Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Pentecost 5.15.2016
Dear friend!


In our three scripture readings today, (Genesis 11:1-9, Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:1-21) we are presented with the greatest of contrasts. For we hear of fallen humanity seeking to build a tower in order to make a name for themselves (after the flood that destroyed all life on land except those who were in the Ark) and we hear of the Prophet Joel prophesy towards the Day when the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon all flesh.

There is a stark contrast in that which fallen humanity was attempting to accomplish vs that which those who spoke under the influence of the Holy Spirit brought to the hearers in Jerusalem on that day. While humanity focused on their abilities and what they could do, the Word that all present on the Day of Pentecost heard was of the "wonderful works of the Lord." i.e, what the Lord had already accomplished through Jesus Christ, the Promised Messiah and Savior.

Through Jesus, God poured Himself out unto all flesh, through His suffering and death, was raised from the dead, ascended to heaven and 10 days later, with great noise and fire came the Promise of the Father: The Holy Spirit of God!!! He is here and is on the move mightily, urging us to faith in Christ and in so doing, equipping us to be sent out to tell others of what God has done for them.

The call still goes out: whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (2:21b)

Let us read of this amazing happening, which occurred approximately 1983 years ago.

KJV Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.



5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.


12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

May we backtrack to John's Gospel in order to be reminded who this Spirit is......Who not what.

He is eternal
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

He is the Teacher of Truth
14:26 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.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

He is the Spirit of Truth
15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

He it the Convicter, Convincer.
16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

He reveals Christ
16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The Coming of the Spirit and the Sending of the Church (slide)

God wants us so much that He has made a wide way to get to Him, for He has made a door in Christ. Anyone that wants to come through that door will be saved. The world has changed. We cannot be a fort, but we need to be like a base camp, as a way to reach out into the world to reach the lost. We can curse the evils of the day or we can looks for ways to reach out.

We need a renewal of the Holy Spirit of God, where the people all around us become worth reaching, they are worth all the effort that we can give to do that. This is where we are at. God knows what He is doing, He is bringing about a renewal in His way. He brought about a renewal when He scattered the people in the beginning so that they would obey His command found in Genesis:

KJV Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

God has been on the move since the beginning, and we as mankind have continually looked for ways to do our own thing since our rejection of God. He has not stopped coming for us, neither will He stop until the end. Many ask me as they look at the state of our nation and ask: "How much will God take before He comes down" and they usually are thinking of judgment on those who are doing evil.

But let us think more closely and get our thinking right. God has come down in judgment already, for He came down and took the judgment on Himself in His Son on the cross. Those "others" do not deserve any more judgment than we do, for we are all guilty, every last one of us. Let us be careful in calling judgment down on others, and instead let us be thankful that we have been freed from judgment by God. We not only have been freed but we are now being sent to set those who are living in the denial and rejection of God in order to bring them to freedom. Real freedom!!

Are we living in this freedom which has come to us as a result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all mankind? Has He worked repentance towards God and faith in Christ in our heart? If not, why have you not received this great gift of forgiveness through Christ by the power of His Spirit? What does it take for a heart to turn away from self and towards God? Let us consider this testimony of a Civil War Major as we think on the work of God's Spirit in our life.

"Whittle rose to the rank of Major and while leading a charge, actually filling in, and he was wounded in his sword arm which led to the amputation of his arm and a stay in a prisoner of war camp. It was while he was in this POW camp that out of boredom he began to search for something to read. He found in his personal effects the little New Testament that his Mother had placed there. He read through the New Testament in a matter of days and started through it again.
One night the nurse woke him up and told him that one of his men was dying and had been begging for someone to pray for him. The nurse told Major Whittle that he (the nurse) was a wicked man and could not pray. Major Whittle confessed that he too was wicked man with many sins in his own life and could not pray either. The nurse said that he thought Major Whittle was a Christian because he had observed him constantly reading the Scripture and the Major Whittle did not cuss as the other men. The nurse begged Major Whittle to at least accompany him to see the boy as he did not want to return alone.
Moved with compassion, Major Whittle reluctantly agreed. Here, in Major Whittle's own words, is what took place that night: "I dropped on my knees and held the boy's hand in mine. In a few broken words I confessed my sins and asked Christ to forgive me. I believed right there that He did forgive me. I then prayed earnestly for the boy. He became quiet and pressed my hand as I prayed and pleaded God's promises. When I arose from my knees, he was dead. A look of peace had come over his troubled face, and I cannot but believe that God who used him to bring me to the Savior, used me to lead him to trust Christ's precious blood and find pardon. I hope to meet him in heaven."

In his amazement as to the workings of God, the Major then later wrote this following hymn:

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own. Refrain:
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing men of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.
But “I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

May the blessings of Pentecost be poured out again upon us anew through His Spirit!!!!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 15 May 2016 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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