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Dr. V-i-nes 2/16/86
Many years ago I read this statement and I have never forgotten it.
It said that the average Christian and the average church are somewhere bogged
down between Calvary and Pentecost. They have been to Calvary for pardon, but
they have not been to Pentecost for power. Bethlehem means God with us. Calvary
means God for us. Pentecost means God in us. J. B. Phillips who gave us the
familiar paraphase of the New Testament wrote something like this a few years
ago. He said that churches today are fat and out of breath through prosperity.
They are muscle-bound through over-organization. What we need today is again
the wind and the flame of Pentecost. I think all of us would agree that this is
true. We need to recapture the power which is so manifest and so obvious when
the church met together in the upper room and the day of Pentecost occurred.
This is the day of Pentecost substitutes. Lacking the real power and fire from
God we wire to produce our own fire works. We are like auxiliary power
supplies, battery operated so when the real power goes off we can switch on our
our own power supply and manufacture our own. We are living in the day of
program, propaganda, pep and promotions, and all of these things trying to
duplicate what God, the Holy Spirit did on the day of Pentecost when the fire
fell and the wind blew. These are the days of Pentecostal substitutes. We
create a storm of our own wind. We whip our own flames and our own fire, but we
lack the reality and the warmth of the real thing. My heart is hungry again
tonight to experience in the church of the Lord the power of Pentecost, the
Spirit of God in fullness of manifestation. I like what Vance Havner said some
time ago. He said the average one of us is so afraid of getting out on a limb
we never even bother to climb up a tree. That's pretty true, isn't it. We are
so afraid of the excesses. We are so afraid of those who go to extremes in
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for His people. So, I want to talk for a little while about Pentecostal
Christianity. There is a sense in which Pentecost will never again be repeated.
Pentecost was predicted in the Bible. It had a historical fulfillment and in
that sense there will never again be a day of Pentecost. I do believe that the
power made available to the church at that time can be appropriated by any
church, anywhere, who wants to pay the price and meet the conditions of the
I want to call your attention to verse 1, to the meaning of
Pentecost. What do we mean when we use this kind of terminology? We hear the
word sometimes today. In the church calendar of many denominations the have
what they call Pentecost. There are certain religious groups today who have
taken the terminology and they refer to themselves as Pentecostal churches.
What is the meaning of this Bible word, Pentecost? Look at verse 1:
"And when the day ...
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