John 20:19-22 “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:”
Hosea 6:1-3 “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”
Luke 24:36-40 “And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.”
It was only 12 hours after Jesus was resurrected that He appeared and pointed them toward the next big event. He pointed towards Pentecost.
Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Just as Passover was not complete without the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai, so the cross is not complete without Pentecost. Really Pentecost is not the end, it’s just the beginning. God made the disciples wait until the Day of Pentecost. This is wonderful symbolism to teach us God does all things well.
The disciples preached from the Old Testament. The New Testament is really a commentary on the Old Testament. You need to read the Old Testament in order to understand fully the New Testament.
These people were agriculturally based. Their calendar was agriculturally based. There were 3 major feasts. The first one was Passover. That was the very day that Jesus was crucified. On that afternoon, at 3pm when Jesus died, that was when the Passover Lamb was sacrificed.
Passover is linked to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They ate unleavened bread for 7 days. Leven was symbolic of man’s doctrine and sin. Passover had to do with repentance, cleansing, getting things out.
In the Passover Seder, they dust the house and scrape up old bread crumbs and take it out of the house.
The second feast is the Feast of Pentecost (or the Feast of Weeks). It’s when they bring a omer of barley at the beginning of the harvest. Pentecost is 50 days (seven weeks and one day). Those 50 days represent their wandering from Egypt through the Red Sea to Mt. Sinai. Pentecost represents the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai.
The 3rd and final feast is the Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Booths). They still do it today. They build little lean-to’s on the side of their houses remembering staying in their tents for 40 years as they wandered in the wilderness looking ahead to the Promised Land. This has to do with remembering the wandering and being ready to go into the Promised Land.
Jesus was emphatic when He said they needed to get ready. He opened their understanding to why He had to die and be resurrected, but ‘Don’t leave, until you get the power.’ It’s a beautiful plan.
The Giving of the Law is what they considered the birthday of Judaism in the earth. So it is that according the New Testament, in Peter’s own words, ‘God poured out the Spirit at the beginning.’ The beginning of the church was on the Day of Pentecost. They weren’t a church until they were filled with the Holy Ghost. This is a great parallel. The nation of God on earth. That’s why He told Nicodemus you must be born again. He thought his blood line saved him. Not so. Jesus was direct.
Nicodemus didn’t understand. ‘You’ve got to be born of water and Spirit to enter the kingdom.’
I John 5:7-8 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”
John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Natural birth begins at conception. There must be contact with the male and female. Peter says it’s by the seed of God, but it’s got to have a counterpart, our faith.
Heb 4:2 “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
Is conception birth? No. But is there celebration? Yes. There is excitement and things change. Walls are painted and some new things are brought in. When we by faith respond with repentance and there is a conception in our hearts, some people think that’s new birth. They stop right there. You’ve got to go to Pentecost. It’s not done. Neither is the birth accomplished. Nine months go by. Growth happens. Then, the water breaks before the baby is born. That is a type of baptism.
In fact, during the time of Jesus the concept of baptism wasn’t new. People understood it. If you were going to convert from paganism to Judaism, you had to be baptized. Even at the Feasts, there were purification rites where people were baptized. These are pools for ceremonial cleansing. This was called the birth of water (not sprinkling, but full immersion). The priest would push that person and hold him down (not in an attempted drowning but symbolically) and that person would have to fight his way signifying the baby fighting his way through the birth canal. A new name was given then. It was a divorce from the past and a rebirth into the new. (They even had to get remarried if they had been before.)
I Cor 10:2 “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”
It was important that they got out of Egypt. Repentance is your start and journey. They had to pack up everything, eat the lamb, and walk out when the time was right. They had to step out. They would’ve been back into slavery if they had not gone through the water. The water was a boundary between them and Egypt and (in this case) annihilated Pharaoh’s army.
Miriam couldn’t contain herself. ‘He has triumphed gloriously. The horse and rider is thrown into the sea.’
Then, you gotta get from the Red Sea to Sinai. As the fire descended on the mountain, so God gave a clear sign, just the same as on the Day of Pentecost.
On day 43, Jesus commanded them. Luke says they returned to the city blessing God, with great joy. They were continually in the temple for the next 7 days. On the Day of Pentecost about 9am the Holy Ghost fell. They were all filled and began to speak. It’s the Spirit that speaks in us. It’s by that Spirit that we cry, ‘Abba Father’.
Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This was in the language of men or angels.
The Holy Ghost, just like God spoke audibly at Sinai, so He speaks to His own at Pentecost and today. The Road to Pentecost, Jesus over and over opened up their understanding and admonished them to get to Jerusalem so they could receive that Spirit He wanted to give them. Calvary (death) and Easter (resurrection), is not finished until we get to Pentecost.
‘Men and brethren what shall we do?’
Acts 2:37-39 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.”
At Sinai He wrote the law on tablets of stone, through the Holy Ghost, He writes the law on the tablets of our hearts. He still declares it today. The promise is still for you.
Mark 16:17 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;”
Acts 1:4-5 “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Written by: Monty Showalter, Evangelist
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.