Experience Pentecost!

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The gospel message preached here in Newland, at the Church of Jesus Christ was first declared in Jerusalem on the Jewish Feast Day of Pentecost in 33 A.D. The first century church received the Holy Ghost with the sign of speaking in tongues, and practiced water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. This "Pentecostal Experience" is continuing in people's lives today. We are praying for a modern­day outpouring of the gift of the Holy Ghost in Avery County.

After His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples to return to Jerusalem and remain there until they were "endued with power from on high." He told them, "Ye shall receive the Holy Ghost not many days hence." With the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the church began fulfilling the prophesies of Isaiah, Joel, Jeremiah, Amos, and others. Jesus Christ Himself said, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever" John 14:16), and "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" John 14:18). Before His ascension He told them, "These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name... they shall speak with new tongues" (Mark 16:17).

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they [about 120 disciples] were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4).

The writer of Acts reported this Pentecostal experience happening later among Samaritans in Samaria, among Gentiles in Caesarea, to Paul on the road to Damascus, and to Jewish disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus. Moreover, the apostles defined these experiences to be the same as theirs: "The Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning" (Acts 11:15). Later Jude exhorted Christians to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" Jude 3). Because of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost and subsequent Apostolic references identifying the same experience on other dates and among different people, the Holy Ghost in filling has been referred to as the "Pentecostal Experience."

How can I experience Pentecost for myself?

Millions all across the world today have personally experienced the power of Pentecost! It is not a myth, a joke, or a man-made doctrine... it is just as it happened hundreds of years ago as written in the Bible in the book of Acts. Being filled with God's Spirit is real and life changing; and once you have experienced this tremendous touch of God in your life you will wonder how you ever lived without Him. If you are interested in experiencing this gift of God, please read through the following information. This will guide you into understanding exactly what the baptism of Holy Ghost is, why you need to experience it and why you need to be water baptized by immersion in Jesus' name.

First you need to repent and Then, you need to: Be water baptized by immersion in Jesus' name: Receive the free gift of the baptism of the Holy Ghost (with the evidence of speaking in other tongues):

Repentance (1 John 1:7-9)

DEFINITION

Webster's Dictionary defines repentance as: "to feel sorry or self-reproachful for what one has or has not done; to feel so contrite over one's sins as to change, or decide to change one's ways." Repentance is translated from two Greek words in the New Testament:
1) Metamellomai - means to regret, to care afterwards, be sorry for.
2) Metanaeo - means to think differently, to change one's mind, purpose, or opinion.

WHAT IS REPENTANCE?

When a person repents of wrongs done to others he feels sorrow. But feeling sorrow over one's sins is not enough. We must turn from our sins and change the way we live. Judas repented of having betrayed Jesus (Matthew 27:3), but his repentance was only regret for what he had done, not a change of mind to be different. In Genesis 6:6, God repented that he made man but he did not change His ways. When a child is punished, the parents may feel sorrow that the discipline was necessary, but that sorrow does not cause them to change their behavior toward their child.

In Matthew 3:2-9, John the Baptist acknowledged that the Pharisees were followers of the letter of the law; but just a semblance of godliness was not enough. They had to repent and turn from their sin. Repentance actually has three parts:

1. A turning from sin. This turning must be both in heart (emotion) and mind (thinking). We must both feel sorrow in our hearts and support that sorrow with the resources of our minds.
2. A spirit of abhorrence to sin. This attests to a desire to turn away from our old ways to find new and better ones, and, hatred for the impulses of sin, as well as a desire to be holy.
3. A spirit of honor toward God. God told Abram, "I am the Almighty God, walk thou before me and be thou perfect." And again He said, "I am holy, be ye therefore also holy."

Only God can call us to repentance!

1. Romans 2:4 states that the goodness of God leads to repentance.
2. II Corinthians 7:10 also notes that godly sorrow works repentance to salvation.
3. II Peter 3:9 tells us that "God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

What About Sin?

Sin brings about not only physical death, but also spiritual death as well. Jesus said, "I have come that ye might have life, and that more abundantly." Spiritual death is eternal separation from God.

11. James 1:15 - "Sin, when it is finished, brings forth death"
2. Romans 6:23 - "The wages of sin is death"

Scriptural References on Repentance /p>

11. Mark 1:14-15 - "Repent ye and believe the gospel."
2. Acts 17:30 - "God . . . now commands all men everywhere to repent."
3.3. Luke 13:3 - "Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish."

The Results of Repentance /p>

The Word of God is very clear about repentance. When we repent according to the Bible, we get results! God forgives!

1. Ephesians 4:32 - God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.
2. Colossians 2:13 - God . . . having forgiven you all trespasses.
3. Acts 5:31 - To give repentance unto Israel and the forgiveness of sins.
4. Colossians 1:14 - In whom we have the forgiveness of sins.

Repentance for the Saved

After you are born again, there will be times of failure, mistakes, and yes, even sin! We deal with these times in our lives just like we did when we first came to the LordCwe repent! No one is perfect, but we must strive toward perfection. When we fail and sin, God asks us to confess our sins and repent, and He will forgive us and clean us of our sin. He does not want us to sin, but if we do we have an advocate - Jesus Christ - through whom we can find forgiveness. (See I John 1:9; 2:1-2.)

Water Baptism ( Mark 16:16 & 1 Peter 3:21 )

DEFINITION BAPTIZO - Greek word meaning to dip, immerse, or to bury.

 MUST WE BE BAPTIZED?

John 3:1-6, Jesus spoke to Nicodemus and told him that he must be born again. When asked how this was done, Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born of water and of the Spirit. Notice that Jesus said he must be. There was no room for argument. Baptism is not an option; it is a must. (Read also Mark 16:16; I Peter 3:21, and Ephesians 4:5.)

In Acts 2, Peter answered the question, "Men and brethren what shall we do?" with "be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ." In Mark 16:16, Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."

HOW MUST WE BE BAPTIZED

MODE: Immersion. John 3:23 When John the Baptist baptized in Aenon he did so because "there was much water there." Much water was required because he dipped or immersed or buried them in the water.

WHY MUST WE BE BAPTIZED?

There are many scriptural reasons for baptism. Let's look at the six listed below:
1. Baptism is for the remission of sins. Jesus said that repentance and remission of sin should be preached in His name beginning at Jerusalem. Our sins are remitted at water baptism. (Read Acts 2.38.)
2. Baptism is for the washing away of sins. Paul was commanded by Ananias to "arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). (Read I Corinthians 6:11.)
3. Water Baptism is part of the new birth experience. John 3:5: "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (Read Titus 3:5.)
4. Baptism is a washing and cleansing of the conscience. I Peter 3.21: "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
55. Baptism is a burial. Romans 6:3-4: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
6. Baptism is taking upon ourselves the name and person of Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:27, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."

WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?

Immediately upon repenting of your sins, you should be baptized to wash away your sins. Peter said to repent and then be baptized. (Acts 2:38.)

WHAT NAME SHOULD BE CALLED OVER YOU IN BAPTISM?

A lot of people ask, "Does the name even matter?" As we shall see in this portion of the lesson, the name is very important. Pay attention to the formula of baptism and the direction Jesus gave the Apostles. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus said "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" In Acts 2:38 Peter said for us to be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Is this a contradiction? Careful observation of both of these verses will reveal that Father, Son, or Holy Ghost are not names, but descriptive titles and roles of the one God. When you are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, you have fulfilled Matthew 28:19. The only safe pattern for the right baptismal formula is found in the Word of God. How were the New Testament church converts baptized? How did Jesus say to be baptized? How did the Apostles say to be baptized?

Baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4, 38 & Romans 8:9-15)

Our first and foremost goal must be to be saved! The steps to salvation are not difficult or enshrouded in mystery! Salvation can be readily found in the scriptures. The first step is repentance, a sorrowful attitude and confession of sin. The second step is water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ by immersion for the remission of sins. Now we will turn our attention on the third step, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.

WHAT DOES THE OLD TESTAMENT SAY ABOUT THE HOLY GHOST?

Isaiah 28:9-12 tells of stammering lips and another tongue that God would give to His people. Paul spoke of this experience in I Corinthians 14:21. Isaiah said that this experience would be like drawing water from the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). (Also read Joel 2:28-29.)

WHAT DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT SAY ABOUT THE HOLY GHOST?

John the Baptist is quoted by all four Gospel writers (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33) that Jesus would baptize them with the Holy Ghost. Jesus said that John was a prophet (Luke 7:24-30).

Jesus said that the Spirit:
1. Was like a river of living water (John 4:10-14; 7:37-39)
2. Was like being born again (John 3:1-8);
3. Would be a comforter (John 14:16-17);
4. Would be the power of God in us (Acts 1:8).

WHAT IS THE HOLY GHOST

The Holy Ghost is described on many occasions throughout the Scriptures. The Holy Ghost is referred to as Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9-11); a baptism (I Corinthians 12:13); a birth (John 3:1-8); a seal, or promise (Ephesians 4:30); the earnest of our inheritance (II Corinthians 1:22); rest and refreshing (Isaiah 28:12); Spirit of adoption where we cry Abba Father (Romans 8:15); living water (I Corinthians 10:1-4); power from heaven (Acts 1:8); the comforter (John 14).

WHO CAN RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST?

1. God's promise of the Holy Ghost is to all fleshCsons, daughters, servants, and handmaids (Acts 2:16-17).
2. John the Baptist did not exclude anyone in his preaching about the Holy Ghost baptism (Matthew 3:11).
3. Peter declared "for the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off" (Acts 2:38-39).
4. God gives the Holy Ghost to them who obey Him (Acts 5:32).
5. Those at Samaria, the Ethiopian, and the people at Azotus received the Holy Ghost (Acts 8:1-40).
6. Cornelius and those in his home received the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:44-48).
7. "But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him" (Acts 10:35).
8. "Thou wast slain, and host redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Revelation 5:9).

WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST?

On the Day of Pentecost, the birth of the church, about one hundred and twenty people spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them the utterance when they received the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4). God's Word is very precise in giving us example after example to this sign of speaking in tongues as evidence that a person has received the Holy Ghost. Millions have experienced this glorious ecstatic utterance when they receive the like precious gift. Paul wrote that he spoke with tongues more than all those in the Corinthian church (I Corinthians 14:18). Since his converts spoke in tongues when they received the Holy Ghost (Acts 19:1-6), it is safe to assume that Paul spoke in tongues when he received the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:17-18). Numerous scriptures are at your disposal for study. These are a few of them:
1. Isaiah prophesied of God speaking through another tongue (Isaiah 28:9-12).
2. When the New Testament church began, they spoke in other tongues (Acts 2:1-4).
3. It is conclusive that the Samaritans spoke with tongues (Acts 8:1-25).
4. Cornelius' household, who were Gentiles, spoke with other tongues (Acts 10:44-48).
5. Believers in John's baptism were rebaptized and spoke with tongues (Acts 19:1-6).

WHY IS THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST IMPORTANT?

1. It is necessary for salvation (Romans 8:9-11; I Corinthians 12:3).
2. The Spirit will lead us into all truth (John 16:13).
3. The Spirit acts as a discerner and intercessor (Romans 8:26).

Follow the word of God that you have just read, and You can experience Pentecost today just as they did on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two.

God Bless You,
Pastor Dave Atkins

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