Today is Pentecost Sunday. The significance of this day is best understood in the statement made by the former AG General Superintendent Thomas E. Trask when he said: "The early Pentecostal movement discovered that when we go back to New Testament Christianity we get New Testament results."
In one of the printed issues of the Pentecostal Evangel, the publication of the Assemblies of God, Thomas E Trask in an interview explains the significance and relevance of Pentecost Sunday. Below is a summary of the interview...
Pentecost Sunday is the celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Early Church believers. The second chapter of Acts records how the believers, in response to the command of Jesus, had remained in Jerusalem waiting for the power from on high He had promised. Christ’s fulfillment of that promise came 50 days following His resurrection. The believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit and experienced the power accompanying the Spirit’s outpouring.
Pentecost is not history: There are many people in the church world who accept the fact of Pentecost as a historical happening but do not accept the fact that Pentecost is an experience for today. We in the Pentecostal church believe that every believer can and should be baptized in the Holy Spirit, should receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We have embraced and are recipients of the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit and the Church:
All over the world wherever the local church is open to the work of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit and there is a place given to the Spirit’s ministry, God is at work and, consequently, that church is alive and growing. Zechariah 4:6: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts." It is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, who makes what we do to be blessed or anointed. Wherever there is an awareness and acceptance of the Spirit’s ministry, people are being saved, people are being filled, people are being delivered, and the needs of people are being met. It’s not through an organization or through a program that this happens.
Holy Spirit and the Believer:
- Receiving the Holy Spirit and Baptism of Holy Spirit: Every believer, when he or she comes into relationship with Jesus Christ, receives the Holy Spirit. When you receive Jesus Christ, you receive the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, it is an added dimension of the third Person of the Trinity.The baptism in the Holy Spirit is given for the empowerment of the believer, according to Acts 1:8, to be a witness. The Baptism should be an entrance into life in the Spirit and the working of the Spirit and the use of His gifts.
- Gift of Holy Spirit is a must experience: Those who do not seek the gifts are missing a marvelous opportunity for God to do a deeper work in their lives. Jesus recognized that the believers needed more of God than what they had. So He promised He would send the Holy Spirit who would give that added dimension and empower the believers and assist them. It is more than just speaking in tongues. It is a lifestyle. They don’t have to live in their own strength but can live in the power of the Spirit’s might. Many times we take for granted these blessings and opportunities we have in a Pentecostal church.
Our prayer is that God will create a hunger in those who have not received this Baptism and will renew a hunger in those who have been baptized in the Spirit but have not enjoyed the many benefits of living in the Spirit’s power in these challenging days.
Be filled Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Full interview is available here