TOPIC:"Straight Talk About Pentecost"
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you
shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
end of the earth" (Acts 1:8, NKJV)
As I begin this message there are two statements about Pentecost that I would like for us to think about. Vance Havner, well known preacher of the 20th century, declared: "The church is hiding behind tons of brick with a pre-Pentecost experience. Pentecost is on the church calendar, but it is not the church's condition." That's our plight!
Paul S. Rees, prominent missionary statesman of the past, wrote: "I do not believe in a repetition of Pentecost, but I do believe in a perpetuation of Pentecost, and there is a vast difference between the two. I believe that Pentecost did not come and go, but that Pentecost came and stayed. You and I are living in the midst of it, if we only knew it." That's our problem. The Holy Spirit has already come at Pentecost nearly two thousand years ago, but many of us have not accepted that fact and appropriated that fullness.
Now just before the risen Lord departed from this world to Heaven, He made this most remarkable pronouncement to His disciples: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me." Let me mention three wonderful facts from these words of Jesus.
Consider, first of all, the PRESENTATION of the PERSON. From the text we read these words: "when the Holy Spirit has come upon you" (v. 8). The personality of the Holy Spirit is not a dainty theory, but a divine truth. The Holy Spirit is not "it," but "He." He is a personal being with all of the attributes of personality. He has intelligence, understanding, a will, a mind, and is subject to all the feelings of an intelligent Person. Often the Holy Spirit is thought of as a power rather than a person because of the symbols used to describe Him such as breath that gives life, wind that stimulates, fire that purifies, oil that invigorates, and water that refreshes. These symbols don't deny the personality of the Holy Spirit, but they do help us to better understand His work among men.
The Greek word for Spirit is "pneuma" which is neuter in gender and should in strict grammar be referred to as "it." However, contrary to . . .