Pentecost — 5-28-2013
Jesus said, If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. It was an invitation and at the same time a commandment. It is recorded 4 times, so must be important. (Matt. 16:24;, Mark 8:24, 10:21; Luke 9:23). The ‘come after’ part means to go along with someone, to follow, as in ’emulate what I do, behave and live like I do.’ The ‘deny’ self part is obvious. Following and denying are just about even in importance and degree of difficulty, I’m thinking..
The cross was the destiny of Jesus, to achieve the redemption of mankind. When we take up our cross, we are accepting our personal destiny in God, as Jesus did. Denying ‘self’ is the only way to step into that destiny, as in “not my will, but Thine be done.” Sometimes it isn’t explained to new Believers, so there are “Christians” who have accepted salvation not knowing there was more to do. I was one of these.
The “more” and taking up the cross began in Scripture on the Day of Pentecost. When we are saved, we receive the Holy Spirit inside us, the abiding presence of ‘God with us.’ When we receive the gift/baptism of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16) it is an anointing ON us, as when the Holy Spirit dove descended and rested upon Jesus. (Luke 3:22) And the tongues of fire fell in the upper room. This is a separate encounter with the Spirit of God apart from the time at salvation. One is inside and one is outside. One is knowing Jesus as Savior and one is knowing Him as Lord and Master.
The power of Pentecost forged a group of dejected, frightened disciples into a force that went on to change the world. They had the power to say with David, The zeal of God has consumed me! Power to witness to cynical, suspicious friends and family. Power to live holy lives in an unrighteous, pagan world. Power to face the future because their God had them and their future in the palm of His hand. (Acts 2).
It is impossible to over-emphasize these truths: Denying self. Accepting divine destiny. Praying for and receiving the anointing of power from the Holy Spirit. There are those today who want to avoid the cross. These want the blessings of life in the Spirit, but do not want to die to life in the flesh, to “self.” There are those who deny the Baptism of Holy Spirit, calling it ‘invalid’ for today. There is no other time in the history of the world since that Pentecost in the upper room, that this Spirit, power and denial of self has been more needed than now.
Any cheapening of the price of Pentecost would be a disaster of untold magnitude. The
company in the upper room, upon whom Pentecost fell, had paid for it the highest price.
In this they approached as near as possible to Him who had paid the supreme price in
order to send it.
Do we ever really adequately realize how utterly lost to this world, how completely despised,
rejected and outcast was that company? Their Master and leader had just passed away, so
to speak, through the ‘hangman’s rope,’ at the hands of the highest civilization of the day. Their
Calvary was complete, and so a complete Pentecost came to match it. The latter will resemble
the former in completeness.
We may, therefore, each of us say to ourselves: ‘As Thy cross, so will Thy Pentecost be.’ God’s
way to Pentecost is via Calvary. Individually it must be so today. The purity and fullness of the
individual Pentecost must depend upon the completeness of the individual Calvary. This is an
unalterable principle. Arthus Booth-Clibborn (1855-1939)
This year on May 19th (last Sunday) some of Christendom observed Pentecost, “The Birthday of the Church” they call it. How very human of us to make the day about us instead of Him! This is a perfect time for all who have not done so, to pray for/receive the gift of Pentecost, being prepared of course, to speak tongues.
If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? Luke 11:13
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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