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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