Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

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Jan, of Jan and Tom's Place, has set aside Wednesday as Come to Jesus Day. I have Bible Study every Wednesday so am fed the Truth of Jesus each Wednesday anyway, but today I was literally fed as we celebrated the Feast of Weeks!
The Jewish feasts have a deep spiritual meaning to the Christian as well. In each one of these feasts, Christians can see one of the ministries of Jesus Christ in the earth. The feasts are a type or a symbol of the ministry of Jesus on earth. Christ’s ministry on earth while He was a man was a fulfillment of many Old Testament promises. On the feast of Pentecost (or Weeks – Shavout), Jesus Christ gave the promised Holy Spirit to His disciples who were waiting in an upper room in Jerusalem. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit came the blessing of the “firstfruits” – a grain offering given 50 days after Passover. Pentecost was a fulfillment of the “former rain” (the Holy Spirit) which brought the first fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost (Shavuot) is a biblical memorial day given to the people of God as a special day for worship. From the New Testament perspective, it is (among other things) a day to celebrate that first "outpouring" of the Holy Spirit upon the church that John the Baptist had predicted (Matthew 3:11). This first happened within the Jewish community. Sometime later, a similar event occurred at the house of Cornelius, an Italian family, when the Gentiles experienced a phenomenal "outpouring" (acts 10:45). Today we have this continuing promise of God through the Apostle Peter, "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39). This means it is available to you also!
The word Pentecost is found only in the New Testament (Acts 2:1). It is identified in the Old Testament as the "Feast of Weeks" (exodus 34:22) and the "Feast of Harvest" (Exodus 23:!6). Pentecost, a Greek word meaning fiftieth, signifies that it occurred fifty days after the high priest offered to God the firstfruits of the barley harvest (Leviticus 23:10,11). Initially, this feast (as well as the other two great annual feasts, Passover and Tabernacles) was an agricultural festival.
Pentecost embodied many spiritual and prophetic demonstrations about the work and ministry of the coming Messiah. In fact, the entire life of our Lord was foreshadowed by a precisely timed series of events. The coming of the Holy Spirit is no exception. After the ascension of Jesus (Yahshua) to the right hand of God and His becoming our High Priest, the next great event was the baptism in the Holy Spirit(Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). It is not surprising, therefore, that the writer of the book of Acts informs us that this event occurred "when the day of Pentecost had fully come...."
The complete saturation of believers with the Holy Spirit bestows many supernatural gifts and enablements for declaring the Good News with power and effectiveness (Acts 1:8). This is reasonable, for if the work of God could be accomplished through human abilities, the "enduement (or clothing upon) with power from on high" would be rendered unnecessary and meaningless.
Some of the spiritual abilities with which the church was endowed are these: word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, and speaking with tongues, both heavenly language and foreign languages of men (1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 13:1). You will discover that gifts to the ministry are included in this equipping. (Ephesians 4:8,11).
Simply stated, this Holy Spirit baptism was for the equipping of those who would be used of God with whatever they needed, on any occasion and under any circumstances, to be an adequate witness and to work the works of God (John 14:12).
Today, more than ever, we must have these spiritual talents working in us so that the gospel of the kingdom may be published into all the world for a witness before the end comes (Matthew 24:14). The fact that Pentecost is also identified as the Feast of Harvest gives us some spiritual insight concerning the harvest of souls that God desires to be reaped from the earth. The Bible teaches that Jesus was the Son of man who came to sow good seed--the word of God (Luke 8:5-11). The church is the reaper sent forth for harvesting (John 4:38; Matthew 9:38). Through Spirit-filled witnessing, the harvest of earth will be reaped. It is for this reason that Jesus made the declaration "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me...unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The people of God can never be effective and productive in this harvest without an abundant anointing or baptism of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost symbolizes ANOINTING FOR THE HARVEST. A yearly observance of this biblical memorial day by the church serves to remind us of our total dependence upon the Holy Spirit to give us the guidance and anointing we must have for this spiritual harvest of earth. The apostle Peter referred to it as a "time of refreshing."
Our Ageless Bible study has been studying the empowerment of the Holy Spirit without which we are unable to do our Kingdom work in sowing seed, spiritual healing, or pushing back the gates of hell. We celebrated the "First Fruit"(Our wonderful Holy Spirit) of the harvest today.PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your detailed post on the Pentecost. I've heard of it before but never knew what it was. The power of the Holy Ghost is truly wonderful. If we(I) are still and humble enough to hear it.

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