Some two-thousand years ago, a group of followers of Christ were waiting patiently for Christ’s promise of a comforter. They were gathered in a room in Jerusalem when suddenly life-changing events occurred for them.
The events are recorded in the book of Acts.
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they 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 the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
These events established the beginning of the New Testament Church of God. Because of the great significance of this day, there were unique miracles associated with it—the sound of a rushing wind was heard and tongues of fire appeared over the heads of the disciples. In addition, the miracle did not only include the speaking but also the hearing of those who were present that day.
“Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God’” (Acts 2:7-11).
Thus Christ fulfilled the promise of the comforter in the form of the Holy Spirit–the power that emanates from both God the Father and Christ. It was given to the disciples on the Festival of Pentecost–the same day, according to tradition, when Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.
Through inspiration, Peter was able to inspire and help those present to repent of their sins and to be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, and three thousand visitors were moved to do so.
“Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 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.’ And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them (Acts 2:37-41).”
For us whom God has called in this day and age, our day of Pentecost, as it were, came after God had called us. We repented of our sins, and were baptized and had hands laid on us by a true minister of Jesus Christ. As a result of this, we received the gift of the Holy Spirit like many did on that Holy Day of Pentecost in 31 A.D.
For us it was a true beginning of a walk with God and of growth in grace and knowledge. We committed to help fulfill the Church’s great commission to preach the gospel to the world as a witness, to support the ministry in their task of baptizing others who would be called and of teaching and feeding the flock.
We must remain faithful to our calling until the return of Jesus Christ or, if we die prior to that, we must fall asleep “in the faith” as some have in recent years.
The comforter, in the form of the Holy Spirit, enables us to move forward in the responsibilities we have as God opens doors before us. To be able to fulfill these responsibilities is no less a miracle as were the miracles of speaking in tongues and giving an inspiring message that moved three thousand to be baptized in a single day.
Our work is ongoing, and we must, with God’s help, continue faithfully to move forward and to not look back. We must be waiting faithfully for our great reward in the future which is ruling with and under Christ in the Millennium and beyond. Then, mankind will come to the same spiritual understanding which we should today.
Let’s ensure we remain true to the course set before us.