God has a Master Plan pictured by seven annual festivals. The first festival is Passover. It pictures the Messiah--Christ-- who volunteered before the foundation of the world to be slain as the Passover Lamb, the Savior of the world. The second festival, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, pictures overcoming sin. But how do we overcome sin? Is it by our own strength and willpower? Could Jesus do any spiritual works, including obedience to God, with just His human strength? (John 5:30; 8:28). Where did He get the necessary power? (John 14:10). The Father “dwelt” in Jesus through the Holy Spirit! Did Christ promise the same spiritual help to His disciples? (John 14:16). What is the "Comforter"? (John 14:26). Does Christ, through the Holy Spirit, live in His followers today? (Romans 8:9-10; Colossians 1:27; I John 3:24).
The day of Pentecost is the day the Holy Spirit became available to all of mankind. To all who would repent of their sin (sin is the breaking of God’s law - 1 John 3:4) and would accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Notice what Christ had told his disciples before this day came, “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you...” (Acts 1:8). Then Peter said unto 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.” (Acts 2:38).
Notice what the Bible says about the natural way we are, which is - void of the Holy Spirit, “... the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7) Have you ever noticed how many religious people believe and talk against the law of God as if it were a bad thing? This scripture seems to imply that the natural man, void of the Holy Spirit of God, cannot bring himself to appreciate the law of God. It is only by receiving the Spirit of God that we can come to appreciate and understand the law of God. The law is the very standard by which your life can be transformed for the better and obedience is the key that allows God to work through your life. The Holy Spirit is the very power of God, without it - it is impossible to please Him. Notice, “...Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” (Romans 8:9). This is the distinguished mark of a real Christian. There is nothing more critical than receiving the Spirit of God. It is the very enabling power of God that can transform your life. It is God’s helping hand in times of need.
There is a definite "way" to receive the Spirit of God. Confession is not enough, going down to the altar is not enough, belief is not enough. There must be willingness to unconditionally surrender your will to Him. Notice what Acts 5:32 says about obedience being necessary to receive the Spirit of God. To have the Spirit of God is to receive a very part of the mind of God, the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:14-16). The Holy Spirit is the power that can transform your life.
Pentecost also represents the first fruits of God’s harvest. The very word firstfruits implies that there will be another harvest later. Jesus said plainly, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). Comparatively speaking, God has been drawing only a few in this age, but for a great purpose. Those now called are part of God's spiritual firstfruits--the first group to be offered salvation. Those now called have been called first--for the special PURPOSE of being prepared for God's Kingdom! God's firstfruits will become Christ's ruling and teaching assistants, helping teach the true way to salvation to everyone in the world tomorrow. They have been called for the special service of preparing to eventually help bring the knowledge of salvation to the vast majority!
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
For a more in depth study of this annual Holy Day see Lesson 3 of the Holy Day Series.
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