Summary: This morning we are going to look at the event which sparked the beginning of the Church, pouring out of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
Power from Above
The Spirit Comes at Pentecost
Sometimes the most foolish sounding ideas turn out to produce the most extraordinary results. Listen to these real statements made about people and products.
•In 1876, a Western Union internal memo read this, “This ’telephone’ [thing] has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
•Marechal Ferdinand Foch, [French] Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, said this prior to WWII: “Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value."
•H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, in 1927 said of the new so-called “talkies” movies: "Who wants to hear actors talk?"
•Here’s a statement: "But what...is it [possibly] good for?" That statement was made by an engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, about a brand new invention known as the microchip.
•Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment corp., said in 1977 "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
•In 1962 Decca Recording Co. rejected an obscure music group by saying: “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” That groups was called, let me get this straight: the Beatles.
Sometimes from the smallest of things come the greatest of movements. People often misevaluate the potential for success.
•In A.D. 30 they were probably saying something like this: “Their leader has just been crucified; his followers are scattered. They are a bunch of spineless cowards anyway. The Jesus movement is over. It will never get off the ground.
How wrong they were. The movement that began with a man named Jesus of Nazareth sparked a revolution which is still going on today – a revolution that has reached every corner of the globe and transformed the lives of billions of people.
Last week we began a new series on the book of Acts. The book about how Jesus’ followers took his message and changed their world.
•By learning the lessons of this book we can see how we, too, can change our world with the Good News about Jesus Christ.
If you were with us last week you know that Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem, because God was going to pour out his Spirit. The Holy Spirit would provide them with the power to accomplish their task.
•This morning we are going to look at the event which sparked the beginning of the Church, pouring out of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
•This is the birthday of the Church.
Turn with me to Acts, chapter 2. Read Acts 2:1-21. Let’s pray.
This event takes place on the Jewish Feast Day of Pentecost.
•Pentecost was also called the “Feast of Harvest” and it was a harvest festival, to celebrate the wheat harvest. Bread made from the first grain harvested would be offered to the LORD as an offering of thanksgiving for the harvest. (It was kind of their Thanksgiving Day)
•Pentecost means “fiftieth.” That’s because the festival occurs 50 days after Passover. Now remember, Jesus was crucified on Passover, so this event occurs fifty days after that. If you do your math: Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days, then spent 40 days with his disciples, before ascending. That leaves about a week before Pentecost. So the events that occur here happened about a week after Jesus ascended to Heaven.
Something else interesting about the Feast of Pentecost, is that in later Judaism it became a celebration of the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai.
•Now we’ve got to do some OT history here. You can’t understand the NT without knowing its OT background.
•Fortunately, many people even if they don’t know the Bible the basic history from movies like The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston (made a great Moses), and more recently the The Prince of Egypt.
•These events are described in the OT book of Exodus describes how God delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt. Moses led them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea to Mount Sinai.
•There at Mount Sinai God made a Covenant and gave them a Law and made them their people.
•We could call the Exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai the “Birth of a Nation.” Because Israel was established as God’s people at Mount Sinai. In fact, God says that. He says in Hosea 11:1, “Out of Egypt I brought my Son.” Egypt was the womb that gave birth to his nation Israel.
But you see there is an interesting parallel here: If the Law at Mount Sinai was the birth of nation Israel, and Pentecost celebrated that event, it is appropriate that God would give birth to the Church, his New People on that very day.