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Jesus appeared to His apostles in person many times that proved that He is definitely alive and the Son of God. Jesus told His apostles to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Gift that He and the Father in heaven had promised as another Comforter. That is to be baptized, not with water, as John the Baptist did, but with the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is to give great power to testify about Jesusí death and resurrection.
The apostles continued to stay in Jerusalem after Jesusí ascension into heaven. They held many prayer meetings in an upstairs room of the house where they were living. The prayer meetings went on for several days with about 120 people present.
So the Day of Pentecost came in Jerusalem while the apostles continued to wait for what the Lord had promised. Several women including Mary, the mother of Jesus and the twelve apostles: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, Simon, Judas (son of James) were present. The one elected by the apostles to take Judas Iscariotís place, Matthias was present. The brothers of Jesus were also in a house together celebrating the Lord.
Many religious people came and met on that day for the Pentecost celebration and were nearby in the area. They had come from within Jerusalem and from every country of the world known to man. The religious people came from Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocca, Pontus, Ausia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Rome, Crete, Arabia and regions of Libya near Cyrene. Many of these people spoke in many different languages.
All of a sudden, noises are coming from the sky like sounds of a roar or thunder and a mighty windstorm. The wind is blowing very hard with little or no rain, probably like a tornado. It feels like a fresh breeze and smells like a breath of fresh air. The apostles and everyone in the house could hear the roar and feel the breeze moving into the room where they were living. They saw the lightning moving quickly inside of the house that looked like very bright and beautiful tongues of fire. The lightning moved toward them very, very rapidly and the flames of fire settled on the apostlesí heads and touched each person present. All those present were filled with the Holy Spirit.
While the Holy Spirit took over, the disciples began to speak with a sweet taste of different languages. Each person began to speak of the wonderful works of God with great joy. Many people were greatly amazed because they could hear men telling in their own languages about the mighty miracles of God.
People came running to see what was going on. They were shocked to hear their own languages being spoken by the disciples. A crowd gathered as all of them continued to hear each of their languages.
Other people made fun of the Believers by saying they had been drinking and were drunk.
Peter spoke up by telling the crowd that they were not drunk and it is too early in the morning, around 9:00 a.m. Instead it is the power of the Holy Spirit upon everyone. Peter spoke of the prophecies of King David and how King David knew that Jesus has the authority to send the Holy Spirit. That is what they are hearing on this Pentecost Day. Peter convinced the crowd that they should ask God for forgiveness of their sins, be baptized in Jesusí name and receive Godís gift of the Holy Spirit.
About 3,000 people asked God for the forgiveness of their sins. They accepted Jesus as their Savior, got baptized and received the Holy Spirit on that Pentecost Day. All the believers met together continuously. They shared with each other, selling their possessions and dividing with those in need. The Christians worshipped together regularly each day, met in each otherís homes, and shared meals with thanksgiving and praise.
Many people are still accepting Godís Holy Spirit today and getting baptized. Christian churches still observe Pentecost Day on the seventh Sunday after Easter. The Holy Spirit is still on the earth and He still reveals all the things Jesus said to the apostles and God the Father continues to reveal Himself to His people. The Spirit of God comes to bring salvation, healing, miracles, blessings, joy, life, beauty, happiness, love, freedom and comfort for everyone who accepts Him, and much more. He can even stop time and start it back again. He comes with lightening, thunder, rain, hail, strong winds, sleet, snow and a bright, warm, clear, sunny day. The Spirit of God comes to dwell within us and He also comes in Person. He is God Almighty.
copyright 2000 Rev.Dr. Toni M. Caldwell
Used by permission