Good morning everyone! I have been up since 4 something in the morning and I am excited to write about what the Lord has shown me today! It’s about Jesus ascending into Heaven, the day the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven in Holy wind and fire, how the Spirit spoke through Peter in power immediately afterwards, and how the church first began in that Holy Spirit power! Hallelujah!
After Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, He appeared to His followers for forty days before He ascended into Heaven. He spent time with them, ate with them, and taught them about the Kingdom of Heaven. Just before it was His time to ascend into Heaven and sit at the right hand of the Father, Jesus reminded the apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the gift of the Holy Spirit. He spoke to them of this promise many times before He was crucified, perhaps the most famous is when Jesus spoke about streams of living water.
“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you receive the Holy Spirit of God inside of you! That is not a metaphor or analogy! God’s Holy Spirit literally resides within you! So, let’s take a look at what happened after Jesus was glorified!
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 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. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
How awesome is that! Jesus hangs out with them for forty days after raising from the dead, He reminds them of the promised Holy Spirit and encourages them regarding the power they are about to receive, He ascends into Heaven, then two angels show up to remind them He will be coming back someday! 33 A.D. was an amazing time to be alive! How blessed those men were! Praise the Lord!
This was a dangerous and scary time for the believers. The Jews and Romans had just crucified Jesus a little over a month earlier. Christians were being persecuted and staying in Jerusalem was not safe, but they obeyed Jesus and bravely waited for the gift. This is what happened just a few days after Jesus ascended into Heaven, just like He had promised.
“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.”
What an incredible gift from God! I can testify that the Holy Spirit still sounds like a mighty wind at times! Take a look at my post titled “My Lazarus Moment” to find out why!
As you can imagine, this caused quite a commotion and it drew the attention of many people outside. In fact, it caused such a stir that a crowd forms and Peter begins to preach to them in his newly received power from the Holy Spirit! It’s funny how he has to set some of them straight.
“Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
Isn’t it just like human beings to mock such an amazing event! These men are speaking a great variety of languages, which there is no way they could have spoken without God’s power, but still there are people who scoff at God’s wonders!
Peter’s first sermon in the power of the Holy Spirit is given to the crowd who heard the sound of the Holy Spirit coming down from Heaven! Here is how he addresses the crowd (it’s funny when he reminds them what time it is).
“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd:
“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
” ‘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. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”
Those are powerful words! He tells them straight to their faces that they killed the Son of God! Peter continues by explaining that King David had prophesied about the Messiah and Jesus fulfilled it. Jesus came through the lineage of Abraham and King David (Matthew 1:1-17)!
“David said about him:
” ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’
“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 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. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
” ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
What a powerful sermon! Peter goes step by step through Old Testament prophecy and clearly explains to them that Jesus is their Messiah! Peter was preaching in the wisdom of God through the power of the Holy Spirit! Just like Jesus promised, he had received power when the Holy Spirit came on him! What was the reaction of the crowd to such life changing news?
“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Great question, and that brings us back to the Scripture pin! The answer Peter gives still holds power for our time just like it did in their time! It is also how the church began in the power of the Holy Spirit–check it out! Here is that pin again:
Did you hear that?! When you repent (which in Greek is metanoia, which literally means to change your mind) of going your own way and choose to turn to God by receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior by faith, your sins are forgiven and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit! Yes, the same Holy Spirit that came down from Heaven in a mighty wind and fire on Pentecost! That eternal promise is for you and your children and for everyone in the whole world! The Holy Spirit is given freely to all who believe in Jesus Christ!
What was the result of this powerful Holy Spirit filled sermon that came through Peter? Let’s find out!
“With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
3,000 people getting saved in one day from one sermon is the power of the Holy Spirit folks! Praise God! And what did this new on fire church in the power of the Holy Spirit look like?
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
That my friends is the historical account of the Holy Spirit coming down from Heaven to earth! What a beautiful picture of Holy Spirit power and anointed fellowship among believers! Amen! May our churches glorify God in the same way! I highly recommend reading the entire book of Acts to learn of all the wonders and miracles the Apostles were able to do in the power of the Holy Spirit!
If you do not know the Lord Jesus yet, I plead with you as Peter did, save yourselves from this corrupt generation! Our generation is just as corrupt and sinful as theirs was and we need a Savior just like they did! Receive the free gift of salvation that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ and receive the free gift of the Holy Spirit! Streams of living water will flow from within you just as Jesus promised!
Here is a look at what kind of power you will receive when the Holy Spirit comes upon you just like Jesus said!
That is real power for living righteous lives folks! It’s like having super powers, but it’s even better because it is literally God’s Holy Spirit living inside of us! The Holy Spirit actually seals us in Christ and it is God’s deposit in us that guarantees our inheritance in Heaven!
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”
Do you want to be set free from sin and death? The promises of forgiveness of sins, salvation, and Holy Spirit power through Jesus Christ are still being offered to you today! I pray with all my heart that you receive that great truth today!
Grace and peace to you all in the Powerful Name of Jesus! He is faithful to His promises and He will come back someday just as He did when He ascended into Heaven!
Thank You Jesus!