It was inevitable; the Israelites would be free to leave Egypt.  God had already set the plans in motion.  He knew Pharaoh would object and harden his heart.  God allowed him to continue to be obstinate about letting his slaves go so that the power of God could be made known, and the escape of His people would honor Him who arranged it all.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him” (Exodus 10:1).

God used the hard heart of Pharaoh to carry out His plan to free His people and show His power.

Plague after plague devastated Egypt while Pharaoh tried to play his game with God.  He had not yet encountered the power of the Israelites’ God, but he was about to!  Preparations were under way for the final plague.


God instructed Moses to have the people choose a flawless year-old male lamb, keep it in a pen for two weeks and then kill it.  Its blood was to be placed on the side posts and the upper post of their doorways.  The lamb was to be prepared by roasting and eaten before midnight with “unleavened bread and bitter herbs.”  What was not eaten would be destroyed by burning.  They would eat this meal with their “traveling shoes” on, because it would be time to leave Egypt.


No one was to leave his abode after the blood was applied to the door posts until Moses gave the marching order.  The blood was their protection when the angel passed through the land at God’s command to slay all the first born of Egypt.  Pharaoh was about to discover that he could not win when he tried to play games with Israel’s God!  An angel received orders from God to pass through the land and bring death to every household that had not applied the blood of the innocent lamb.

…when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13).

This event was to be commemorated by Israel throughout their generations to remind them of their deliverance from slavery by their God.   The celebration would be known as “Passover” and be kept as a feast each year.

It was no accident that the crucifixion of Jesus took place during the Passover celebration.  He was God’s sinless lamb, in His prime and became the redeeming sacrifice for everyone (not only Jews), once for all time.  His blood shed on the cross covers us with His protection from the wrath of God against our sins.  It is not just a covering, but actually a cleansing agent that “takes away” our sin.

“…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).


After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, our Redeemer, His earthly mission completed, He began to prepare His followers to continue the work He had begun on earth.  Their understanding was still somewhat foggy about what was going to take place, but Jesus told them they would understand His instructions later when He sent the Helper/Comforter to keep them in His presence after He was gone.

"But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.  And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.  But now I go my way to him that sent me...if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (John 16:4, 5, 7).


Their mission would entail many dangers and periods of time that could be discouraging to them—without this “Helper.”  Before they began to spread the “Good News” about Jesus to the world, they were to stay in Jerusalem “until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).  They were promised power to continue to do the work of the Kingdom of God after Jesus left them.

"But the Comforter,which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you...Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth...he will glorify me..." (John 14:26, 16:13, 14).

Following Jesus’ instructions, they gathered in a house in Jerusalem waiting for they knew not what; just waiting as He instructed.  While they waited, they took care of some business, replacing Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, with Matthias; and then “continued with one accord” their waiting.  No doubt, the adult males were making preparations to observe the Feast of Pentecost as its time approached.  The term 'Pentecost' comes from a Hebrew word meaning "fiftieth."  This feast occurred fifty days after Passover and is associated with the wheat harvest.  


It is one of three annual feasts that all male Jews over 20 years of age were required to go to Jerusalem to commemorate, and they celebrated it by coming before the Lord to bring the “first-fruit” of the wheat harvest.  It was a tribute of a free-will offering of thine hand” (Deuteronomy 16:10).   It was on this Feast day (fifty days after Jesus’ crucifixion) that God sent the promise that Jesus told them would be coming to empower them to be His witnesses to all the world.


Just as it was not an accident that Jesus' death occurred during Passover (the Feast commemorating how God planned the escape of the enslaved Hebrews from Egypt after the Passover lamb was slain and its blood provided protection from the death angel), it was not accidental that He sent the Holy Ghost on the Feast of Pentecost, a harvest in-gathering time, to those Jesus left behind to harvest souls until His return.

In his magazine, "Voice of Evangelism," (January/February, 2007 Issue), Rev. Perry Stone noted this:  "During the first Pentecost, Moses came off the mountain with the tablets of the law, the written word of God.  Israel was worshipping the golden calf and Moses threw the tablets to the ground in anger, breaking them into pieces.  That day 3,000 souls were slain for their sin (Exodus 32:28).  Over 1,500 years later at the Temple of Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost upon a small group of believers and, before the day ended, 3,000 soulds were saved (Acts 2:41)."

Perry Stone

Jesus is our “Passover” and the Holy Ghost which came at "Pentecost" is instrumental in the soul-harvest.

If we were attributing the correlation of these events to a human, we would wonder at his cleverness; but with God, He is omniscient and sees the end from the beginning!  His “organization” is perfect and He always performs on time.  He had the exit of the slaves from Egypt and Passover planned; He had the Feast of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) and the coming of the Holy Spirit planned and all these events were executed in His time and according to His will. 


The harvest is not over, and the Holy Ghost is still wooing the lost to Jesus and empowering the reapers to bring in the harvest.  That “fiftieth day” after Passover is so significant to the modern church world that we need to have more teaching, more awareness of what happened on that “Day of Pentecost” when the waiting followers of Jesus were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues. As the spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).


An aside:  I recall hearing a report of someone who had visited the purported site of the “upper room” while touring the Holy Land.  Though not discrediting the Acts 2 account, they declared that it was impossible for 120 people to be in the upper room and wondered about it.  I am curious, so I too wondered until I read again the Biblical account of that special day.  Note the verse: 

“And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1,2).

A close look at the verse tells us that the “whole house” was involved, not just the upper room.  I have heard the coming of the Holy Ghost as the “upper room” experience, but actually it was a “whole house” occurrence, no one was left out.  My curiosity was satisfied with the closer reading of the verse. 

For those who have just come into this “upper room/whole house” experience or those who would like to know “what’s next,” I offer the following.


So, What’s Next?

(This was written for and shared with a youth group after their "encounter" at Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Tennessee.)

Wow!  This must be the ultimate experience!  Every emotion stood on end as your whole system was engulfed with in-filling of the Holy Ghost.  How do you explain it?  Well, you can’t really; all you can do is invite inquirers to find out for themselves.  Talk about an emotional high!  You just can’t get any higher!


Well, that’s not exactly right.  That was just the thrust as all that fuel burned to get you off the ground, like a jet airplane.  It takes a lot of fuel to get a plane airborne, but once it’s flying, it just levels off and goes toward its destination under the power of the fuel in its tank.  The pilot knows how to keep it moving by using the instruments on his panel which he has been trained to expertly operate. 


We are like the passengers; the pilot is like the anointed leadership; the fuel that provides the momentum is like the Holy Ghost.  We need to allow the pilot to do the job that God has given him to do to guide us toward our destination.

We don’t fly in the thrust that it took to get us off the ground.  The emotions are so wonderful, soaring on the wings of a spiritual high.  But, you know what, emotions fade in time.  As the excitement fuel is used up, all that is left are some fumes unless you have a direct connection to the fuel source; you can't run on fumes.  The engines have to have a permanent line attached to the fuel tanks.  Just as the initial thrust of the takeoff merges into the power of flight empowered by the fuel in the huge tanks of the plane, the initial in-filling of the Holy Ghost was not jettisoned, but infused and sent us toward a higher and deeper mission.    The success of our efforts depends entirely upon the empowerment of the Holy Ghost and a permanent connection to the "fuel" source. 


More than our emotions are touched when the Holy Ghost moved into our lives.  We just sort of “level off” into devotion, commitment, and service infused by the power of the Holy Ghost.  The energy we spent at the onset of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost emerges into adoration and worship of the Baptizer, Jesus; and then moves deeper into our being.

Now we have tools that we didn’t have before; such as, praying in the Spirit, singing in the Spirit, allowing the Spirit to motivate us and empower us to witness.  We have supernatural power to fight the powers of evil that will meet us head-on with intentions of destruction.  We have a suit of armor for protection against the enemy.


We are equipped to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel (including our own neighborhood)."  The fiery emotions that we experienced when the Holy Ghost first came in, solidifies and gels into power for service for which He came.  We are not so concerned with just the “feelings” of our emotions; we now are turned outward to be spent for God in the service He has called us to do and empowered us to accomplish.


So, what’s next?  Fulfilling our callings faithfully, empowered by the “fuel” of the Holy Ghost.  That was God’s purpose in sending the Holy Ghost.  Not just to make us “feel good” (though we really do feel good!)

“But ye shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” {Acts 1:8), said Jesus.


To begin every day feasting on the Word, praying, singing and worshiping in the Spirit is empowerment and preparation for service for the day.  Who knows what great things God has planned for us today?  

We can complete our daily assignments powered up by the Holy Ghost, who will guide and direct our every empowered step!


Turn the emotional ‘high’ into Kingdom power and soar toward your destination that God has determined for you.  The rewards will be “Heavenly”!




Click here for :  "Whatever Happened to This is That?"







Copyright There's Good News May 2007


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