When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from heaven like a mighty rushing wind, and tongues like fire sat on each of them, and they all spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. Most of us think of Acts 2:1-4 when we think of Pentecost, but the first Pentecost was known as Shavuot in Hebrew, the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Pentecost is not just a New Testament thing. Way back in the wilderness, God initiated the holy day of Shavuot (Pentecost) to completely bring the children of Israel into His ways. Then, centuries later, when the Holy Ghost was poured out on the one hundred and twenty, God gave us His power.
Pentecost is a reminder that the Word and the Spirit go together. There are portions of the body of Christ that believe healings, miracles, and signs and wonders are passed. They tend to say we believe in healing, just not the gift of healing. I have observed that many of those people have allowed that stance to make them passive even when they pray for healing. Faith contends it doesn’t quit. Conversely, some are so Spirit-oriented that they neglect the Scripture, are carried off by ridiculous manifestations, and are concerned more about dreams and visions than biblical preaching.
I have found myself on both sides. Growing up in the Word of Faith and Charismatic meetings, I have seen antics that are not the Holy Ghost and lifestyles that don’t model the fruit of the Spirit. I became frustrated, and the pendulum swung to the other side throwing off the hunger for revival and the supernatural. As believers, we must contend for purity and power, holiness and healing, sanctification and the supernatural, worship and Word.
Our God is not an either-or God; He is a both-and God. Therefore, as we enter this Pentecost season, let us determine to be a people of the Word and the Spirit. Each year as Jews celebrate Shavuot, they view it as each person receiving the Torah afresh. What would happen if, on Sunday, we all went to church expecting to receive the Word of God in a new way and a fresh baptism of the Holy Ghost?
Ephesians 5:18 in the Complete Jewish Bible tells us to keep on being filled with the Spirit. Being filled isn’t just the first time you speak in tongues it is a continual thing. Just as we receive the Word every time, we read it and speak it. The Word changes the way we think (Ephesians 4:23). The Spirit leads and guides us every day, but the question is, are we paying attention? Do we know the presence and the voice of the Spirit in our lives?
In Genesis 28:16, Jacob awakened out of his sleep and said, “Undoubtedly, Adonai is in this place – and I was unaware.” Samson went out to defeat the Philistines, not realizing Delilah had cut his hair, and the anointing departed. That people could be without the Spirit and not know it is unnerving. Now some will say we live in the New Covenant, but that does not matter; Paul wrote that we could quench the Spirit, which means to repel Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19), and we can grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). The Holy Ghost is not a force, a tongue, or an absent yet guiding spirit; he is a Spirit like God and has emotions.
John 14:16-17 LSB “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, that He may be with you forever;17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him. You know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”
Is the Spirit functioning in your life in those ways? Are you paying attention to the nudgings and voice of the Spirit? Take time this Pentecost weekend and renew yourself in the Word and ask the Holy Ghost to fill you afresh and help you walk in the purity and the power of Scripture.