Nobleton Community Church
29084 Sentinel Street PO Box 224
Nobleton, Florida 34661

Rev. Paul V. Lehmann, Pastor



Nobleton Community Church
May 19, 2024
Text: John 20:19-22; Acts 2:1-13
Pastor Paul V Lehmann

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There were three great Jewish festivals to which every male Jew who lived within 20 miles of Jerusalem was legally bound to come—the Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. Now the name Pentecost means “The Fiftieth,” and another name for Pentecost was “The Feast of Weeks.” It was so called because it fell on the 50th day, a week of weeks, after the Passover. The Passover fell in the middle of April; therefore Pentecost fell at the beginning of June. By that time travelling conditions were at their best. At least as many, perhaps more, came to the Feast of Pentecost, as came to the Passover Feast. That explains the roll of countries mentioned in this chapter, because never was there a more International crowd in Jerusalem than at the time of Pentecost.

The Feast itself had two main significances. It had an historical significance. It commemorated the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, but it also had an agricultural significance. At the Passover the first omer of barley (that 2 quarts) of the crop was offered to God; and at Pentecost two loaves were offered in gratitude for the completed and the ingathered harvest. It had one other unique characteristic. The Law said, on that day no work should be done. (Leviticus 23: 21); Numbers 28:26). So it was a holiday for all men, and the crowds on the streets would be greater than ever.

This was the reason God chose to pour out His Spirit on this day. The impact of that outpouring was tremendous. A band of disciples who were basically ineffective and afraid after they saw their master die on the cross, became a force to be reckoned with after they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit which resulted in Holy Spirit power.

The expression Spirit of God, or Holy Spirit is found in the great majority of the books of the Bible. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word usually used for the Spirit as referring to God’s Spirit is ruach meaning “breath,” “wind,” or “breeze.” The verb is rawach, meaning “to breathe”. The word always used in the New Testament for the Spirit is the Greek word pneuma. It comes form the word to breathe or to blow. The corresponding word in Latin is spiritus and that’s where we get our word “spirit”

The wind or Spirit of God moved across the waters at creation (Gen. 1:1-3) In Gen. 2:7 the creation of man is described. He was created from the dust of the ground and God breathed into him “the breath of life.” Because we read that man was created “in the image of God,” we see that the Biblical writer Moses thought of God as being like a man. But because they couldn’t see Him they preserved a highly spiritual conception of God as compared with that of surrounding nations. The breath of man, originally stood for the energy or power of God. Something that man had received from God. The Spirit was God in action, particularly when the action was specific, with a view to accomplishing some particular end or purpose of God. The Spirit came upon individuals for special purposes.

In Exodus 35:31, wisdom for all kinds of workmanship is declared to be the gift of God. Because of the covenant relationship between God and Israel in the Old Testament we see that God worked in the lives of certain people and gave gifts and powers of the Spirit for service in the ongoing of the kingdom of God. There is also a certain understanding at least for some, that the Holy Spirit gives moral purity, and when there was sin, there was the concern of what would happen to them in relation to the Holy Spirit. When David sinned with Bathsheba, and wrote his repentant Psalm, he cried out to the Lord, “don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.” Even though the understanding was not always clear, those in Spiritual Leadership understood to some degree. Now this leads me to the book of John chapter 3.

Here we have Nicodemus having a conversation with Jesus, at night, because he was afraid of what his colleagues would think. When Jesus told him that he needed to be born again; that is, he needed to have the Spirit of God breathed into him, he didn’t understand, and thought he had to go into his mother’s womb again. Jesus says to him, “The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. So don’t be surprised at my statement that you must be born again. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus asked Jesus, “what do you mean?” Jesus says:” You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?” …if you don’t believe me when I tell you about things that happen here on earth, how can you possibly believe if I tell you what is going on in heaven?” ….And just as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal life. (Numbers 21:4-8) And then we have the famous passage that so many people have memorized: (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Now as we saw in the Old Testament the works of God’s Holy Spirit are referred to as breathing, or the wind blowing, we can begin to see the connection when we see that Jesus “breathed” on the disciples in John 20 verse 22, and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit”

Almost all commentators, theologians, teachers and preachers will say something like; this was a “symbolic” thing that Jesus did, or he was “prophetically” talking about their future filling at Pentecost, or they will totally ignore this very important declaration. The only reason they would ignore it, is because it goes against their pre-conceived theology. That is that this passage and the passage in Acts 2, in my opinion, reveals to us a pattern that has been evident down through the ages for many people. There needed to be a “beginning time” if you will for people to be “born again” like we saw Jesus sharing with Nicodemus. There he was speaking prophetically and symbolically, explaining what was going to have to happen to each of us, AFTER Christ’s death and resurrection. AFTER he took our sins upon Himself, and AFTER he had victory over sin and death and the grave. It happens when we RECEIVE the salvation that He provided by His work on the cross. The disciples, when they believed and saw the resurrected Christ before them, were ready to RECEIVE His resurrected Spirit. There was no need for Jesus to say what he said to them, if it was only referring to what was to come at Pentecost, or even no need for a symbolic action like this. He would tell them later, on the Mt. of Olive- “Don’t leave Jerusalem—(He knew that they were probably thinking that they would like to get out of there)—but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. Why would He have had to tell them to RECEIVE it, or more correctly TAKE IT, before he ascended to heaven, if there wasn’t something else taking place. This is what I believe, but I won’t be dogmatic about this, but I believe that the disciples were “born again” at that moment when He said to them, receive the Holy Spirit. There was no other time that this would have happened. They believed and they received. Jesus’ Spirit came into their lives at that moment. We are told by Paul in Romans 8:8 that those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God, and in verse 9; “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

OK, now what is happening on the day of Pentecost then, and why do we look at that historical day as the coming of the Holy Spirit. We begin to understand that the beginning of our Christian life is when we are born again. At Pentecost, Jesus told the disciples that on that day they would be; “baptized with the Holy Spirit. –that John baptized with water, but they would be baptized, or immersed (baptizio) in the Holy Spirit and when the Spirit comes on you –you will receive dunamis POWER (that’s where we get our word dynamite from) and we will be His witnesses.

So then on the day of Pentecost, the disciples were waiting in Jerusalem, according to the Lord’s command, and they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. A rushing blowing violent wind was heard and filled the whole house where they were sitting. Verse 3 says; “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

All of those people from all those different nations that had come to Jerusalem heard the noise and gathered outside the house to see what was going on. The disciples began speaking in the mother tongue of about 12 different ethnic groups.

One commentator made the ridiculous comment that they didn’t really speak in all those languages, because everyone who came to Jerusalem from all over would have known Greek and Hebrew or Aramaic, so they would have been able to understand. But that is just the point. Of course they knew the language that most people spoke. It was like the official languages of the Roman Empire, and of the Palestinian Jews, but anyone who has been overseas and preached to people of other languages knows that when they hear it in their mother tongue, it speaks to their heart in a different way. That’s why if you don’t know the dialect of a people, someone who does, must interpret. So the miracle of these Galileans speaking these languages made an impact.

Some have said that this was only an historical once for all experience, when the Holy Spirit came in this manner, but I know of reports that have been given where in our era it has happened that someone has spoken in tongues, thinking it was an unknown language, but someone recognized the language as their mother tongue. Does everyone speak in tongues when they are filled with the Holy Spirit? No—I believe Paul makes that clear in I Corinthians 12:29-31 where the form of the questions, including…”do all speak in tongues?” requires a negative answer. Those who do usually are speaking an unknown tongue. Paul spoke in tongues –and he said, more than any of you, –but that in church he would rather speak 5 words that everyone could understand than 10,000 words in a tongue. When we speak in an unknown tongue, and there is no interpretation, it shouldn’t be given. If there is an interpretation, it is equal to prophecy where someone speaks forth the Word of God.

There is a lot more that could be said about this, but for us today, we just need to know that the Holy Spirit comes into our lives when we believe and receive Him. When we ask him to come in. Then the Holy Spirit lives within us. When the apostles OBEYED Jesus and WAITED in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to baptize them in the Spirit, to fill them with the Spirit, and they allowed the Holy Spirit to control them, they WITNESSED WITH POWER! Not in their own wisdom and strength, but with God’s dynamite power. We need to wait on the Lord. Take time to ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Luke 11:11-13; “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Have you asked him to: Fill you with his Holy Spirit? He is more than willing to give you what you ask for: Just submit yourself to Him, and be willing to yield your life to the control of The Holy Spirit.