“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” Acts 1:2-4 (NIV).
This is the Sunday that churches around the world will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. Many religious scholars also refer to this as the birth of the Christian church. After his resurrection, Christ walked the earth for 40 days. During that 40-day period, He regularly would reveal Himself to the disciples as convincing proof that He had risen from the dead. The Bible denotes that one of those meeting had more than 500 people in attendance. Jesus instructed His disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father. However, only 120 of them took heed and made it to the upper room.
Ten days later when the festival was in full swing, the Holy Spirit came rushing down from heaven like a violent wind. The sound of the wind in our text reminds me of the conversation I’ve had with those who have experienced tornadoes. They describe an unusual whistle that sounds like a train coming down the tracks. You always can hear it before you can see it.
When the Holy Spirit appears in the room where the disciples are sitting, it is like a ball of fire that separates and becomes tongues of fire. These tongues of fire rest on each of them and their words are changed forever. From that day forward, their testimonies are fervent and full of passion.
They become effective witnesses to those who were attending the festival in Jerusalem for Pentecost and from there, they go into the entire world to preach the gospel.
God loves celebrations; in scripture, there are three major Jewish festivals in a year. As a representation for the family, each male was required to attend Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. As the church celebrates Pentecost, the Jews celebrate Shavout, the coming of Torah in the time of Moses and the birth of the nation of Israel.
There is power in Pentecost because it is a wonderful blessing to know Christ as Savior and to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He brings the joy of the Lord, and the joy of the Lord is our strength and the strength of the Lord is our joy.
Deason is senior pastor of Liberty Prayer Chapel, executive director of the Liberty County Manna House and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.