The Holy Spirit And The Church
737 The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ’s faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may “bear much fruit.” 132
738 Thus the Church’s mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but is its sacrament: in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity :
739 Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, as the head of the Body, pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish, heal, and organize them in their mutual functions, to give them life, send them to bear witness, and associate them to his self-offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world. Through the Church’s sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body.
How Is Pentecost Calculated
Although many religions observe Pentecost, albeit with different names and meanings, they celebrate it on different dates.
- Judaism observes Shavuot on Sivan 6, according to the Hebrew calendar.
- Mainstream Christianity observes Pentecost on the 50th day after Easter, inclusive of both days.
- The Church of God observes this holy day on the 50th day starting with the Sunday during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Why are there so many variations in calculating this festival?
What Happens At Pentecost
In the Christian tradition, Pentecost is the celebration of the Person of the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles, Mary and the first followers of Jesus who were gathered together in the Upper Room.
A strong, driving wind filled the room where they were gathered, and tongues of fire came to rest on their heads, allowing them to speak in different languages so that they could understand each other. It was such a strange phenomenon that some people thought the Christians were just drunk, but Peter pointed out that it was only the morning and said the phenomenon was caused by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit also gave the apostles the other gifts and fruits necessary to fulfill the great commission: to go out and preach the Gospel to all nations. It fulfills the New Testament promise from Christ that the apostles would be clothed with power before they would be sent out to spread the Gospel.
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Pentecost Sunday Was A Milestone In The Redemptive History Of The Church In The World
It was Inauguration Day as the Holy Spirit demonstrated the provision of God, the prophecy of the Old Testament, the promises of Christ, faith in the prophecy of the Old Testament, and the words of Jesus. This Pentecost, and every day, is a day to reorient our lives to the mission of God. When we appropriate the power of God available to us in Christ, we are more nearly fulfilling the Great Commission, and in doing so we sing that beautiful spiritual song of the late Presbyterian minister, Daniel Iverson:
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Pentecost Sunday Is The Supernatural Inauguration Of The Worldwide Mission Of God In The World
Some use a memorable but muddled expression to describe Pentecost: The Birthday of the church. While we admit the significance of the public unveiling of the body of Christ to the world, Pentecost is not really a birthday. The churchthe assembly of all of Gods peopleincludes believers in the Old Testament. Did not St. Stephen speak of the church in the wilderness when describing Moses and the people of God?
This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.
We have seen how the Spirit of God catapulted the church through Asia Minor and into Europe, into the British Isles, across the ocean to the New World, and from there to the ends of the earth. We see the glorious revivals that are going on even today in Africa, India, and China. We anticipate the continued movement of the Holy Spirit around the earth with perhaps the Middle East being the next great centering point of revival.
Each of us is born again into the kingdom of God through the supernatural agency of the Holy Spirit. The work of the church is to fulfill the mission of God in the world. And this is accomplished through the empowering of the Holy Spirit for worldwide mission. Pentecost was the inaugural day for this glorious undertaking.
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Peter’s Sermon At Pentecost
But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know–
How Most Jews Calculate Pentecost
In the first century, when Jesus followers observed Pentecost and received the Holy Spirit, there is no mention in the Bible of any concern or disagreement over the date. Yet there were multiple Jewish sectsincluding the Sadducees and Phariseeswho had differing beliefs and practices.
The Sadducees, who were members of the priestly sect, were in charge of the temple and the worship that occurred there. But, as the Encyclopaedia Britannica explains, The Sadducees and Pharisees were in constant conflict with each other, not only over numerous details of ritual and the Law but most importantly over the content and extent of Gods revelation to the Jewish people .
In addition to their disagreements over whether there could be a resurrection, angels and spirit , these competing sects differed in how they understood the instructions for calculating Pentecost found in Leviticus 23.
The Encyclopaedia Judaica says, The Sadducees understood the term Sabbath in these verses literally, hence, for them Shavuot always falls on a Sunday .
But after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70, the Pharisaic beliefs became the predominant teaching of Judaism. The way most Jews now calculate Shavuot is to count 50 days from the annual Sabbath of Passover . This leads to a fixed calendrical date of Sivan 6 each year.
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What Is The Spirit Of Pentecost
What is the meaning of Pentecost and the Spirit of Pentecost?
What is the meaning of Pentecost and the Spirit of Pentecost?
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4
Jesus promised the disciples that once He had left them He would send them the Holy Spirit as a Helper and a Guide. An incredible promise, that when He would no longer be physically among them, the same Spirit that was with Him on earth would come to guide the disciples on the way of truth. On Pentecost that promise was fulfilled, and for the first time mankind were filled with this Spirit of power and truth. The tremendous significance of Pentecost is that now that Spirit is available to all who ask all who obey God. That is the Spirit of Pentecost. In this way God can speak to us.
Read more about Pentecost here
The Holy Spirit In The Old Testament
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit empowered individuals for specific tasks.
- Bezalel’s God-given wisdom and craftsmanship enabled him to become the Tabernacle’s chief architect .
- The Spirit settled upon leaders needing help in administration .
- The Spirit came on warriors facing formidable tasks .
- The Spirit was on men called to proclaim God’s word .
When the Lord wanted a job done, He chose someone to do it. Then the Holy Spirit equipped him or her for the task. He gave power only to certain people and didn’t necessarily remain with them long.
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What Does Pentecost Mean For You
Those who celebrate all seven feasts of the Lord and rehearse their meanings each year continually find deeper meaning in them. You can find the dates for Pentecost and other festivals according to the biblical calculation on our Festival Calendar.
What will Pentecost mean for you this year? Study more in our article The Miracle and Meaning of Pentecost.
The Holy Spirit After Pentecost
Indicating that the Spirit’s involvement with believers would be different than before, Jesus told the disciples, “He abides with you and will be in you” . God’s Holy Spirit had come alongside the disciples during their time with Christ. But following the completion of Jesus’ work on earth, He would dwell within them.
- Every believer has received the Holy Spirit. If Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, then the Spirit is the sap equipping us for the Christian life.
- Furthermore, He no longer comes and goes but rather remains permanently.
- He seals us in Christproof of the promise that we are forever in God’s presence .
Taken from “The Holy SpiritHis Presence” by In Touch Ministries .
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History Of The Pentecostal Movement In America
Pentecostal theology has its roots in the nineteenth-century holiness movement.
Charles Fox Parham is the leading figure in the history of the Pentecostal movement. He is the founder of the first Pentecostal church known as the Apostolic Faith Church. During the late 19th and early 20th century, he led a Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, where the baptism in the Holy Spirit was emphasized as a key factor in one’s walk of faith.
Over the Christmas holiday of 1900, Parham asked his students to study the Bible to discover the biblical evidence for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. A series of revival prayer meetings began on January 1, 1901, where many students and Parham himself experienced a Holy Spirit baptism accompanied by speaking in tongues. They concluded that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is expressed and evidenced by speaking in tongues. From this experience, the Assemblies of God denominationthe largest Pentecostal body in America todaycan trace its belief that speaking in tongues is the biblical evidence for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
A spiritual revival quickly began spreading to Missouri and Texas, where the African American preacher, William J. Seymour, embraced Pentecostalism. Eventually, the movement spread to California and beyond. Holiness groups all across the United States were reporting Spirit baptisms.
The Coming Of The Holy Spirit On Pentecost Sunday
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians–we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” – Acts 2:1-13 ESV
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Regional Customs And Traditions
In Italy it was customary to scatter rose petals from the ceiling of the churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues hence in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy, the feast is called Pasqua rosatum. The Italian name Pasqua rossa comes from the red colours of the vestments used on Whitsunday.
In the northwest of England, church and chapel parades called Whit Walks take place at Whitsun . Typically, the parades contain brass bands and choirs girls attending are dressed in white. Traditionally, Whit Fairs took place. Other customs such as morris dancing and cheese rolling are also associated with Whitsun. “Whitsunday” has been the name of the day in the Church of England. , referred to in Proverbs and the Book of Wisdom, with which the Holy Spirit has often been identified.
In Finland there is a saying known virtually by everyone which translates as “if one has no sweetheart until Pentecost, he/she will not have it during the whole summer.”
How Most Churches Calculate Pentecost
The reason for mainstream Christianitys date for Pentecost is pretty obvious to students of history. Its connected with the change from the biblical Passover to Easter.
The misguided, breakaway version of Christianity, which separated itself from the original Christianity founded by Jesus and His disciples, changed Passover to Easter . At the same time, they also changed its date and meaning.
Those who celebrate all seven feasts of the Lord and rehearse their meanings each year continually find deeper meaning in them. Although there is no biblical directive to observe Easter, the leaders of this church decided that they would observe it to honor the resurrection of Jesusrather than observe the biblical Passover to commemorate the death of Christ.
This version of Christianity set the method for calculating Easter so it could not fall on Passover.
Although this may not have been the direct intent of the calculation, other decrees by the Catholic Church clearly show that anti-Semitism was a driving force behind their reasons for abandoning worship on Saturday and the traditional, annual observance of Passover on the 14th day of the first month of the Hebrew calendar . Their founders despised the Jews and didnt want their religion to look similar to that of the Jews.
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The History Of The Pentecostal Church
The manifestations or gifts of the Holy Spirit were seen in the first century Christian believers and include signs and wonders such as the message of wisdom, the message of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miraculous powers, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues.
The term Pentecostal, therefore, comes from the New Testament experiences of the early Christian believers on the Day of Pentecost. On this day, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples and tongues of fire rested on their heads. Acts 2:1-4 describes the event:
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.Pentecostals believe in the baptism in the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in tongues. The power to exercise the gifts of the spirit, they claim, comes initially when a believer is baptized in the Holy Spirit, a distinct experience from conversion and water baptism.
Pentecostal worship is characterized by emotional, lively expressions of worship with great spontaneity. Some examples of Pentecostal denominations and faith groups are Assemblies of God, Church of God, Full-Gospel churches, and Pentecostal Oneness churches.