The word “Pentecost” designates the 50th day after Passover, which was a Feast Day. Also known as the Feast of Weeks, Feast of Harvest, or Shavuot.
It was on this day, in the Book of Acts, that the Holy Spirit was poured out on 120 Followers of Christ who were gathered in an Upper Room in Jerusalem. It was on this day that the Church was born in a Blaze of Glory.
Pentecost or Shavuot has many names in the Bible (the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, and the Latter Firstfruits). 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 Firstfruits." 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.
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 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 baptized 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 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.
Interesting Facts About Pentecost:
Dr. Jerry Vines (FBC Jacksonville, former Pres. SBC) said that The Average Christian And The Average Church are Somewhere Bogged Down Between Calvary and Pentecost. They have been to Calvary for Pardon, but they Have Not Been to Pentecost For Power.
Bethlehem means God With Us.
Calvary means God For Us.
Pentecost means God In Us.
Those statements should transformed our understanding of the person and the work of the Holy Spirit. The average Christian is much like the Ephesians believers when the Apostle Paul came to them in Acts 19:2 and said to them - Did You Receive The Holy Spirit When You Believed? They Replied that they didn’t even know that there was a Holy Spirit. Many Christians do not understand the role of the Holy Spirit and they have not appropriated the power of the Holy Spirit in their own personal life.
We need to Recapture The Power, which was experienced in such a mighty way when the church met together in the upper room, and the day of Pentecost Occurred.
Pentecost is Not a Denomination. Not Pentecostalism, Not a holiness church or a belief. But the Special Promise of the Father.
Pentecost is Not a Denomination, but is an Experience every Blood – Bought Child of God Should Receive.
We are privileged to live in a generation when God is again pouring out His Spirit in a Mighty Way.
The Rain of the Holy Spirit is falling on the Dry, Religious Ground of our day to give Sweet Refreshing to Weary-Hearted Christians and Also to prepare the Precious Fruit of the Earth for Harvest.
Harvest is at the Heart of Pentecost.
The Promise of Pentecost. In Peter’s sermon Acts 2:38-39 NIV Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The Promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call."
In effect he said this Outpouring of the Spirit is not a Special Blessing for a Special Few in a Special Age. IT IS FOR ALL who have Truly Repented And Believed the Gospel. It is for all who have Found Remission Of Sins in the Blood of the Lamb.
The Real Question is Not whether as a Christian you Have A Right to the Gift of the Holy Spirit, but whether you have Claimed that Right and Availed yourself of this Glorious Promise??? Have you been Filled with the Holy Spirit?
Many of us have allowed the Devil and Religious Tradition to Rob us of the Power of God. Religious Tradition says the Gift of the Holy Spirit was for the Apostles, just to get the Church started, or, just for the Early Church, to help them win pagans and heathen to Christ. LOOK, There’s More Lost People, Pagans And Heathen, in the world today than there ever was.
Peter said the promise is unto you –to all who were hearing his voice, and to your children, the Next generation, and to all that are afar off – that’s throughout the ages, even unto the 21st Century – to you and to me. Even for all whom the Lord shall call – that means For All Who Get Saved And Follow Christ. The promise of the Holy Spirit is for All People Who Receive The Call to Repentance. Since God is still calling people to Salvation, THE PROMISE IS GOOD NOW!!!
Dr. John R. Rice, said, “There is an experience after Salvation, called the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. All Saved people do have the Holy Spirit. When someone is saved, the Holy Spirit puts him into the Body of Christ. But besides that, Christians ought to be filled with the Holy Spirit and special Soul-Winning Power. Saved people are not always filled with the Holy Spirit, They Ought to Be, and Can Be, but many are not.“
Joel: 17 "’In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
Who made the Promise? -- God the Father made the Promise. Acts 2:33 NIV Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. Acts 1:4 NIV On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about.
Luke 24:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high."
Acts Chapter 8 tells about a revival in Samaria where A Deacon Preached many believed and were baptized. Later the Apostles laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 9 Saul of Tarsus got saved, three days later Ananias laid hands on him and prayed for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 10 the whole household of Cornelius sat and listened as Peter preached the Gospel unto them. While he was preaching, “the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word.” V. 45, “…on the Gentiles also was poured out the Gift of the Holy Ghost.”
In Acts 19, Paul found certain disciples in Ephesus who didn’t know anything about the Holy Spirit. Paul laid hands on them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.