Pentecost and the Spirit through the prism of God’s purpose for you.
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sabbath, January 31, 2015
Based Upon Acts 2
Acts chapter 2 is among the most referenced chapters in the New Testament by Christians around the world. In some sense, the events spoken of could be considered the birth of the Christian church. It marked the beginning of the era of the Holy Spirit. While He has ever been present upon the earth (it is His nature to be ever-present), and we have seen His work of anointing, power, and influence, from the creation until the first century, we had never seen His power more pronounced than on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had completed the earthly mission phase of the Plan of Redemption, and now He must return to heaven to get the beginning aspects of that phase started. But, He could not leave His people comfortless as He departed. Thus, He gave them instructions on how to receive the fulness of His “other self,” the Holy Spirit, so they could propagate the gospel and prepare for His Coming.
What happened on the Day of Pentecost? I would like to share a different perspective of that wondrous event, because there is no dearth of commentary on the commonly held understanding of the day.
You may recall back in Genesis chapter 6 that the Lord confessed His utter displeasure with how things were going down here. He created a perfect earth, and formed perfect people to propagate the human race to bring Him glory in the universe. With so many angels who chose to riot in heaven with the fallen Lucifer, what better way could there be to bring honor to the name of God, than to create a people after His own image, who would demonstrate the power of volitional obedience? Yet, through volition, humans also chose to riot against their God. Thus it was that while their minds were only on evil continually, the Lord was compelled to destroy the unrepentant inhabitants of the earth through a worldwide flood. If the devil was paying attention, he should have recognized the foreshadowing of his own demise in the decimation of this event. As always, there were those who did love God and whom He could preserve through faith. Through the line of Noah, the Lord began to propagate the human race again following the flood.
It was not long after this flood that the people started on their slope downward again. The built a tower under the direction of Nimrod, that was intended to “reach the heavens” and to “make a name” for them. Does this sound familiar? Did not the devil assert himself in hopes of ascending the Throne of God? Did he not also want to take the name of, “Most High God” upon himself? Well, we see where that led him. And destruction in the end is his lot. Nonetheless, he propagandized the people of Nimrod’s day to assert themselves in the same way he did before his expulsion from heaven. We must not miss the apparent coincidence that the people wanted to reach the heavens with their skyscraper following a flood that covered the whole earth. Could they have been attempting to protect themselves from another flood, although the Lord covenanted not to do that again? This is very possible. Whatever the case, the Lord saw their building plans as the utmost in pride and they (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) went down and “confused” their languages, lest they should unite and perform any form of wickedness they could conceive. This marked the first large-scale event of Babylon (confusion). God confused their languages at the Tower of Babel, because He needed to place limits upon what they would accomplish in their proud affront to His throne.
We are rounding the corner now. Do not miss this: What God needed to confuse in the days of Nimrod (Babylon), He has been slowly, yet steadily un-confusing, until the final call of Revelation 18:4, which was forecast in Jeremiah 15:45-47. On that wonderful Day of Pentecost in the first century church, our God shot the silver bullet at all confusion. Since we cannot be trusted to be clean and holy on our own, the Holy Spirit came and indwelt the waiting saints. Immediately, as they received His power, the diverse languages of the people were no longer a barrier to truth! Each person heard the message of salvation in his or her own languages, and they were all amazed. When speech and language necessarily became an impediment to human pride, the Lord gave His Spirit to destroy pride and give a clarion call for all who are willing to repent, to come out of confusion. With a Loud Cry, the Lord will culminate that call to any and all who are willing to live for Him by faith.
Are you living in confusion, friend? Is there anything in your life that the Lord has been speaking to you about, that you have been shuffling aside? Have you found that your life is becoming more complicated because of this? There is hope. God is calling all of His people (those who are willing to submit to Him) out of this confusion. We can be holy, even as our Father in heaven is holy. The world will soon be a whirlwind of religious and political confusion unlike we have ever seen.
The time is now to be equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit to hear and obey all that He has to say.
There is no reason for anyone reading this to continue in confusion. It’s simple: Ask the Lord to give you His Spirit, so you can hear His voice. He will do it.
Our devotion was lengthy today, but I think it was worth your time.