Summary: Pentecost is an experience every child of God can receive according to Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost.
Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like a violent wind blowing came from heaven and filled the entire house where they were sitting. And tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4 (New English Translation)
“Pentecost” designates the 50th day after Passover and has been observed by the Jews for more than 3000 years; a Feast Day usually called “Feast of Weeks” or “Feast of Harvest”. Many Jews regard Pentecost as the day Moses received the Law on Mt. Sinai which they calculated as having been the 50th day after the Exodus.
To Christians, Pentecost refers to the down-pouring of the Holy Spirit upon the early church in Jerusalem as recorded in Acts, chapter two. Pentecost was an experience. It is not a denomination; it is not Pentecostalism; it is not the holiness movement; it is not a doctrinal system of beliefs. It is an experience every child of God can receive according to Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost. "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." (Acts 2:39 NKJV).
To better understand this marvelous out-pouring from God of His Holy Spirit we need to keep in mind the three office-works of the Holy Spirit. The first office-work of the Holy Spirit is that of Convictor. Jesus told His disciples in John 16:7-11, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” In accomplishing this work, the Holy Spirit comes unto the individual.
The second office-work of the Holy Spirit is that of Indweller. In this capacity, He performs several functions. One is that He confirms our relationship to the Father. Galatians 4:6 says, "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"
Another function is the sealing of the believer. Ephesians 2:13-14 says, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” To accomplish these works, the Holy Spirit comes into the believer.
It is the third office-work of the Holy Spirit that Pentecost is all about. We shall see that the glorious power that was manifested on Pentecost came as a result of the Holy Spirit coming upon the early church. But let us approach Pentecost as it scripturally progresses from prophecy to promise to experience.
"And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)
In his sermon on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2:14-36, Peter declared that the events of that day were a fulfillment of the prophecy that was uttered Joel more than 800 years earlier.
"Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." Luke 24:49.
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8
Our Lord was not referring to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of His disciples. That presence of the Holy Spirit was given in the evening hours of the first Easter. The account of this is found in John 20:19-23.
Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."