When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2.1-4 ESV)
There are some things that God did in the New Testament for which he painted a picture in the Old Testament. So, to be able to understand what I want to talk about we must go to the Old Testament before coming back to the scripture we have just read.
In the life of the people of Israel, God instituted three important festivals for celebration every year.
“Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God. (Exodus 23.14-17 ESV)
From this scripture we identify three important festivals:
1. The Feast of Unleavened Bread
2. The Feast of Harvest
3. The Feast of Ingathering
These were so important to God that every male was supposed to appear in Jerusalem for their celebration. In verse 17 it says, “Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God.”
What is striking about this is that all of these feasts were prophetic in the sense that they all pointed to Jesus Christ. They were pointers to our salvation. God began to reveal his plan for salvation through these festivals. Time will not allow me to pick these festivals one after the other to explain them and their significance but I believe that later on we will pick them one after the other and give some exposition on them. However, I will pick one of them and give some highlights and this will lead us to the Pentecost experience. This is the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of their labor.
Let’s look again at Exodus 23.16:
You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. (ESV)
This festival is known as the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor. It was also called the Feast of Weeks because it was marked seven weeks after the barley harvest, at the beginning of the wheat harvest. The people acknowledged God, the source of their provision. It was also called the Feast of Firstfruits because it marked the time when people brought their firstfruit offerings. This feast was celebrated on the fiftieth day after the Passover. Remember that on this day, like the other two, every Jewish male had to come to Jerusalem for the celebration. In the New Testament, this festival happened to fall on the day of Pentecost. It was the fiftieth day after the Passover. Jesus was crucified on the day of the Passover and is described as the Passover Lamb. It was on the fiftieth day, which was supposed to be a celebration of the Feast of Weeks, when they had gathered to celebrate this festival that something unique happened. So the Feast of Pentecost is called by that name. Pentecost literally means fifty days.
The people had come to Jerusalem to celebrate this festival but God decided to do something unique. There was a new experience; something that had never happened before happened. It was a day that God decided to outdoor his church. Remember that Jesus had said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” On the day of Pentecost, when they were celebrating a festival that was so important to them such that every male had come to Jerusalem, God decided to outdoor his church. Thus the church was introduced to the world.
The Bible says in the Acts of the Apostles that as they were all gathered together and praying and singing, suddenly, something happened. A sound as of a mighty rushing wind appeared and filled the whole room; and divided fire appeared and rested on each and every one of them and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak in tongues. On that day the Holy Ghost descended in power. There was a fresh experience.
The outpouring of the Holy Ghost was on the day of Pentecost. So in the Old Testament they had what they called the Feast of Harvest and the Feast of Weeks but God gave us another experience on that day and that was the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. The good news about it is that the Holy Ghost descended never to return. When Jesus was about to leave he said, “It is good that I go because if I don’t go the Holy Ghost will not come; but if I go, he will come and live in you.” (John 16.7) The Holy Ghost came to dwell among us, to live in our hearts, and to be with us. Today we are here to celebrate Pentecost. We are here for another fresh encounter. As we go through Pneumaticus Conference, let there be a fresh outpouring of the Holy Ghost.
One important thing that I want to mention is that in the Old Testament era, the theologians have made us understand the day on which the Lord gave the laws to Moses coincided with this day where they were celebrating the Feast of Weeks. They had been liberated from Egypt, heading towards Canaan, and God gave them the law to guide and instruct them. But thanks be to God he hasn’t given us a law but something better that will help us. They received the law but couldn’t live by it. They were disturbing and hurting God but thanks be to God we have something better, and that is the Holy Ghost who comes to live in us. In our generation we have the Holy Ghost to live in us, guide us, and order our footsteps.
This was a fulfillment of the promise God made in the book of Joel that in the last days he would pour out his Spirit upon all flesh. (Joel 2.28) The question is this: What is the meaning of Pentecost? What is its significance? I have told you that Pentecost brought us a new and intriguing encounter with the Holy Ghost. I want to take a few minutes to bring to the fore the meaning of Pentecost.
1. Pentecost means power
Anybody who experiences Pentecost must experience power. You cannot talk about Pentecost without talking about the power of the Holy Ghost—a tremendous power. The Bible says in Acts 1.8 that you shall receive power when the Holy Ghost comes upon you. Without Pentecost there is no power and you are an ordinary believer but in Pentecost we encounter power. I like how the Amplified Version puts it:
But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1.8 AMP)
So Pentecost is about power and ability to perform, to do what you are unable to do ordinarily. It makes you efficient. It means might. I pray for you to encounter the power of Pentecost that after this conference your life will not be an ordinary life but one full of power, ability, efficiency, and might; that you will be able to perform in the calling and ministry God has given you. I pray in the name of Jesus, let there be Pentecost in your life.
This power is what the Greek refers to as dunamis. It means acts of power and miraculous power. I am not talking bout the pastor or the elder but you, a child of God, that you shall receive power. The Bible says “These signs shall follow them that believe,” not pastors and elders. The signs shall follow them that believe. “In my name they shall tread on snakes and scorpions and drink poison but nothing shall happen to them.” (Mark 16.17-18) Wherever you are, let power follow you. Whatever ministry God has given you, let power follow you. Pentecost is nothing but power. I see the dunamis being released upon somebody. I see you grabbing and catching that power. May it be so in your life.
This was the power that followed the early disciples. Find time and read the book of Acts. Something happened in Acts 17. There were only two people who had gone to a city. They were accommodated by someone called Jason. These people, Paul and Barnabas, brought holy confusion to the city and the people were looking for them but couldn’t find them so they went for Jason who was housing them. When they brought him let’s read what happened.
And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” (Acts 17.6-7 ESV)
When you receive Pentecost you will turn your world upside down. In this year and those ahead, as wee seek to possess the nations, I pray that you shall encounter Pentecost; that it shall be said of you, “Look at that woman or man who has turned the world upside down.” After Pneumaticus, I see you turning your world upside down. Some of you will turn the legal profession upside down; some of you will turn the medical profession upside down; and some of you will turn all sorts of things upside down. May you receive that power to turn the world upside down. Something must happen and not just through the pastor or elder but through you for Pentecost is for everybody. As we celebrate Pentecost and take over the whole world, may we turn it upside down.
2. Pentecost means a life of the supernatural
It is the gateway to supernatural living. There is no way you can live in the supernatural without Pentecost. If you want to live in the supernatural it begins with a Pentecostal experience. I am talking about a life beyond the natural. The reason we can live in the supernatural after the Pentecost experience is that when you encounter Pentecost you become a carrier of divinity. The whole divinity comes to live in you. People carry a lot of things. Some carry bansere around their waists while others carry rings but when you encounter Pentecost, you become a carrier of divinity. So, as you walk through the city of Accra, we can say, “There goes that woman or man who is a carrier of divinity.” You are not an ordinary person but a carrier of divinity. So, when you are walking, walk in confidence.
Pentecost is the gateway to supernatural living. After this week, I pray in Jesus’ name that you shall not live in the realm of the natural. We are tired of living in the natural. From today we are lifting up ourselves, going higher and higher into the supernatural. It is because the entire divinity comes to live in you. The Bible says our bodies are the temple of God and the Spirit lives in us. When you encounter Pentecost the presence and power of God come to dwell in you. Thus, as you walk around, you carry his presence and power. I pray in the Jesus’ name that we shall be conscious of this fact that we carry his presence and power; that we shall not be ordinary people.
In the church of old, when they experienced Pentecost, everything about them changed and become supernatural. Their prayer meetings became supernatural. Their preaching became supernatural. For them, there was nothing called spectacular events because those were normal experiences in their lives. That is the life I pray for for PIWC, Atomic; that we shall not be amazed any longer—it will be a daily occurrence. I remember Paul in Acts 19.11:
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, (ESV)
God was doing extraordinary and unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, (AMP)
Why would the Bible use such expressions? It shows the level of supernatural life of Paul, to the extent that the miracles God was using him to perform were not just ordinary but extraordinary and unusual. I pray in Jesus name that from today the Lord will perform extraordinary and unusual miracles through your hands; that from today, after this conference, you shall not be an ordinary believer but one whose life is marked by extraordinary and unusual miracles so that you can declare that I and the children God has given me are for signs and wonders. I prophesy into this church that it would be one of the supernatural; that you shall not be the same any longer; that we shall not be a church where people come and go but one where the sick shall be healed and the brokenhearted shall be healed; that it shall be a church of the supernatural; that God shall perform unusual and extraordinary miracles. May God transform your life and make you a supernatural person.
3. Pentecost is a life-giving experience
When we talk of Pentecost, it is a life-giving experience. So when you encounter Pentecost you must have life for it gives life. The Spirit of God poured upon us on the day of Pentecost is called the Spirit of life. He is a life-giving spirit. When you have an encounter with a life-giving spirit you receive and impart life. The Bible says the letter kills but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3.6) So he was comparing and contrasting the letter with the Spirit.
What it means is that nothing must die in your hands. When you encounter Pentecost you receive the life-giving Spirit into yourself. Nothing must die in your hands because you have a life-giving spirit living inside of you. That is why that business of yours cannot die. That is why that educational life of yours cannot die. Some of you think the things in your hands are about dying but I came to tell you that you have Pentecost and that life-giving Spirit gives life.
There used to be an advertisement that wherever Duraplast goes water flows. I came to declare to you that wherever you go life must flow. Nothing must die in you hands because you have experienced the life-giving Spirit. I speak to the kidney and heart and everything that appears to be dying or failing. This service is a service in which we encounter the life-giving Spirit. Let there be life. We arrest the spirit of death because Pentecost is a life-giving experience. When you encounter Pentecost what is dead will receive life what is alive will bud and what has budded will bear fruit by the flow of the resurrection. I see life coming into somebody. I don’t know what any doctor has said but I know what the scriptures have said and what the Spirit of God is saying. He says Pentecost is a life-giving experience. Let there be life.
Let me just tell you one or two things and then we will do the final prayer.
How do we receive this experience?
It has to do with waiting and prayer. You must create time to wait and pray. Christians of today don’t have time for the Lord, the word, prayer, and waiting. We can have time for everything but not prayer. We can have time for everything but not waiting. Call for prayer meeting and you will see the response. We don’t have time but Pentecost has to do with prayer, waiting, and sacrifice—three things. You must learn to pray, wait, and make sacrifices. Jesus told the disciples not to leave Jerusalem but wait for the promise of the Holy Ghost. They went to the Upper Room not knowing when the promise would be fulfilled. If it were you and I and Christians of our time—we are the only people who are busy and know how to work. You think Peter had nothing to do? He was an accomplished fisherman but parked his boat and went to the Upper Room waiting, not knowing when the Holy Ghost would come. Peter was a married man because we read from the scriptures that Jesus healed his mother-in-law. (Matthew 8.14-15) So, if he had stayed at home his wife would have cooked for him but Peter left all of those things to wait for the Holy Ghost. You can have all your reasons but they also had reasons they put aside because they wanted something. We have all sorts of excuses and reasons. Come for Kratos and let us pray and you have every reason not to come. Pentecost is about sacrifice and prayer. It is about waiting. Do you think that is how the church of old behaved? No wonder they saw the results they did. If you make time for God he will make time for you. Enough with all these excuses. We have to be hungry. I came to challenge you to be hungry. Are you not worried and tired? Be hungry. Be desperate. This is the air I breathe, your holy word. I am desperate for you. Let something begin to bubble in your heart that Father, I also want to see the fire. You mean the fire was meant for them alone? The promise is for you and your children and those who are afar off. Enough with this complacency and the history we have. We want to see God move. “Don’t you know we are PIWC? Don’t you know we are career men?” Call people for fasting and you will hear all kinds of excuses. Something must happen in our time. We should not be talking about Apostle Walker. We should not be talking about Apostle Nartey. They are dead and gone. Whatever they did, God used them to do and they are gone. How is Apostle Nartey different from you? How is Apostle Walker different from you? By now we should be talking about our time and our generation.