Let the Fire Fall!
Today is Pentecost Sunday which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and followers of Jesus Christ in the Book of Acts. It comes 50 days after His resurrection and actually coincides with the Jewish Festival of Weeks, Shavuot in Hebrew. The term Pentecost is derived from the Greek, pentekostos, meaning fifty.
With One Accord
Pentecost represents an open heaven when the Holy Spirit descends upon believers. It is the celebrated beginning of the church of Jesus Christ on earth. That beginning was one of unity not division. In the first two chapters of Acts the term ‘with one accord’ is used three times. First, when Jesus’ followers returned to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:14 says, “They all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…” They waited together, men and women. They prayed together. They continued in unity.
Acts 2:1 says, “Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” When the Holy Spirit came they were all together in unison, in one place physically and spiritually. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues.
Acts 2:46 says, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” After they were filled with the Holy Spirit they continued together, in unity to share not only natural meals but also the bread of Life, Jesus, with people. Throughout this time, the church grew exponentially as they maintained ‘gladness and simplicity of heart’ (it is always a heart issue).
By Acts 3, miracles begin to follow those who believe. Just as Jesus foretold, those who followed Him were speaking in tongues and healing the sick. By Chapter 4 the Sanhedrin sought to stop the flow of miracles in Jesus’ name.
Let us fast forward to the year 2016. The church has deviated so far from its humble beginnings. In the beginning there was no pomp and circumstance. There was only one accord, gladness, simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with the people. There were no denominations to divide the message of Christ with doctrine. There was no vying for numbers by providing programs that look more and more like the world with each passing year. Hearts were not cluttered with doctrine, programs, and pagan customs. God was praised in spirit and in truth not with a Broadway spectacle called worship. Because of the visible heart changes in these followers they had favor with the people and many were saved.
Jesus clearly says that His followers will speak in tongues, heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead. Yet today, as in Acts Chapter 4, so many with religious and legalistic spirits try to negate the very power Jesus gave to His followers. So many denominations deny speaking in the spirit as a gift for today. Many others believe healing also went out with the Apostles. Really? Jesus said “those who believe” will do many things in His name. Have we come so far as to think that we can negate His very words and assignment to “those who believe?” I think not but many would disagree.
Some say they would like the Holy Spirit to come to their church but they are afraid. They are not sure about the tongues and healing thing. Really? I did a survey of church’s belief on healing today. The primary answer I received was that there was a prayer list but they did not lay hands on people and believe for healing. Really? Followed by that concept was the belief that only certain people could pray for healing. One pastor of a pretty large church even told me proudly that the leaders were in fact currently praying for one of their congregants. Only one? Really?
Are You “All In?”
Now, I understand that there must be order as God is surely a God of order but He is not a God of exclusion and legalism. Jesus said “those who believe.” In the early church “those who believe” went about performing healing miracles. They were filled with the joy of the Lord and their conversion was so evident that others flocked to be saved and join the church. Again, look at what has become ‘church’ today. We are divided so much that there is hardly even a semblance of the original meaning of the church of Jesus Christ. So many who call themselves Christian are miserable, mean spirited, harboring much bitterness, anger and resentment and spewing it out wherever they can. Our churches are oppressed with addiction to include alcohol and pornography. The slow infusion of the world and all its ways into the church over the last centuries has morphed church into something Jesus never intended. Sadly, many simply are not “all in.”
Now Is The Time!
It is time to take back the ground! Church, on this Pentecost Sunday let us step up and step out in the fullness of what Jesus Christ died to give us as His followers. Let us sit under the open heaven for a fresh outpouring and release of His Spirit. This is not a dress rehearsal! We are each here ‘for such a time as this’ to bring His Kingdom, complete with healing, to earth as it is in heaven. If you are not walking in the fullness of your destiny in Him then fast and pray to be released to go forth in this season. These are exciting times. His is an exciting mandate. If fear is holding you back, pray for faith. If your church does not believe in living out the fullness of the Gospel, find one that does. Let us begin today to line up with one accord to fulfill each and every destiny assignment ‘for such a time as this!’
It Is Never Too Late!
If you have not yet made the decision to accept Jesus into your heart, do it now. Do not wait another minute. Speak to Him from your heart (for it is always a heart issue). Tell Him you have fallen short in your life. Sincerely apologize for your sins. Ask Him to cleanse you and come into your heart and be Lord over your life. From this moment forward let His Spirit guide you along the narrow road that leads to everlasting life.
Quotes to Ponder This Week
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” ~Jesus, Mark 16:17-19
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” ~Jesus, John 14:12
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, “What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them that from now on they speak to no man in this name. So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” ~Acts 4:13-18
“But the cowardly, unbelieving, [emphasis mine] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” ~Revelation 21:8
“But Pentecost didn’t begin in Acts 2. Pentecost was a biblical feast instituted by God in the Old Testament Scriptures….in Leviticus 23:15-16, Numbers 28:26-31, and Deuteronomy 16:9-12. The Israelites were told, “From the Feast of Passover count off seven weeks (forty-nine days) then on the fiftieth day have a festival before the Lord” ~Dr. Robert D. Heidler, The Messianic Church Arising!
~Revival begins in West Virginia. Miracles and salvations follow. May this move of the Holy Spirit spread and revive the church and this country and go to all the world. http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2016/april/revival-rocks-west-virginia-school-surrounding-towns
“You are Lord and You are mighty and You are merciful. Raise up all who would call upon Your name. Raise up those that love You and seek You and trust You. Lord, we need an army of believers that would stand on Your Word above all else. Raise up warriors, Lord, who will fight on their knees; who will worship You with their whole hearts, Lord. Lord, call us to battle that we may proclaim the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Raise them up, Lord. Raise them up!” ~Miss Clara, War Room the Movie
Please Join Me in Prayer
Father we thank You that You have placed each of us here ‘for such a time as this!’ On this Pentecost Sunday, equip us and grow us to reflect Your Kingdom. Renew us afresh with your Spirit. Set us afire with your Spirit to go forth in this time. Awaken those in the church who have been lulled by religion and choked by legalism. Bring each of us to the fullness of Your commission in each life. Grace us daily to allow Your Holy Spirit to convict us from worldly thoughts, words and actions to be anointed to bring Your Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. Quicken us and use us to bring others to salvation in this season. We stand in agreement in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen and amen.
A Prayer Request
These are treacherous times and now more than ever we must maintain our walk. Fail not in this hour. #Pray for America. #Revival. Please join us in prayer: http://drmicheleburke.org/esthers-warriors-ministry/
We thank You , Father God, that You keep Your hand on America. Forgive our sin and heal our land that we will remain One Nation Under God. May God richly bless the United States of America, bring to light every single crooked place and keep her safe. May we arise united once again as One Nation Under God in this auspicious season in our country’s history. We continue to pray for truth to prevail concerning Benghazi and all issues as we saturate this country in prayer and stand for all that is right in America and for all of us who call ourselves American. We pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen and Amen.