PENTECOST 30 A.D.
The day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. was an extremely significant occasion in the plan of God. On this Pentecost, one method by which a person could gain salvation ended and a new and better method began. On this Pentecost, the first covenant with national Israel began to come to an end and a new and better covenant was established for future generations of Israelites, the first sons of the Father's New Creation, and the rest of humanity. In addition to the enactment of a new covenant, many prophecies reached their partial or total fulfillment.
Wait in Jerusalem
Before and after his death and resurrection, Jesus promised to send the holy spirit to reside within those whom the Father calls to salvation:
"If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will petition the Father, and he will give you another comforter that he may remain with you forever the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see him, nor know him. But you know him, for he abides with you, and shall be in you" (Jn.14:15-17 Para.). See also Jn.16:13-14.
Power From Heaven
It is important to note that the power of the holy spirit was available to the disciples on a limited basis while Jesus was with them. However, Jesus promised the permanent residence of the holy spirit within those who are truly converted to the Father's way of life:
"And he said, Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day; and that this message of salvation should be taken from Jerusalem to all the nations; There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me. You have seen these prophecies come true. And now I will send the holy spirit upon you, just as my Father promised. Don't begin telling others yetstay here in the city until the holy spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven" (Lk.24:46-49 LBP). See also Acts 1:4-8.
Here, we see Jesus prepares his disciples for the moment when the Father would do the following:
The Day of Pentecost
Exactly 50 days after the lift offering and the ascension of Jesus Christ to the Father to be accepted as the first-fruits of the harvest of humanity, about 120 people, including the disciples, gathered to observe the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:12-15).
Some Bible Scholars believe that the disciples and the others gathered in one of the large rooms or porches of the temple that were available for public use. This may be true, because the temple area could accommodate over 200,000 people, and a large number of people heard those who had received the holy spirit speaking in foreign languages. The meeting of the 120 at the temple would have also made it easy for Peter to speak to the large group of people of whom nearly three thousand accepted Christ as their savior. See Acts 3:8-11; 5:12; Jn.10:23-25.
This particular Day of Pentecost was an extremely important day for those gathered at the temple and for the rest of humanity. The fact that the disciples were gathered together on Pentecost should tell us that these followers of Jesus still felt that the Feast of Weeks was to be celebrated. Why else would they have been gathered together on the first day of the week, a day which would have otherwise been a normal work day? Why would they leave their homes, jobs, and other responsibilities unless this day was an observance that was still required as a part of their worship of God?
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place" (Acts 2:1 KJV).
The English phrase 'was fully come' is translated from the Greek word 'sumpleroo', which indicates a specific point in time. This day of Pentecost was not like any other Pentecost in history; this particular Pentecost was on a specific point in time that had been set aside before the creation of the earth as the ending and the beginning of many things within God's plan for humanity.
Both the prophetic and symbolic meanings of this day were fulfilled in exact detail in accordance with the prophecies concerning God's promise of salvation under the New Covenant.
In the Fullness of Time
Before this specific Pentecost, God the Father had sent his son to fulfill his plan for the redemption of humanity and to make it possible for them to become a part of his family. This Pentecost was the day that a large number of the prophetic first-fruits of the wheat harvest would be adopted by the Father into his family as his sons.
"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, having come out of a woman, having come under the law, that he might redeem the ones under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba! Father!" (Gal.4:4-6 Para.).
The Fire of God
"And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them" (Acts 2:2-3 KJV).
Before the advent of Christ, we cannot find any record of such an event occurring, and there is no reference to it ever occurring again after the advent of Christ. This was a one-time event that was performed for a very special purpose at a very special moment in history.
During this Pentecost, the fire of God descended upon those who were present. This was the fire of the spirit that was present when Moses met the Creator God at the burning bush. This was also the fire that descended upon Mount Sinai, upon the tabernacle, and upon the temple that Solomon built in order to show that the Creator God had placed his name and presence there.
It is important to understand that the fire of God consumes all things that are impure, because nothing impure can dwell in the presence of God. However, the people that were present this Pentecost were not impure; they were chosen by God the Father to be among the first of humanity to partake of his divine nature. They had been purified through the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ; therefore, they were not destroyed by the power of God that came to rest upon and within them.
Just as this fire descended upon the tabernacle and upon the temple that Solomon built, on this festival of Pentecost, the spirit-fire of God descended upon the children of the New Covenant; thereby, the Father had placed his name and presence within a new Temple where he would meet with his people.
On this Pentecost, the place where it was necessary to worship God was changed from a physical building to a living temple of flesh. This is the hour Jesus spoke of when he told the woman of Samaria the hour would come when God's place of worship would be changed and people would be able to worship the Sovereign Father in spirit and in truth (Jn.4:19-24).
The Holy Spirit
As the fire from God rested upon those whom the Father had chosen to become his sons, the holy spirit began to reside within them, and they were transformed into spiritual sons of God at that moment.
"They were all filled with the holy spirit and began to speak in foreign languages as the spirit gave them the gift of speech" (Acts 2:4-6 The Jerusalem Bible).
"And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language" (Acts 2:5-6 KJV).
This was the first proof that those people who were touched by the fire of God had indeed received the holy spirit and had been made a part of the Family of God. See Jn.14:21; 15:1-7; Rom.8:9-11; Gal.6:18; Phm.1:25.
Notice that all of the foreign languages that were spoken by these people were understandable to the listeners, without the need for an interpreter. Perhaps this miracle was not only of speaking foreign languages, but also of understanding for those who were listening.
These Galileans were speaking in the particular dialects of those present:
"And how hear we every man in our own tongue [dialect] wherein we were born?" (Acts 2:8 KJV).
"How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native languages?" (Acts 2:8 The Jerusalem Bible).
In Acts 2 verses 9 and 10, there are at least 17 different language groups referred to. The thing that was so astonishing to those who were present was the fact that each person heard the wonderful works of God spoken in their own particular language.
"We hear them speak in our language the wonderful works of God. And they were amazed and were in doubt, saying one to another, What does this mean? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine" (Acts 2:11-13 Para.).
Many people clearly understood what was being said, whereas others apparently did not.
There is no doubt that, on this Day of Pentecost, both speakers and hearers were the beneficiaries of a special miracle from God. There was no incoherent speech, no unknown languages to decipher, no interpreters were neededall those who were intended to understand the message understood it clearly.
The prophetic importance of this manifestation pointed to the fact that God was beginning an effort to proclaim his message of salvation to other people besides Israel.
"But Peter, stood up with the eleven, and said to them, You men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, know this, and pay attention to my words: For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day [about 9 a.m.]" (Acts 2: 14-15 Para.).
Nine o'clock in the morning is a very important time because this is about the time that the Lift Offering of barley flour was made during the days of Unleavened Bread. The Lift Offering was symbolic of Jesus Christ as the first-fruits of God the Father's spiritual harvest of humanity.
Nine o'clock in the morning was also the time when the two leaven loaves of bread from the first-fruits of the wheat harvest were presented to God for his acceptance. In Acts 2:14-15, we see the acceptance of these individuals as sons of God by the imparting of the holy spirit; they were the first-fruits of the summer harvest of humanity.
Why is this important? It is important because, on this particular Feast of Weeks, the prophetic and symbolic meaning of the leaven loaves of wheat bread that were offered on this feast day are fulfilled in those who receive the holy spirit of adoption as sons of God the Father in his spiritual family.
"But this is what was spoken of by the prophet Joel; And it will come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my spirit; and they shall prophesy" (Acts 2:16-18 Para.). See Joel 2:28, 32; Isa.44:3.
The giving of the holy spirit on this day of Pentecost was only the beginning of the prophecy of Joel; the last half of this prophecy will be fulfilled through the power of the spirit just before the first resurrection and return of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. See our study papers on this subject.
Peter's Powerful Sermon
As the people listened to Peter speak about the prophecies, God the Father caused many who stood there to understand the events surrounding this Pentecost in relation to their own personal salvation.
"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the holy spirit. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:37-39 KJV). See also Deut.28:14-15; Rom.11:27-29.
There are four very important things to learn from these verses:
1. After Peter had finished explaining the prophecies about the coming of the holy spirit and the murder of Jesus who was the prophesied Messiah, he exhorted them to repent of their evil deeds.
2. Through the preaching of Peter, God the Father revealed to these people the prophetic significance of the Passover that had just been observed and the events that were happening at that moment in time.
There can be little doubt that some of those whom Peter addressed understood that they had participated in the murder of their Messiah and Savior just as the prophesies had foretold. In great fear and shame, they asked Peter, "What shall we do?"
3. Peter gave them a method by which they could have their sins forgiven and be transformed into sons of God:
4. Peter explains that this call to repent, be baptized, and receive the holy spirit is made by God the Father to those he specifically calls and chooses to give an opportunity for salvation:
"With many other words he [Peter] 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" (Acts 2:40-41 NIV).
"And the Lord added to the church daily those who should be saved" (Acts 2 47 Para).
On this Day of Pentecost:
Pentecost a Day of Transformation
It is very important to firmly establish in one's mind that the New Testament writers were inspired to repeatedly record the great differences between the physical and the spirit worlds, and that a human cannot enter into the spirit world unless they are completely changed into spirit.
On this day of Pentecost, the first step in the process of being transformed from a mortal human into an immortal God being was begun for those who were found to be under the redemptive power of the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ.
Standard and Optional Equipment
The Standard Equipment
The first human life-form is a physical creation with only the spirit of man. This spirit of man is human and lives within a flesh and blood body. The human spirit is standard equipment; it is the intellect that allows the human life-form to exist on a higher plane than the rest of the physical creation. See Gen.2:7-8; Deut.32:18; Job 33:4, 6; Ecc.12:5-7; Zech.12:1.
The Optional Equipment
The optional equipment in man is the Father's holy spirit. It is this spirit that transforms humans into sons of God and makes them a part of his divine family.
At the time of spiritual transformation, the Father places his holy spirit into the spirit of man, which causes a human being to become a different life-form. The original spirit of man is merged with the spirit of God and becomes a new spirit-beinga new and different creation. It is unlike the original creation because it has the potential to have eternal life and become immortal as a member of the Family of God. Man's spirit alone does not have this potential and humans can only exist as sentient beings in the physical dimension. The addition of God's spirit transforms the human spirit into a new creation with entirely new potential.
The Beginning of a New Life
The Day of Pentecost is symbolic of the ending of one's old life and the beginning of one's new life as a son of God.
In the baptismal waters, the old human life-form symbolically dies. During this ceremony, the person is purged of all sin by the power of God through the sacrifice of Christ and is released from their death sentence. Upon being baptized with the holy spirit, the old person literally dies and ceases to exist as God the Father merges his spirit with the human spirit. The baptized person with God's spirit is a new creation, a son of God, with the same genetic make-up as other members of the Family of God. Although still physically alive and in the physical form of a human, a converted spirit filled person is a new creature. See Rom.6:4-9:
"For in that he died, he died to sin once: but in that he lives, he lives to God. Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom.6:10-11 KJV). See Rom.8:1-16.
As Christ is dead to sin, so are those of the New Creation; they can consider themselves to have already obtained immortality. All that they must do to ensure that they will enter into eternity and immortality after the death of the physical body is to continue to obey God and follow his ways.
God the Father and Jesus Christ possess the highest form of life: immortality on the divine plane of existence. This kind of life springs forth from itself; it is not dependent upon any other source to sustain it because it is self-sustaining. It is this kind of life that those of the New Creation have the opportunity to have through the power of the spirit of God that resides within them.
The Spirit of Adoption
"For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery again to fear, but you received a spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba! Father! The spirit himself (itself) witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, also heirs; truly heirs of God, and joint heirs of Christ; if indeed we suffer together, that we may also be glorified together" (Rom.6:14-17 KJV).
When a person is transformed from the original human creation into the New Creation by the power of God's spirit, that person becomes a child of God in the Family of God.
The reason that God's spirit is a witness of a person being a child of God is that the spirit of God has merged with the human spirit, which produces the New Creature: a composite of the spirit of man and the spirit of God. Jesus Christ was one (the first) of these new creations before being resurrected to eternal life and immortality.
The Third Step
The day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. represents the third of four steps in the process of transforming a human from a lower physical life-form (Heb.2:5-8) into a higher spiritual life-form:
The Divine Nature
On the Day of Pentecost, through the Father's spirit-power, his new children were made partakers of his divine nature:
"Grace to you, and peace be multiplied by the full knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. As his divine power has given to us all things pertaining to life and godliness, through the full knowledge of the One calling us through glory and virtue, by which means he has given to us the very great and precious promises, so that through these you might be partakers of the divine nature, escaping from the corruption in the world by lust" (2.Pet.1:3-4 Para.).
Revelation Through the Spirit
In addition to all the other events that occurred on this particular Festival Day, the Day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. was the day on which God began to reveal the understanding of the prophecies, mysteries, and time tables concerning his plan for the salvation of humanity.
Paul says that it is by the power of God's spirit that these hidden mysteries are revealed because this spirit has access to all knowledge. See 1.Cor.2:9-10; Dan.12:9-10.
1.Corinthians 2:11-14 KJV
"For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the spirit of God. But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the spirit from God; that we may know the things freely given to us by God. Which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in words taught of the holy spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things" (vs.11-13).
Paul reminds the Corinthians that they are not human as others are human, but they have been given the spirit of God. They are a new creation and have been given access to knowledge and understanding from God. This understanding includes God's plan for the salvation of humanity, who and what God is, and many other things pertaining to the spirit realm.
"But a natural man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (v14).
A human with only the spirit of man cannot receive or understand the things of God because they are of the original human creation. The elect of God, however, are not of the original creation; they are a new and different creation, which has both the spirit of man and the spirit of God combined to make a different creature.
Spirit Power Given
"You have seen these prophecies come true. And now I will send the holy spirit upon you, just as my Father promised. Don't begin telling others yetstay here in the city until the holy spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven" (Lk.24:48-49 LBP).
"And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands upon the sick, and they shall recover" (Mk.16:17-18 KJV).
"But you shall receive power, after that the holy spirit is come upon you: and you shall witness unto me both in Jerusalem, and Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8 KJV).
The Early Church
The Elect did go forth evangelizing and spreading the truth of God concerning the Kingdom of God and salvation. Their spiritual zeal literally changed the course of history (Mk.16:20). However, it was not in the plan of God to save the whole world during Jesus' lifetime nor during the apostolic era of the church. See Isa.6:8-10; Matt.10:34-36; 13:10-15; Mk.4:11-12; Lk.8:9-10.
Few people realize the awesome power that was placed in the hands of these early Christians on this Day of Pentecost, and few people understand the freedom with which these Christians were authorized to use this power. There are at least 21 distinct authorizations of spiritual and physical gifts noted in the New Testament that were given to the organized and unified Body of Christ. See our study paper on the spirit of God.
Each of these authorizations was to be used to build the early church into a powerful and dynamic force: "For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body" (Eph.4:12-13 Para.). See also 1.Cor.12:8-10; 28-30; Rom.12:3-8; Eph.4:7-11.
There are many accounts in the New Testament of the Apostles and others using their powerful authorizations of spirit-power to perform their commission to preach the gospel of Christ and the Kingdom of God. See Acts 3:43; 5:1-15; 6:8; 13:8-11; 15:12.
The apostles and others performed miraculous works at their own discretion using the power given to them on the Day of Pentecost. However, as dynamic and powerful as the people were, they ceased to exist as a powerful organized entity.
After the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and following the death of John, the organized preaching of the gospel on a powerful basis ceased as prophesied. See Jn.16:1-3.
The concentrated spiritual and physical power of the 'holy people' dissipated, which made an organized, powerful work impossible. From that time to now, there has been very little recorded about the true Elect of God. The only remaining records of them were those of their enemies.
Greater Power to Come
The great work that was begun on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. will be completed in the end of the age through this same spirit power. Only, this time, the power that is authorized will be unlimited:
"And I will also pour out my spirit on the slaves and on the slave-girls in those days. And I will give signs in the heavens, and in the earth: blood, and fire, and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord" (Joel 2:29-32 Para.).
Just before Jesus Christ returns, the dynamic power of the holy spirit will again be manifested through the children of God (both men and women) as they complete their commission that began on the Festival of Pentecost in 30 A.D..
These are the elect who will have the ability to defy the very laws of the physical universe through the power of the holy spirit. No spiritual or physical power will be able to stop them from performing their God-given task until it is accomplished.
The Prophet Habbakkuk:
"Behold you among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, you will not believe, though it were told" (Hab.1:5). See also verses 1-4.
The apostle Paul issued a prophetic warning to those of his day and those in the future in regard to Habakkuk's prophecy:
"Beware therefore, lest that come on you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you in no wise believe, though a man declare it to you" (Acts 13:40-41).
Jesus also spoke of a people who would use the power of the holy spirit in a greater way than he did:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he that believes on me, the works that I do he shall also do, and greater works than these he shall do; because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the son. If you ask any thing in my name, I will do it" (Jn.14:12-14 Para.).
As powerful as the apostolic era of the church was, they did not do a greater work than Jesus. They did perform many great acts, miracles, and a powerful witness, but none were greater than the works of Jesus.
Just Before Christ Returns
Just before the return of Christ, the elect of God will do this greater work; they will do a greater work because they will have the kind of faith, power, and protection necessary to accomplish a greater work.
Who are These People?
"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have a little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liarsI will make them to come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you" (Rev.3:7-10 NIV).
These are the elect of God who will comprise the organized, unified, powerful Body of Christ at the very end of the age, and they will complete the commission that was given to those of the early church. Notice that Jesus grants them so much power that 'no one can stop them' from accomplishing their task.
They will perform such powerful works and be such a powerful witness that a great number of people will be converted and obtain salvation. Through the power of the holy spirit, this church will devastate the religions and governments of this world at the climactic end of human rule.
The following three things distinguish the Day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. from all others before and since:
1. On this festival day, the spirit of the Sovereign Father, the spirit of Christ, and the Father's holy spirit were placed within those whom the Father chose to become the first sons of his new creation. See 1.Jn.14:9-11,23; 10:34-38; Lk.24:46-49.
2. The place where God chose to be worshiped was transferred from the Temple at Jerusalem to temples of flesh (Jn.4:19-20), which is evidenced by the tongues of fire and the miracle of languages for preaching the Father's good news message. Since this Pentecost, the earthly temple of God and the place where his presence has dwelled is within his children wherever they are on this earth. See 1.Cor.3:17; 6:19; 2.Cor.6:16.
3. The New Covenant was established (Jer.31:31-34; Heb.8:8-10).
By B. L. Cocherell, file b5w52