Jesus came to deliver us from fear, especially fear of death.
Heb 2:14-15 “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”
Why are we still here?
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”
There is no greater joy than sharing this hope with someone else. This sets people free. There is nothing more satisfying and more fulfilling and more worthwhile than sharing this precious truth because this has eternal benefits.
What has been your experience in introducing Jesus to other people? How did it make you feel when they received Him for themselves?
Luke 24:49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
Acts 1:1-5 “In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. 3 During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God. 4 Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. 5 John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
This path to Pentecost is very interesting. There are several post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. He showed Himself alive through many infallible proofs that He had raised from the dead. This point was key to the gospel. (1 Cor 15) Every preaching in the book of Acts always included that Jesus came out of the grave and was alive. They were eyewitnesses of this fact. The requirement for Judas’ replacement was having known Jesus from the beginning of His earthly ministry and being a witness to His resurrection.
A man’s word to what he had seen was as valid as any video back then. It was extremely important, the very crux of the message was not just the cross, but the resurrection. That was their focus. Praise God for what He did for us through His death, but He sealed the deal when He came out of the tomb.
Why was it so important that Jesus died for us? Why was it so important that He rose from the dead (also for us)?
Jesus wanted them to know He was raised from the dead. That’s why He stayed around for 40 days. He was giving them the commands, the Great Commission, found in all four gospels and Acts. To understand the completeness of it, you’ve got to know all of them.
Jesus had already appeared to the women at the tomb, then to some disciples on their way home, then that same day at evening He appeared again to ten of them (minus Thomas) in a locked room. They were still afraid. We always attack Thomas for being a doubter, but they were just as fearful and doubted.
John 20:20-21 “As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.’”
God never turned His back on Jesus, He was feeling the guilt that everyone else felt for their sins. God was in Christ. God not only spoke the words, He did the works. We have the same promise that the Comforter that was with them would be IN them.
He isn’t just Emmanuel—‘God with us.’ He wants to be the Holy Ghost—‘God IN us.’
2 Cor 3:17 “For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
Why is it so important that God is not merely ‘with’ us, but IN us? How does being (overwhelmed/baptized) filled with His Spirit change your life?
The Kingdom isn’t located here or there, it’s a Spiritual Kingdom. It is IN you. It will make you and me lively stones, part of His body. God does everything. He is not a one dimensional God. He’s beyond even three or four or ten dimensions. He’s all the dimensions. He has a multitude of purpose for us.
1 Cor 15:4-8 “He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.”
Paul made a complete turnaround. He went from having a letter to kill all who called themselves Christians to ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?’
There are at least 14 post-resurrection appearances between the gospels and the book of Acts as well as Paul’s explanation in 1 Cor 15.
It’s possible that there were more than 1500 people who saw Jesus after the resurrection. (They counted only the men back then.)
Jesus showed up to Peter on the beach. At the time, Peter hadn’t forgiven himself for denying Jesus and had lost all hope of being able to be used in ministry. So, he went back to fishing. Jesus asked him if he loved Him more than his fishing and what he knew. Peter had a choice and he chose to ‘feed My sheep.’
How has Jesus forgiven and restored you? How has your life been changed as you’ve obeyed Jesus’ call to you?
On May 6, we are at that point, just five weeks away from Pentecost. In the Jewish world, this was a very important time. They were commanded to go to Jerusalem at least once a year. On the day of Pentecost, people from many, many nations were there. It mentions those specific nations because to mention more would fill up chapters. Often, people from far away would come for Passover and stay through Pentecost. So, many of those people saw all that had happened, from Jesus’ death on a cross through to His resurrection and up to the Day of Pentecost. So, at Pentecost, they were given an eye-witness to the purpose of Passover.
We are just one week away from His ascension. We’re thinking about the times He was commanding them and the Great Commission. Jesus didn’t start with ‘Go.’ Matthew 28 and the Great Commission starts with ‘receive.’ It ends with that same thing. You’ve got to receive the Holy Ghost and power in order to have something to give.
He had all power and wanted to give that to us through His Spirit.
Acts 3:6-7 “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”
You’ve got something to give. Freely you have received, freely give! It all began with a commandment to receive the Holy Ghost and then to go. Thank God that the name of Jesus in any language works!
God’s Word has been translated into over 3000 languages. He speaks all languages. His promise is for you and for your children and for all that are afar off!
Jesus commanded His people not to leave Jerusalem until they received that Holy Ghost. It’s the oil that powers the lamp, it’s the fire that lights the lamp, it’s the power that comes from on High!
The people were daily in the temple praising and blessing God. They faithfully were in that temple worshipping, praising, and blessing God. When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were filled with the Holy Ghost. You can only receive with hands lifted focused on Him, praising and blessing God.
Acts 1:2 “Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.”
From the front to the back of the house, it was filled.
Acts 1:3-4 “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.”
Sinai was the birthday of the Jewish people. This was the beginning of the church. God visited in visible signs to fulfill His promises. Everything was prophesied about Jesus. God was showing them ‘this is the fulfillment of the giving of the law.’
Jer 31:33 “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
When we come to that place of repentance, like dying on the cross with Him, our lives become just fuel for fire in His presence. When we lay ourselves on the altar, He can consume us with that fire, Holy Ghost fire in our bones.
Are you willing to come to Jesus daily and allow Him to use you as fuel for His Kingdom to see others saved? What will you change today in order for that to happen?
Jesus still comes. Pentecost is not just one feast day per year. Since that day, it has been made available like a river that flows. Every day you can receive the Holy Ghost. We are living in the days of the Latter Rain, the Greater Glory.
The Holy Ghost is for YOU. It’s for EVERYBODY!
This Bible Study excerpted from a sermon preached by Evangelist Monty Showalter.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!