One of the most misguided teachings in the body of Christ is the teaching and the preaching of Pentecost and post-Pentecost. Many have stopped at the presentation of Pentecost, forcefully wanting to have the experience again and again. We want to speak with new tongues (different dialect) and some want to lay hands on people to get baptized in the Holy Ghost. Some go to the extent of having miracles, signs and wonders programs because they have read it in the book of Acts with the intention of a having a “move of the spirit”; and therefore must have a replica of what happened on that day. They give a picture of when they want God to do the miracles and at what days they don’t want the miracles. Has God moved on from the Day of Pentecost or is He still there?
Many have been frustrated at their ploy of getting things done in the Church so as to replicate that day of Pentecost. There is so much error and many have taught that the purpose of Pentecost is to continue the same act, not knowing that Pentecost had its purpose. The confusion in the body of Christ, especially when we look at the many teachings and doctrines, can only be solved when the reason and purpose of Pentecost is made clearer.
From the various sides and angles of Pentecost, many doctrines were birthed and many have followed after such erroneous and fallible teachings that men have concocted and fabricated. Without ambiguity, even God would wonder if the same God that was present on the day of Pentecost is the same God that is being projected today. What is the purpose of Pentecost? Should we have moved into Post-Pentecost or stayed on the same spot looking for a continuation of the day of Pentecost, a day without end.
Pentecost was coined from the three feasts celebrated by the children of Israel in the Old Testament. There was feast of Passover, which signified the death of the Lord Jesus. This was when the instruction came from God to His servant Moses, instructing them about the impending visit of the angel of death. The Israelites were to put blood on the two side posts and the lintel to the entrance of their houses. This is because at the visit of the angel of death, many would be killed but the house that had the blood on their doorpost and lintel would be saved. In other words, when the angel of death visited that country and sees the blood on some of the houses, that angel will PASSOVER without inflicting death on the people in that particular house but would bring doom to those houses without the blood.
There was another feast called the feast of PENTECOST (Shavuot in the Hebrew), in similitude to the day of Pentecost. It was called the Feast of Weeks, Feast of harvest in the Old Testament, celebrated on the day after seven weeks of celebrating Passover, which is the fiftieth day. This was the same as the Day of Pentecost celebrated after the Lord’s death. It is traditionally a joyous time of giving thanks and presenting offerings for the new grain of the summer wheat harvest in Israel. The name “Feast of Weeks” was given because God commanded the Jews, to count seven full weeks (or 49 days) beginning on the second day of Passover, and then present offerings of new grain to the Lord as a lasting ordinance. Shavuot was originally a festival for expressing thankfulness to the Lord for the blessing of the harvest. And because it occurred at the conclusion of the Passover, it acquired the name “Latter Firstfruits.” The celebration is also tied to the giving of the Ten Commandments and thus bears the name Matin Torah or “giving of the Law.” The Jews believe that it was exactly at this time that God gave the Torah to the people through Moses on Mount Sinai.
The last Feast that was celebrated was the Feast of Tabernacle, also known as the Feast of the Ingathering. The Feast of Tabernacle, which marked the closing of the harvest season for the Jews of ancient Palestine, is today celebrated by the taking of all meals in a lightly constructed booth roofed with thatch (a sukkah) to recall the shelters of the Jews when they wandered in the wilderness. It is likened to the birth of the Church where people who have received Christ into their lives as Lord and Savior are baptized into the mystical body called the Church.
From these three feasts, we can deduce that the celebration does not stop on the Day of Pentecost but the celebration went on through to the Feast of Tabernacle. Again there was nothing carried over or injected from one feast into another; they were all stand-alone feasts celebrated as instructed. The Church today should have moved from Passover through to Pentecost and should now be at the third feast, which is represented by the ingathering of the saints with the purpose of getting ready for the Groom as He prepares to come.
To understand the purpose of Pentecost, we would need to look back to the Old Testament again to build up an argument to the New Testament so that we can fully understand the historical significance and to grasp the knowledge that there is truly a reason why Pentecost was experienced coupled with the fact that God had purposed Pentecost even before the foundation of the world.
God had a hand in Moses’ life from birth (even before his birth). He knew Moses would be the man He would use to bring His children out from the land of bondage – from Egypt. He had led the children (six hundred thousand footmen asides women and children) out of Egypt and here comes the big debacle of leading them alone. There were always cries about going back to Egypt, going back to eating onions, garlic and cucumber whenever they were confronted with one challenge or another. Moses, in abject melancholy, was choked with leading so many people and he eventually asked God to kill him or provide some sort of help (strength) in leading His people for he could not endure the burden any longer.
Instead of killing Moses, God told him to select seventy men; He was going to take the same spirit which was on Moses and anoint the seventy SO THAT THEY CAN BE SOURCES OF STRENGTH IN ADMINISTERING THE NATION OF ISRAEL, and that was the purpose. God distributed Moses’ spirit to these men – there the minds of the elders themselves would be inspired with reverence, praising God and preaching to the people. Something fascinating happened: there were two elders who did not appear with the seventy at the tabernacle (Eldad and Medad) but right where they were the Spirit came upon them and they also prophesied like the other seventy.
Joshua came back to Moses with the report that Eldad and Medad also prophesied. He urged Moses to forbid them, but Moses said to him, are you envious or jealous for my sake? He expressed his wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them! However, this was just a hope and a prayer in Moses’ heart but unknown to Him, he spoke out the intentions of God as prophesied by Joel: that in the last days God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh and old men would dream and their sons and daughters will prophesy (Joel 2:28).
On the day of Pentecost, Jewish believers had gathered to celebrate the feast. The Holy Spirit came and filled all who were gathered in the Upper Room and they prophesied and spoke in different languages. Jesus had given the instruction for the gathering because He wanted them to be witnesses for Him in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, even to the uttermost part of the world. The general idea was not in the prophesying but in the accomplishments Jesus wanted on that day. They had to take the gospel to the aforementioned places with the same experience they had on the Day of Pentecost.
There are four distinct places where there was the same experience of Pentecost, like God did for Eldad and Medad. In the book of Acts: there was Acts 1 which was the experience in Jerusalem; Acts 8, the experience by the Samaritans; Acts 10:44-48 was the experience by the God fearers and Acts 19, was the experience by the Gentiles. When Peter heard that some people were filled with the Holy Spirit, he was glad at people getting the same Holy Spirit as had been given to them and they had no choice but to accept them. The purpose was not in their experiences but that they were empowered and equipped for the work of the ministry.
By the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, we all (no more racial barrier) have access through this same Spirit to the Father. We are all empowered to take the message of Christ to the entire world, which is the reason why Christ had to go, so that the Comforter (com-forte), the one that brings strength can come to us who believe in Him (Ephesians 2:15-19).