Pentecost

I want to bring forward just a few of the events surrounding what is called “Pentecost” in Acts.

There had been a prayer meeting:

Acts 1:14  “They were all united as one, as they diligently continued in prayer. Included were the women, Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” ULB-EN

There was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:1-4 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in the same place. 2 Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 There appeared to them tongues like fire that were distributed, and they sat upon each one of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them to speak.” ULB-EN

Acts 2:14-36 Peter preaches Christ with boldness.

And the multitudes believed: Acts 2:37-42—that’s revival!!!

Pastor Hendrix, in his first message at the 2016 Family Conference titled: “The Holy Spirit and Revival”, says:

“When we talk about Pentecost we are not talking about another Pentecost because this was unique just like the incarnation, just like the cross, but there are aspects about what the Spirit does in revival that we can learn from studying Pentecost.”

So, we’re not looking for the unique experience of the Day of Pentecost, but many similar things, especially the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to revive the believers’ hearts, and convict and convert unbelievers.

He goes on to quote Samuel Davies from a 1741 sermon defining Revival as:

“The ordinary work of God’s grace, performed with such extraordinary power, swiftness, and expansiveness, that both the church and the world are spiritually awakened. Which is to say, that both church and world become keenly aware of God’s glory, His majesty, and His special presence.”

This message was very powerful on the work of the Holy Spirit. If you have not yet listened to it, I highly recommend it:  The Holy Spirit and Revival

Revival in Ephesus

Newcomers: Getting Started

The Adult Sunday School class I attend has just started The Life & Ministry of Paul. The teacher referred to Pastor Ted Donnelly’s preaching at the Trinity Ministerial Academy on Paul. In part 8 of that series, Pastor Donnelly refers to Paul’s ministry in Ephesus, and the evangelical results, and much more. The Life of Paul Part 8: Ministry in Ephesus

Donnelly says: “Our desire is to change society and to bring it captive to the Lord Jesus Christ in everything.”

This happened to the Ephesian society—how? “Society is changed through the preaching of the Word, and through transformed lives.”  (Donnelly)

Acts 19 records Paul’s time in Ephesus. It was a city full of idol worship & temples, along with all the immorality that went with that, but verses 17b-19 show a change:

Acts 19:17b-20 “They became very afraid, and the name of the Lord Jesus was honored. 18 Also, many of the believers came and confessed and admitted the evil things they had done. 19 Many who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of everyone. When they counted the value of them, it was fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord spread very widely in powerful ways.” ULB-EN (50,000 pieces of silver is just under 4 million USD today)

Later, the silversmiths were concerned that their “trade was in danger”.

Donnelly goes on to mention some examples in history, summarized here:

Revival in the town of Ballymena, Ireland, in July, 1860 the courts had to adjure because no crimes had been committed in the last 6 months. (Part of the 1859 Ulster Revival)

Nearby in Coleraine, “not one single glass of spirits had been sold on the market day.”

W.P. Nicholson—in the 1920s preached the gospel in the Belfast shipyards, and the shipyard authorities had to open a warehouse to hold the stolen goods that the shipyard workers brought back “by the wagons full”, convicted of their sin and need for change.

That’s the Holy Spirit at work, being poured down. My sisters, let us join together, seeking God to bless this world by again sending His Spirit “pressed down, shaken together and spilling over” Luke 6:38 ULB-EN The Call