Entries tagged with “Pentecost”.
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Mon 28 May 2012
‘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.’ (Acts 2:1-2)
As I write, it is Pentecost Sunday. Christians all around the world are celebrating the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church that took place in Acts 2.
The Hunk and I had the privilege yesterday of spending time with a small group of on-fire youth at a ‘Young Evangelists Training Camp.’  These young revivalists have a passionate desire to play a part in seeing the world won to faith in Jesus.
And here are some clues that they will see the desire of their hearts fulfilled:
- They are seeking to understand the Father heart of God—for themselves and others
- They are hungry for an intimate relationship with God, and
- Staying filled with the Holy Spirit is an absolute priority to them
Pentecost: Evidence of God’s Heart for the Nations
‘I owe everything to the gift of Pentecost. For fifty days the facts of the Gospel were complete, but no conversions were recorded. Pentecost registered three thousand souls.’ Samuel Chadwick
Pentecost: a Pilgrimage Feast
‘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 their own language being spoken.’ (Acts 2:5-6)
Pentecost was one of the great pilgrimage feasts that required Jews to travel to celebrate in Jerusalem. God had arranged the timing so that at the feast of Pentecost, Jews had gathered from every known nation.
On the Day of Pentecost, the Jewish pilgrims heard a massive commotion.
As they were drawn to the noise of the tumult, they heard a heavenly sound. Declarations of praise to God in their own language!
That day, 3,000 became Christians—and many of those present that day would have returned to their own homelands with the message of the Gospel.
The heart of God was already reaching out to the nations, preparing the way for the establishment of the church in those regions.
Pentecost : the Harvest Feast
“Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.’ (Ex 23:16)
The feast of Pentecost had a symbolic significance.
Pentecost, also known as the ‘Feast of Weeks’, was a joyful time of celebration and thanksgiving for the harvest.
In Exodus 34:22, we read that Pentecost is a celebration of the first fruits of the wheat harvest. And the people of Israel would bring offerings of new grain to present to God. 
At the same time that the Jews were celebrating the physical harvest at Pentecost, the church was celebrating the harvest of 3,000 souls—because the great Harvester, the Holy Spirit, had arrived on the scene.
The Message of Pentecost
Pentecost tells me that the Holy Spirit did not just come for those in the upper room—He came for those outside of the room.
“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.” (Acts 1:8)
This generation has the opportunity to fulfil the desire Jesus expressed in Matt 28:19—to have disciples from every people group on the face of the earth.
The message of Pentecost is that the work of world evangelism is not to be done in our own strength, but in the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
 This was an initiative of Youth For Christ Australia
 On the day of Pentecost, the first-fruits of the wheat harvest were represented as two loaves of bread. (Lev 23:17) Some commentators believe that this represents both Jews and Gentiles being brought together as one in the church. (Eph 2:14)
Pentecost: How God Exploded My Box
The Greatest Evangelist In The World Today
How You Can Have An Intimate Relationship With
The Holy Spirit
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church
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Mon 13 Jun 2011
As I write, it’s Pentecost Sunday—a time when many of us pause to remember and celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and reflect on what that means for us today.
I had been a Spirit-filled Christian for 20 years, and I thought I knew all there was to know about the Holy Spirit.
But then God showed up in unexpected places and revealed just how little I really knew.
Upon reflection, I can see that I had the Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit all wrapped up in a neat little package.
My ‘box’ was comprised mainly of two compartments—the role of the Spirit in my personal life, and His role in church life.
In the first, I knew the Holy Spirit as my Comforter, Helper, Teacher and Leader—the One sent to empower me in my Christian life. This is the Holy Spirit as revealed by Jesus in John chapters 14-16.
In the second compartment, I knew the Holy Spirit as the One who distributes spiritual gifts to the church (1 Cor 12:4-11). This expression of the Holy Spirit—in my experience back then—was largely confined to church meetings and church services and church life in general.
This second also included my expectation and joy of the Holy Spirit’s Presence being felt, and His power being manifested, in church meetings and church services. And as a prophetic worshipper, I particularly loved this aspect of the Spirit!
But then in 1995, some things began to happen for which I had no prior frame of reference.
Surprised by the Holy Spirit
At that time, The Hunk and I experienced a fresh encounter with God personally. Our love for Jesus overflowed as we sought to reach out to people around us with the good news of salvation.
The Holy Spirit showed up in our neighbourhood, moving amongst unchurched people—people who had never stepped inside of a church building.
- There were answers to prayer requests made on the behalf of non-Christians.
- There were Divine appointments—seemingly ‘coincidental’ meetings or circumstances that were clearly arranged by God to lead someone closer to faith in Jesus.
- One time, friends and I prayed for a neighbour in our living room. She fell to the ground, overcome by the power of the Spirit as she experienced God’s love. And she wasn’t even ready to give her life to Jesus.
- There was the guy we had been praying for who called us one night in alarm—he was physically feeling the power of the Holy Spirit and he wanted us to explain to him what was happening.
‘Why God—You’re Here!
One evening I was visiting a neighbour who did not know Jesus. In our conversation, I referred to the troubles and escapades of my younger years.
Surprised, she asked me what had taken place in my life to cause such a change in me.
I began to share my story—the testimony of how I came to faith in Jesus and the changes that happened in my life as a result.
Whilst I was talking to her, I noticed something taking place in the room. The manifest Presence of God—the anointing of the Holy Spirit—filled her lounge room.
I had never known such a thing. We weren’t in a church service. There was no worship taking place, no spiritual ambience at all.
In fact, we were in a dark house, which smelled of cigarettes and the family dog and had witch puppets hung around the walls.
On the outside, I was still talking, but on the inside, I wondered in amazement: ‘Why God—You’re here!’
The Holy Spirit of the Book of Acts
I realise now that although I knew the Holy Spirit personally, and experienced His ministry in church life—I did not know the Holy Spirit as He is revealed in the book of Acts and in the life and ministry of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit—like Jesus—has come to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He loves people and wants to reach them in partnership with us.
When the Spirit came upon the waiting believers on the day of Pentecost, the manifestation of His arrival drew thousands of people from around the area.
When Peter shared the Gospel, 3,000 were saved as the Spirit caused conviction to rend their hearts.
The Holy Spirit didn’t just come for those in the upper room—He came for those who were outside of the room. And so it is today.
A Reservoir, or a River?
‘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.’ John 7:38-39
As the years go by, and as The Hunk and I visit from church to church, we recognise that many Christians have a limited knowledge and experience of the Holy Spirit— similar to the ‘box’ I described above.
This is not surprising when you consider that there are two contexts in which we primarily teach on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our churches today.
- Discipleship, where the infilling and baptism of the Spirit is taught in the context of spiritual growth
- Spiritual Gifts and ministry in the church
As a result, our personal lives and churches have become like reservoirs—we expect that thirsty people will come to us and drink. And we wonder where the crowds are.
But Jesus has called us to be releasers of the life of the Spirit—people and churches from whom the Spirit flows like a continuous river.
A River bringing transformation and life wherever we go—in our homes, in the streets, in our neighbourhoods, our schools and universities, in our workplaces, hospitals and supermarkets.
In our suburbs, our communities, our towns, cities, states, our nation and the nations of the world. (Acts 1:8)
This is the purpose of Pentecost.
And this is the vision I live for.
Read more about this subject in the following posts:
The Greatest Evangelist In The World Today
What Pentecost Tells Us About God’s Heart For Nations
The Secret Of Living An Undivided Christian Life
When Non-Christians Encounter God’s Power They Learn Of His Love
This article is related to my book, ‘How To Be A Supernatural Christian In Your Everyday World:’ a beginners’ guide to prophetic evangelism.
Find out more about the e-book here:
‘How To Be a Supernatural Christian In Your Everyday World’
© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog
On team with David McCracken Ministries
Do you have any more ideas or thoughts on the topic of the Holy Spirit and ‘Pentecost: How God Exploded My Box?’ ? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
Wed 8 Dec 2010
Who is the greatest Christian evangelist in the world today?
Do I hear someone say, ‘Billy Graham,’ or ‘Reinhard Bonnke?’
The greatest evangelist on earth today is the Holy Spirit, and He lives inside of you and me  (John 14:17).
The Fullness of the Holy Spirit
I want to know and experience the Holy Spirit in His fullness—not just in part. This means embracing all He is and everything He has come to do in and through me.
The Holy Spirit empowers us and aids us in living the Christian life. He provides spiritual gifts for ministry; He is our Comforter, Helper, Teacher and Guide.
However, the disciples did not only receive Him as Helper. They also received Him as the One who would empower them to witness—share the good news of salvation and lead people to Jesus (Acts 1:8).
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, He announced His arrival with wind and fire… and with 3,000 people turning to faith in Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:41)
Power From On High
It was October 1994, and I was reading Charles Finney’s book, ‘Power From On High.’  In his commentary on the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1-2), Finney wrote:
‘We have the same promise that they had… Let us, then… accept the commission; fully consecrate ourselves, with all that we have, to the saving of souls as our great and our only life work. Let us go to the altar with all we have and are, and lie there and persist in prayer until we have received the enduement.’
I recorded in my journal:
‘I was greatly struck by Finney’s comment that our ‘life work’ is the saving of souls. Like so many others, I have considered this to be someone else’s lifework and not my own. If this IS true (and I believe it is), then there are great ramifications.
Have I accepted Christ’s commission as my own commission? Dare I?
If I have not accepted the appointing, how can I expect the anointing?
My reflections on Finney’s work coincided with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our church and upon us. At that time I was set free from three years of emotional and physical pain—but the impact of the Spirit’s visitation did not stop there.
The tangible Presence of the Spirit on our lives and in our home spilled over to our neighbourhood. The Hunk and I saw salvation and miracles happen in the lives of people around us as a result.
As I look back on this past year of 2010, I see the same pattern. An outpouring if the Spirit on our personal lives has resulted in the drawing of people around us to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit Loves and Leads People to Jesus
The Holy Spirit is intimately involved in the process of salvation.
In the same way that the Spirit hovered over the waters at creation, He is at work, moving unseen in the lives of those of people around us who do not yet know Jesus. (Gen 1:2; 2 Cor 5:17)
The heart of the Holy Spirit is that of Jesus, who came to ‘seek and save the lost’. (Luke 19:10)
The heart of the Spirit is that of the Father, whose desire that no person perish moved Him to send and sacrifice His Son. (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9)
The Spirit of God loves people passionately and indiscriminately.
4 Ways that the Holy Spirit Helps in Evangelism are:
1. By testifying to people of the Gospel’s truth (John 15:26, Acts 5:30-32)
2. By confirming the message of salvation through answers to prayer—signs, miracles and the operation of spiritual gifts (Heb 2:4, Rom 15:19)
3. By bringing conviction that leads people to repentance (1 Thess 5, John 16:8)
4. By empowering Christians to be witnesses (Acts 1:8, Luke 24:46-49)
The Holy Spirit empowers ordinary Christian believers to be witnesses, but He also directly impacts the hearts of people who need salvation, convincing them of their sin and need for a Saviour.
Our prayers, our faith, and our actions help determine whether or not the Spirit is released to do His work.
What if you are not Gifted in Evangelism?
Maybe, like me, you would say that you are not gifted in the area of evangelism.
It is true that there is a gift and an office of evangelist (Eph 4:11, 2 Tim 4:5). An evangelist is empowered and called to make evangelism a primary focus of their ministry, as well as to equip the church for evangelism.
Can someone who does not a have a spiritual gift of evangelism be an effective witness?
Here’s the ultimate test: can an introverted, prophetic-intercessor-type person like me lead people to Jesus?
Evangelism may not be my personal strength, but my Divine Partner, the Holy Spirit, is the greatest evangelist in the world today.
- I am also a part of a Christian community that shares my passion to bring people to Jesus.
I have discovered that my inability is not a handicap to the Holy Spirit. The pressure is off. Instead of striving, I need only focus on cooperating with the Spirit, as He loves and leads people to Jesus.
How can we Partner with the Holy Spirit in Evangelism?
Here are some keys that can help:
1. Be filled with the Spirit
If you have already been baptised in the Holy Spirit, pray for a fresh infilling (Acts 4:24-31)
2. Acknowledge the evangelistic role of the Holy Spirit and take time to reflect on what that can mean for you and the lives of people around you
3. Recommit to being a witness—sharing the good news about what Jesus has done for you with people around your life
4. Pray for those around you who don’t know Jesus and believe that the Spirit is at work in answer to your prayers
5. Watch out for Divine appointments. Look for what the Holy Spirit is doing in people around you and simply cooperate with Him.
 This statement is made to my Christian readers who have been ‘born again by the Spirit of God.’ (See Titus 3:4-17) If you are not sure whether this relates to you, here is a great resource:
 Power From On High, Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875). The book can be viewed here:
A Beginner’s Guide To Prophetic Evangelism Part 1
How You Can Have An Intimate Relationship With The Holy Spirit
You Don’t Need A Special Gift To Be A Supernatural Christian
Pentecost: How God Exploded My Box
What Pentecost Tells Us About God’s Heart For Nations
© Helen Calder 2010 Enliven Publishing http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/
Now on team with David McCracken Ministries
If you you have any thoughts or experiences to share on the topic of the Holy Spirit, the Greatest Evangelist in the World Today, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below. If the comments section is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.