Pathway to a Personal Penteconst
Dear Visionary Leader:
When God began to outpour the Holy Spirit at the turn of the 20th century, there were those who were saying that it would blow over, and they were right. It’s blown all over the world. Did you know where there is great evangelism, the Holy Spirit is being outpoured? It is not by accident. It is part of God’s plan—God’s plan for their life and God’s plan for our life.
You see, I am excited about these last days. I believe the greatest days of harvest are yet ahead of us. I don’t say that because it is positive; I say it because it is true. I believe in these last days we are going to see more people saved than we’ve ever seen saved before. Did you know that from about 30 AD…33 AD to the close of the first century, about a hundred a day were coming to know Jesus Christ as savior?
From 100 AD to 1900 AD, that number went from 100 to 963 a day were coming to know Jesus Christ as savior. At the beginning of the twentieth century, about a thousand a day were coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord. By the 1950s, that number passed 20,000 a day were coming to know Jesus Christ as savior in our world. That number again continued to rise. When we crossed 1980, that number had passed 80,000 a day were coming to know Jesus Christ as savior and Lord. When we passed 1990, that number went over 100,000 a day were coming to know Christ as savior and Lord. In 1995, we crossed the 125,000 mark…people coming to know Jesus Christ as savior every day. It is estimated today, there are approximately 150,00 per day coming to Christ. Did you know there are more people today being born again than there are being born the first time each and every day?
Look what God is doing in the former Soviet Union. Look at what God is doing in Africa. Look at what God is doing in Brazil and all the other Latin American countries. For example, did you know in Sao Paulo, Brazil alone, in that one city, we have more than 4,000 Assemblies of God churches in that one city alone? Look at what God is doing in Asia. I believe that the wave of evangelism is just off the shores of North America, and I have made up my mind that when this wave of evangelism crosses North America, I am going to be a part of it. The power of the Holy Spirit is going to energize us to be about the Lord’s business in these last days.
It is God’s desire and it is God’s design for every believer to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s God’s will for your life. And from God’s Word, I want to share with us the steps to a personal Pentecost, and everything I want to share with you is found right here in the Word of God. We are focusing on Acts 2:1-4.
We Must Stand On The Scriptures
Did you notice what the Word of God said in verse 1 of Acts 2? “And when the Day of Pentecost had fully come.” Pentecost was not a new thing. Pentecost had come and gone and come and gone more than 1,500 times since Moses had instituted that great feast. But it would come, last a week, and it would pass away; and the people would have to wait another year for Pentecost to come again.
Right here in Luke, the author of Acts, says that on this day, Pentecost fully came. In other words, ladies and gentlemen, Pentecost had come to stay, and it is not something that should pass away. Every day you and I are to experience Pentecost in our lives. That is the normal Christian life. My friend, that is what God wants for you; that’s what God wants for me. He wants us to experience the power and the person of the Holy Spirit in our lives each and every day. I submit to you we need Pentecost to fully come today.
I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions about that early New Testament church. Questions like these: How could a church that didn’t have very much, how could they do a whole lot? And why is it that we have a lot and we don’t do very much? I mean, how could Peter get up there and preach one sermon, 3,000 souls get saved, and we today have to preach 3,000 sermons in order to get one soul saved. What’s happened to us? I mean, they didn’t have any billboards, they didn’t have any big budgets, they didn’t have any big buildings, they didn’t have fantastic choirs, they didn’t have radio, television and Internet. They didn’t have all of the things that we have today. Now add on the Internet and the satellite technology of the day, they didn’t have the things that we have, and yet they turned their cities and towns upside-down, inside out, and right-side up for the glory of God. How did they do it? They did it through the power of the Holy Spirit. If we’re going to impact our city and our community, we’re going to do it through the power of the Holy Spirit. I submit to you we need Pentecost to fully come. We need Pentecost to fully come because we need our schools straightened out. We need drugs dumped out, we need homosexuality hauled out, and we need child abuse carried out. We need murder moved out, we need rape ripped out, we need theft taken out, we need yoga yanked out, we need Buddha booted out, we need witchcraft wiped out and saints of God sold out for the glory of God. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
We’ve got to learn to stand upon the scriptures. Sometimes you know we speed-read the Bible. We miss so much. Now I want you to notice something. At the end of verse 2, you will notice that before they are filled, they are sitting. Now don’t forget that. They were sitting. Now after they were filled in verse 14, the Bible says they were standing. Before they were filled, they were sitting; after they were filled, they were standing. What is the purpose of Pentecost? The purpose of Pentecost, my friend, is not so the Holy Spirit goose bumps can go down our backside. The purpose of Pentecost is to get us off our seat and on our feet for Christ. That’s the purpose of Pentecost. Once we’re on our feet, we can go to the street and tell somebody about the Lord.
You know what the problem is with the North American church is that we’ve become great, great salt warehouses. Jesus Christ said we are to be the salt of the earth, and what we’ve become is salt to salt. Salt warehouses. Jesus Christ has called you to be the salt of the earth. We need to get to where the lost people are and not expect them to come to where we are.
We need to learn to stand upon the scriptures. It is amazing. Peter got up there on the Day of Pentecost; and he said this promise, this promise is for you. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a promise. You’ve got to claim the promise. We like to claim the promise for healing. We like to claim the promise for financial needs. We like to claim the promise of unsaved loved ones coming to know Christ. Peter said this promise is; he didn’t say this promise was.
Not only is it a promised gift, it is a present gift. He didn’t say this promise will…He said this promise is. Some people say this promise was. My dear friend, that’s not what Peter said. He said this promise is. It’s not for yesterday; it’s for today. It is a present gift, but it’s also a personal gift. You say oh really? Oh yeah! This promise is for you. That’s what he said. But not only is it a personal gift, but it’s a parental gift. He said this promise is for your children. It’s not just for you, mom and dad. It’s for your children. It is a parental gift, but it’s also a providential gift. As many as the Lord shall call. He says not only today but all of those who are going to come into the Kingdom of God, this gift is for them as well. You’ve got to stand upon the scriptures and claim the promise for your life.
We Must Study The Saints
The early New Testament believers weren’t perfect, but they left some patterns for us. One pattern they left for us was obedience. Jesus Christ had told them in Acts 1 to go and tarry in Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. We know from the writings of the great Apostle Paul that there were about 500 there who heard the command, but how many obeyed the command?
120. How many were baptized in the Holy Spirit? 120. Obedience to Jesus Christ is a prerequisite to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. You know what the problem is with a lot of Christians? They like to sow their wild oats six days a week, come to church and pray about their crop failure on Sunday, and think everything is going to be all right. You’ve got to live a life of obedience. When you’re not walking in the Spirit, you’re walking in the flesh. It’s just that simple. And when you’re walking in the Spirit, you’re not going to be walking in the flesh.
You must be obedient but not only obedient but there must be oneness. Did you notice in Acts 2:1, the Bible says they were in one accord? There is power in unity. They were in one accord. You show me a unified church, and I’ll show you a powerful church. Did you know it’s sin to sow discord among the brethren? Did you know from time to time people do that? They get in their little huddle, and they sow discord among the brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. Don’t expect God to bless you. I said don’t expect God to bless you. He’s not going to because you’re committing sin. In fact, you’re doing one of the things that God hates the most. There must be oneness in the body of Christ.
Additionally, there was openness. In Acts 1, they got in a prayer meeting. They began to open up their hearts to the Lord. Now I’ve seen people come down front, and outwardly they say they want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, but while they’re down here, they’re just kind of looking around. Then I’ve seen others come and they don’t care about anybody else. Their eyes are upon the Lord, and their heart is open. And you know what happens? The Lord Jesus Christ who is the Baptizer baptizes them in the Holy Spirit. So what do we do tonight when we come to the altar? We come with a praying heart. You say why do we come with a praying heart? Because on the day Pentecost became a reality, they had praying hearts. So we’re following the pattern that they have left for us. Ladies and gentlemen, whatever is ultimately in the well of the heart will come out on the bucket of speech every time. That’s why we need to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. I challenge you when you come to the altar, come with an open heart saying, “Lord, I am here. I want to be freshly filled. I want to be full of the power of the Holy Spirit of God.”
We Need To Sense The Sound
Did you notice that there was a sound of a violent, rushing wind? Here the Holy Spirit is pictured like the wind. The wind is invisible. The Holy Spirit is invisible. You can’t see the wind, but you can see the effects of the wind. You can’t see the Holy Spirit, but you know when the Holy Spirit is moving. By the signs, by the evidences.
The wind is invisible, but also the wind is irresistible. Let me tell you what you can’t do with wind. You can’t go out tonight and get a barrel full of wind. You can’t go get a 40-gallon drum, open it up, get some wind, and put a lid on it, and bring it inside. It’s irresistible. Let me tell you what else you can’t do. You can’t even get a fist full of wind. It’s irresistible. You can’t take the Holy Spirit and put the Holy Spirit in a box and put a red ribbon around the Holy Spirit and try to mark it and sell the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is irresistible. The Spirit moves where He wants to. You can’t stop the moving of the Holy Spirit. You can either go with the Holy Spirit or go against the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit moves where He wants to move.
The Holy Spirit is irresistible, but also the Holy Spirit is indispensable. You can’t live a day without the wind, and you can’t live a day without the Holy Spirit in your Christian life. That’s why it’s important that every day we be freshly filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is indispensable for the man or the woman of God.
Some time ago, a young man was stationed in Seattle, Washington, in the armed services. While he was there, he wanted to see his chaplain. He was struggling with some areas in his life and wanted some advice. So he went to see his chaplain, and the chaplain instructed him to go to the harbor. He said, “When you get to the harbor, you’ll notice that there is a constant wind blowing.” And he said, “When you get to the harbor, not only notice the wind blowing but also look at the sailboats. Some sailboats are going with the wind, and some sailboats are going against the wind.” He said, “When you take it all in,” he said, “I want you to remember this truth. It’s not the strength of the gale, but it’s how you set your sail that makes the difference.”
Now, the wind of the Spirit is moving, and our choice is whether or not we are going to set our sail to go with the wind of the Spirit or go against the Holy Spirit. You show me a church that has made up its mind that the church is going to go where the Spirit wants the church to go, and I’ll show you a victorious church. You show me a Christian who wants to go where the wind of the Spirit wants him or her to go, and I’ll show you a victorious Christian. God has direction for you and for me. We’ve got to stand upon the scriptures. We’ve got to study the saints and sense the sound.
We Need To See The Sign
There was not only wind, but there was fire. When wind and fire get together, something is going to happen. Did you know that? I mean, you can start a small fire and let the wind get hold of it. Before long, you have a big fire. Fire cleanses. The Holy Spirit cleanses. That’s why you and I need to be filled because the Holy Spirit cleanses our lives.
Fire consumes. Have you ever noticed that fire does not distinguish between one object and another? Fire just consumes everything in its path. There is a difference between being filled with the Spirit and being full of the Holy Spirit. You know what we like to say in Pentecostal circles? We like to say that we have the Holy Spirit, but we need to get to the place where the Holy Spirit has us.
Let me tell you what it means to be full of the Spirit. The Bible tells us about a man of God in Acts 8 that was full of the Holy Spirit. He was a mighty man of God. His name was Stephen. He was full of the Holy Spirit. Three times the Bible says he was full of the Spirit, and every time the Bible says that he was full of the Spirit, the Bible gives another attribute. He was full of the Spirit and wisdom. Full of the Spirit and power. And full of the Spirit and faith. He needed faith in order to suffer for Christ. He needed power in order to stand for Christ, and he needed wisdom in order to speak for Christ. He was full of the Holy Spirit. So when we’re full of the Holy Spirit, we’ll have faith and we’ll have power and we’ll have wisdom.
Barnabas was full of the Spirit. Being around Barnabas was like getting a cold glass of ice water on a hot summer’s day. Barnabas was a refreshing Christian. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus needed to be full and Barnabas was full and Stephen was full, I submit to you that everyone of us need to be full of the Holy Spirit. Full of the Holy Spirit. Led by the Spirit. Fire consumes and fire cleanses and fire creates fire.
If we let something get on fire and before long, something else will be on fire. Have you ever noticed that? Before long, something else will get on fire. In Chicago, they remembered the centennial of the Great Chicago Fire that took place. And it all started in a little barn on a farm on the other side of the river. A lady had gone out to milk her cow in the evening, and she had a little lantern with her, and she took the lantern and put it down there by the cow, and she forgot about something and had to leave and so she went to take care of something and the cow knocked over the lantern. Before long, the straw got on fire. Before long, that whole barn got on fire. Then a little later, the whole farm was on fire. The wind was blowing, and before long, it got on another field, got in another farm, and another farm, and another field, and the wind literally carried that fire over the river. It got into the city; and before they contained that fire, more than 80 percent of that city was consumed in what we call now the Great Chicago Fire. But it all happened with a small fire that got mixed up with some wind and became a great, raging fire.
When someone gets on fire for God, before long, somebody else will get on fire for God. You let somebody get on fire for God in a youth group, and before long, that whole youth group will be on fire for God. You let somebody get on fire in the choir on Sunday morning, and before long, that whole choir is going to be on fire for the Lord. You let somebody get on fire for God in a Sunday school class, and the whole class is going to be touched. You let a church get on fire for God, and before long, the whole community will be touched by the presence and the power of God. May the wind of the Spirit spread the fire. That’s what God wants in your life and in my life and in our church’s life. We’ve got to stand upon the scripture and study the saints, sense the sound, and see the signs.
We Need To Speak Through The Spirit
Some people wish verse 4 wasn’t even in the Bible. They don’t like to talk about verse 4. Well, verse 4 says: And they were all filled. How many? All. Not 99.9 percent but 100 percent filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit was giving them utterance. They ALL received—ALL received. When Pentecost is fully come, every thirsty heart is filled.
On the Day of Pentecost, the Bible says that they were ALL filled with the Holy Spirit. They ALL received. God’s goal is for every Christian to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Our goal ought to be that every believer who knows Christ and is walking with Christ would be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says they ALL received. They ALL responded. They ALL relied on the Holy Spirit. Listen to what the Bible says: as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Here is the point. The Holy Spirit gives us an utterance, but we have to speak the utterance. On one side of the coin we speak. On the other side, the Holy Spirit gives us the utterance. The Holy Spirit gives us the utterance, but I have to speak. So, it is I doing the speaking but it’s also the Holy Spirit giving me the utterance to speak.
Regardless of how you’ve been raised, regardless even of how you’ve been taught, understand this truth that’s found in the Word of God that on the Day of Pentecost that they were ALL filled with the Holy Spirit. Just as they did on the Day of Pentecost, we need to go from sitting, to standing, to speaking to saving! Instead of the breeze of a ceiling fan, we need a might rushing wind!
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Dr. James. O. Davis
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking