Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Thoughts on Shavuot / Pentecost

What significant events happened on this day?

Speculative History:  Giving of the law to the children of Israel during the Exodus at Mt. Sinai.  (1300 BC)

Biblical History:  The “Day of Pentecost” (baptism by fire) was the transformation of fearful (Mark 14:50) disciples into (bold) apostles.  Yeshua told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the baptism by fire. (30 AD)

Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like a violent wind blowing came from heaven and filled the entire house where they were sitting. And tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)

They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. All who believed were together and held everything in common, and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)

What was the purpose of the fire baptism?

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) – (Preach the gospel to the world.)

Was this the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy?

When the people questioned what was happening Peter referenced Joel 2:28-32

But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: ​​​​​​​‘And in the last days it will be,’ God says, ​​​​​​‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, ​​​​​​and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, ​​​​​​and your young men will see visions, ​​​​​​and 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. ​​​​​​​And I will perform wonders in the sky above ​​​​​​and miraculous signs on the earth below, ​​​​​​blood and fire and clouds of smoke. ​​​​​​​The sun will be changed to darkness ​​​​​​and the moon to blood ​​​​​​before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. ​​​​​​​And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ (Acts 2:16-21)

Do we have a future expectation for this day?

Speculative Future:  During the time of tribulation (Jacob’s trouble) when the need is greatest upon the earth for the gospel to be preached, we will again need the outpouring of His Spirit, to be emboldened and to be His witnesses, a light in the dark.

Let us look forward, not with fear, but with hope and anticipation for the future fulfillment of this day of Pentecost in our lives.