Robert Morris — Is He Pentecostal?
Alright. I want you to turn to Acts 2. We're in a series called "The God I Never Knew", talking about the Holy Spirit, because when I grew up, I didn't hear much about the Holy Spirit; and what I did hear about the Holy Spirit was bad. And so, I was a little bit afraid of Him. And so, we've been answering questions every week. This is the third week of the series. The first week was, "Who Is He"? Who is this guy? Second week, last week, was, "Is He A Person," because some people don't believe He's a person. Is He a person?
This week, I think I got a great title for you. Here's the title this week, "Is He Pentecostal". Isn't that a good title? I mean, because, you know, I've heard some things about Him and, "So Pastor, you're trying to tell us about this guy, so just lay it on the line — is He Pentecostal," 'cause we know that John was a Baptist. You know? This is what the Bible says, straight out. John the Baptist. You know? And then, we get asked this all the time, too, you know, are we Pentecostal? Are we, you know, well — Just to let you know, we're kind of Bapti-costal, if that's alright. Alright?
I went to a Baptist school, East Texas Baptist University, Bible College, and thankful for my foundation; but we believe fully in the person and the work of the Holy Spirit, as do many Baptist churches. But we're not a part of the Baptist denomination. We're not a part of the Pentecostal denomination. We're a non-denominational church. That doesn't make us special. There are a lot of denominational churches that are great churches, too. So we're not unique in that sense of being special or better than at all. I don't want you to ever think that. But let me put it this way. We believe in water baptism, but we're not part of the Baptist denomination. We also believe in spirit baptism, but we're not part of the Pentecostal denomination. You understand what I'm saying?
So when we say "is the Holy Spirit Pentecostal", well, if by Pentecostal you mean that ladies can't wear pants and they can't wear makeup, and by the way, I love makeup, for ladies, for ladies — let me clarify that. Nothing going on around the house that you don't know about. Alright? Okay. So, okay. So, for ladies, okay? Alright. So, but that's not what I'm talking about, and I'm not putting down people who have that belief.
Please don't ever put down someone who's sincere in his or her belief, alright? Don't do that. But if, by Pentecostal, we mean the biblical definition of the word Pentecost, and that we believe fully in the person and the work of the Holy Spirit, and we believe that Pentecost is the fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost and we believe that every believer needs a vital relationship with the Holy Spirit, then yes. Then yes, the Holy Spirit is Pentecostal. But not according to some historical or cultural or maybe even denominational definitions.
So to answer this question, we need to answer some other questions. Alright? So here's the first one. What is Pentecost? See, a lot of people don't even know what Pentecost is. So Acts 2, look at verse one. It says, "When the day of Pentecost had fully come", And I'll explain to you what it means, fully come. "When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting".
Okay, so let me give you a little bit of explanation about Pentecost. There were three major feasts in Israel, in the first month, the third month, and the seventh month of their calendar. And all of Israel was to gather in Jerusalem, and sometimes they gathered at other cities, but it was to be Jerusalem, and to celebrate these feasts. And they all represented something. Okay? Passover represented when the spirit of death passed over the children of Israel when they were in Egypt. Passover was the first major feast, Pentecost, and then Tabernacles. Alright?
Now, within those, you probably heard the seven feasts of Israel. Within Passover, there are three feasts. Within Tabernacles, there are three feasts. And then, you have the Feast of Pentecost, so that's where you get the seventh. Within Passover, you have the Feast of Unleavened Bread and also the Feast of Firstfruits. Then you have Pentecost 50 days after Passover, and then you have Tabernacles which includes the Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of the Day of Atonement, and then Feast of Tabernacles or Booths as it's called sometimes. And I can explain that, but I don't have time to go into all that.
Alright, so what is this feast that they're celebrating? Pentecost, you need to know, was the celebrating of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai. It happened 50 days after Passover. But let me tell you what the word Pentecost means. Okay, you can probably figure it out in a little bit. Penta means five. It's from the Greek word, means five. 'Kay? Like a pentagon, the Pentagon is five-sided. Gon is a side. Five-sided, it's a five-sided building. Okay? Penta. Cost means to the tenth power. So Pentecost means 50th. And then it says, "When the day of Pentecost had fully come" This is, what it means is when the 50th day arrived. That's what it means. Okay.
So the word Pentecost means 50th. But I want you to think about this. How many of us have a negative connotation of the word Pentecost? And you know what it means? Fifty. Okay listen to me. Fifty. Isn't it scary? It's a scary word, isn't it? Fifty. Well, actually, it is if you're talking about a birthday. But anyway, it might be scary then. Why would you ever be scared of the word Pentecost, and a word that's in the Bible? Now, it was 50 days after Passover. But God knew that His Son was going to resurrect on the day after the Sabbath, and that Jesus would be on the earth 40 days — 40 is an important number in the Bible, and that they would be praying ten days. That's 50.
So I want to show you something that, because if you're like me and numbers add up in your mind, you think, "Well, the Holy Spirit didn't come 50 days after Passover, 'cause Jesus died on Passover". The Holy Spirit came 50 days after the resurrection and He raised on the first day of the week, Sunday. It was the day after Sabbath. I want to show you something that God did in the law. Alright? Because Passover could have fallen on a Monday, a Tuesday, a Wednesday, Thursday, whenever.
So Leviticus 23:15-16 says, "And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the, sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths" Seven Sabbaths; that'd be seven weeks. Sabbath is one day a week. "Shall be completed". Now, watch verse 16, "Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord". Okay, here's just — I love the Bible. I just love the Bible. Think about this. They were celebrating Pentecost. The giving of the law came 50 days after Passover. But God knew that His Son would die on Passover but would resurrect on the day after the Sabbath. So, in Leviticus, He says, "I want you to start celebrating this feast. Don't start counting until the day after the Sabbath".
It doesn't matter whether Passover is on Tuesday or Friday or what. On the day after the Sabbath, that's when you count the 50 days, because God knew Jesus would be here 40 days. The disciples prayed ten days. And so, He wanted the Holy Spirit to come on the exact 50th day. Now, I just think that's cool that God likes math, too, like I like math. Alright, so it all works out. So what is Pentecost? Alright, you ready again? Don't be scared when I say it. Fifty. That's all the word means is 50. Fiftieth. Okay?
So here's the second question. What happened at Pentecost? What happened at Pentecost? Alright, we stop there and we'll come back and read verse three and four in a minute in Acts 2. But look at verses five and six. "And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven," from every nation, every nation under heaven. "And when this sound occurred," this mighty rushing wind, "the multitude came together, and were confused". I want you to remember the word confused 'cause we're going to come back to that. "Because everyone heard them speak in his own language 'Kay, so there are people from every nation. They're confused and they hear this, their own language. They understand this.
Think about this. Back in Genesis 11 is the story of the tower of Babel. You remember that? They all spoke one language. But they were gathered in rebellion. On the day of Pentecost, they were gathered in submission. At the tower of Babel, they were gathered in pride. Pentecost, they were gathered in humility. On the day, on the tower of Babel, they all had one language God came down and confused. That's what it says. Confused their language and they scattered to every nation. On the day of Pentecost, they all came back together and God restored a pure language to 'em and they heard the wonderful words of God.
Pentecost is the blessed reversal of the cursed judgment of Babel. Every nation, every tribe, every tongue — if you want to know, by the way, this is what Heaven's going to be like. Every nation, the Greek word nation is ethnos. Every ethnic group praising God, that's what Heaven's going to look like. And it started at Pentecost. 'Kay, so, when the law was given, there was a loud noise. The cloud descended. There was fire. God wrote His law on tablets of stone. And on that day when the law was given, 3.000 people died. On the day of Pentecost, there was a loud noise. Whole multitude heard it. There was fire. We're going to read about it in a minute, the fire. There was fire. God rode, the cloud descended. They were led by fire by day, they were led by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit descended. God wrote His law on men's hearts and 3.000 people were saved.
If you haven't figured it out yet, this is a good book. This is a great book. And it's just amazing how it all comes together like this. So the day of Pentecost is the fulfillment of that. Listen. When God gave the law, they couldn't keep it. Maybe you haven't read the book, but maybe you've seen the movie. Moses is up on the mountain getting the law and one of the laws is "Thou shalt not commit adultery," and you know what they're doing at the bottom of the mountain? Committing adultery. Before, pardon the expression, but before the ink is even dry they'd broken the law. But when the Holy Spirit comes, He writes God's righteous standard on your heart.
Let me put it another way. Jesus came to make us in right standing with God because we could never be in right standing with God. Holy Spirit comes so that we can live righteously. He comes to empower us. If you think you could live in this fallen, sin-filled, demonic world without the power of the Holy Spirit, you're in for a rude awakening. You need the power of the Holy Spirit.
So here's the third question. Can I experience Pentecost? Can I, can you, can I, can we today experience Pentecost? Because see, we're living today. The Holy Spirit came 2.000 years ago. So can we experience it? Alright? Well, back in Acts 2, look at verse three. It says, "Then there appeared to them divided tongues" Now, leave that up for just a moment, just so you can see this. See the word divide there? Look at di-vid, di-vid. Alright, look at those two syllables, di-vid. Okay? Di-vid. Think about another word, in-di-vid-ual. In-di-vid-ual. Okay. So when we think of divide, we think of something bad. This just means, divided tongues means individual tongues. Everybody got one. That's what it means. Okay?
So, "there appeared to them individual tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them". Notice, each of 'em. Everybody. 'Kay? "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance". Now, let me go back again, because tongues is a scary word to many people. Tongues comes from the Greek word glosses. Glosses. Can you think of any word we might get from that? Glossary. Just means language. And they began to speak with other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance.
Alright, listen again. You don't have to be afraid when someone says tongues. You don't have to be afraid of that 'cause it means language. And all these people heard the wonderful works of God in their own language. You see what I'm saying? Don't ever be afraid of reading the Bible. Whatever religious upbringing you have, if it ever, if it made you afraid of the Bible, something's wrong with it. You should never be afraid to read the Bible. So these tongues came and there was a tongue of fire on everyone's head. 'Kay, so it's on top of your head. Let me say it this way. If it happened today, you could see a tongue of fire on top of my head, and I'd be able to see a tongue of fire on top of your head.
Now, my personal opinion is that you couldn't see your own tongue of fire, 'cause it'd be up here, and every time you'd look, you know, it'd be like that. Now, here's the reason I'm telling you this. It's because you have to believe by faith there was a tongue of fire on your head too. Do you know how you receive Jesus? You have to receive by faith. Is that right? You know how you receive the Holy Spirit? By faith. You've got to remember, there were 120 people in the Upper Room. So this baptism in the Holy Spirit wasn't just for the 12, wasn't just for the people on the platform. It was for everyone. Everyone got a tongue of fire. But you have to believe it.
You say, "Yeah, well, I know Pastor Robert's got one and I can see so-and-so's got one and so-and-so's got one. I don't know whether I have one or not". No, everyone got it. Are y'all following me? It's very important. Alright? So the question is can I experience this? Okay, look at Acts 1; just maybe back one page. Look at verse four. This is right before Jesus ascends. "And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father". Do you see the word promise? Okay, everyone see the word promise? It's very important. "Wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now".
Okay, so Jesus says, "Wait for the promise", and then He tells them what the promise is. It's the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Does everyone see that? It's simple. I mean it's clear. You can't make that be anything else. Wait, wait, don't go anywhere until the promise comes. Well, what is the promise? Well, you, John baptized with water but you're going to be baptized with the Spirit, so the promise is the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Alright?
Now, look at Acts 2. The Holy Spirit comes. Peter stands up and preaches. And then some of 'em say, "What do we have to do? What should we do"? Here's Peter's answer. Acts 2:38-39, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized," this is water baptism, "in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". You've got to understand that it's not one gift, it's the Holy Spirit. He's the gift. You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now, watch verse 39 carefully. "For the promise", Jesus called this the promise. And what is the promise? The baptism in the Holy Spirit, right? "For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call".
See, we're trying to answer the question, "Well, can I receive it today. See, I wasn't alive when Acts 2 happened. I wasn't alive back then. Can I receive it today"? Jesus said the promise is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and "this promise is for you and for your children and to all who are afar off". Now, if you didn't realize this, when it says all who afar off, that is a direct reference to Robert Morris, because I was afar off. And you were too, even if you were a church member. You were afar off. "As many as the Lord our God will call". Did God call you? Yeah. So the promise is still for you.
'Kay, so remember three feasts: Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles. 'Kay. The fulfillment of Passover, Passover was fulfilled on the day Jesus died. On the day Jesus died, remember, it was Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits in that first feast. Passover is when a lamb, a spotless lamb was shed for the sins of the people. That's Jesus. By the way, on the very day that they were cutting the lamb's throat, they were to cut the lamb's throat at nine o'clock. That's when they nailed Jesus to the cross. At three o'clock, they were to take the lamb then and prepare to put it in the oven. At three o'clock, they took His body off the cross and put it in the tomb. He completely fulfilled Passover.
Then, they would take a loaf, the unleavened bread, a loaf of unleavened bread, and the father would hide it somewhere in the house. And you know when you pulled it out? He pulled it out the morning after the Sabbath. And he would wave it before the Lord as a symbol of the firstfruits harvest. It was a firstfruit. It was a symbol of the harvest to come. When the father is pulling the loaf out of being hidden somewhere, Jesus is coming out of the tomb as the symbol of the firstfruits of the harvest to come. It all lines up. So Passover has been fulfilled.
'Kay. We'll come back to Pentecost. Tabernacles. What's Tabernacles? Tabernacles includes three feasts: the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Okay. You need to understand, one day, the tabernacles has not been fulfilled yet, but it will be fulfilled one day because a trumpet's going to sound. And when that trumpet sounds, there's going to be a judgment. But because of the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we're going to get to tabernacle with God for all eternity. See, that's going to be fulfilled. 'Kay.
So, I have a question for you. Can you experience the fulfillment of the Feast of Passover? In other words, can you receive Jesus as your spotless lamb that died for your sins? Can you? But wait a minute. You weren't alive back then. See, this is the argument against the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which is ridiculous. It's ridiculous. That's all there is to it. It is ridiculous. Because we weren't alive back then. We sure missed out on something really wonderful, didn't we? 'Kay. You can experience the fulfillment of Passover right now. Right? Well, what about when the trumpet sounds? What if you're not alive when the trumpet sounds? Can you experience the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles? Yes. If you believe in Jesus, when that trumpet sounds, even if you're dead, the dead in Christ are going to rise. Right?
So why? Explain it. Please, explain it to me, why we can experience the fulfillment of the Feast of Passover and we can experience the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles, but we can't experience the Feast, the fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost simply because, well, we weren't alive then. I'm telling you, you can experience it. You can be filled with the Holy Spirit just like the disciples were and the 120 were in the Upper Room, even though you weren't alive back then.
I have a friend, Dr. Peter Lord. Some of you might have heard of him. He pastored for 30 years, Park Avenue Baptist Church in Titusville, Florida. And great man of God. And he's preaching a series on the Holy Spirit and he had been trained by his theological upbringing that was back then and we can't receive it today. So he's studying, and all of a sudden, the Lord said, just spoke to him in his quiet time and said, "Have you received the Holy Spirit"? And he said, "Well, of course, Lord". He said, "The Holy Spirit lives in me. When I got saved, the Holy Spirit came to live in me," and that is correct. "The Holy Spirit lives in me. Of course I've received Him".
And at that time, it'd been just a few months, his mother-in-law, his wife's mother, had come — She needed to come live with them. She'd come to live with them. And the Lord said, "Your mother-in-law lives in your house, but have you received her"? "Not fully". And the Lord said to him, "Uh-huh. And the Holy Spirit lives in your house; but because of your upbringing, you have not fully received Him". And I'm asking you, have you fully received the Holy Spirit?
So I want to ask you a very simple question, have you received the Holy Spirit. I'm not saying does the Holy Spirit live inside of you because you've accepted Jesus as your Savior. Of course He does. But have you received Him? Or have you heard some negative things about Him or maybe you've seen some negative examples out there, and it's caused you to be a little tentative or a little fearful. I know I was. But there came that day when I said, "Holy Spirit, I receive You fully". Pentecost is nothing to be afraid of. It's when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to indwell us and to anoint us.