Celebrating Pentecost PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Harold R. Carpenter   


Harold and Myrna Carpenter
Dr. Harold & Myrna

TEXT: Acts 2:1-13

1  And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  2  And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  3  And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.  4  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.  5  Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.  6  And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because they were each one hearing them speak in his own language.  7  And they were amazed and marveled, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  8  "And how is it that we each hear [them] in our own language to which we were born? 9  "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,  10  Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,  11  Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our [own] tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God. "  12  And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"  13 But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine" (Acts 2:1-13).

We had come to the final night of a seven-week revival at Evangel Temple in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Percy Brewster from Wales and Alex Tee from Scotland had powerfully proclaimed the Word of God. Dozens of people had come to know Christ as Lord and Savior, while numbers of others had been filled with the Holy Spirit. It was a time of revival, renewal, and spiritual refreshing.

Night after night I had faithfully made my way to the altars to seek the fullness of God's Holy Spirit. Forty-nine nights had passed and I still had not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. On that 50th night Alex Tee stepped off the platform, placed his hand on my shoulder and said with that heavy Scottish brogue with which he talked, "Harold, you are like that old car of mine. You get into low gear, you get into second gear, but you don't get into high gear. Get into high gear boy!" I am not so sure about his theological expression nor his methodology, but that night I did get into high gear. Suddenly I was unaware of anyone around me or even of where I was. I was simply lost in the Spirit as God baptized me in His Holy Spirit.

Somewhere near two 0'clock in the morning the pastor pleaded with me to go home so that he could turn out the lights and go home himself. During the four-mile walk home I was crossing the Mill Creek Bridge when I lifted my eyes toward heaven and saw the glories of God's vast universe and I became lost again in the Spirit. Motorists stopped to see if I was having some type of emotional fit or trauma. I could not speak in English, but only in heavenly tongues so I was unable to explain what was happening to me.

We only had two beds for four boys so I slept with my older brother, Kenneth. I was still speaking in tongues when I slid beneath the covers. He immediately proceeded to kick me out of bed.

This was the beginning of my personal Pentecost. It was not a one-time experience but an on-going life-long experience.

Today is Pentecost Sunday so I would like to review the biblical origins and teachings about Pentecost and its role in the church today.


A.  One of three great feasts to be observed by all Israelites

Ex. 23: 14  "Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me.  15  "You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.  16  "Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field.  17  "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord God (Exodus 23:14-17).

B.   Pentecost is the term adopted by Greek-speaking Jews.

C.  Old Testament names include:

1 Feast of Weeks.
2 Feast of First Fruits.
3 Feast of harvest of the first-fruits.

D.  Observed on the fiftieth day after the Passover:

15  'You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths.  16  'You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord (Leviticus 23: 15-16).

E.   The Mosaic Law was given at the time of the first Pentecost--Exodus 19.

F.   Pentecost marked the beginning of summer and of the wheat harvest.


A.  In the upper room prior to the crucifixion:

16  "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  17  [that is] the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, [but] you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.  18  "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (John 14:16-18).

5 "But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?'  6  "But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.  7  "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.  8  "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;  9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;  10  and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me;  11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.  12 "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear [them] now. 13  "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.  14  "He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose [it] to you.  15 "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose [it] to you (John 16:5-15).

B.   On the Mount of Ascension in Jerusalem:

1  The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach,  2  until the day when He was taken up, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.  3  To these He also presented Himself alive, after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over [a period of] forty days, and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.  4  And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," [He said,] "you heard of from Me;  5  for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. "  6  And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"  7  He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;  8  but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:1-8).

C.  Peter's sermon on the Day of Pentecost:

38  And Peter [said] to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  39  "For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself" (Acts 2:38-39).


A.  A Comforter in time of trouble:

1  "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1).

25 "These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you.  26  "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  27  "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14: 25).

1 "These things I have spoken to you, that you may be kept from stumbling. 2  "They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God (John 16:1-2).

32  "Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.  33  "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:32-33).

1.   He is there in the darkest hours sickness, suffering and death.
2.   He is there in the prison and at the stake:

a.   John Huss.
b.   Fermin Cevallos.

3.   He is there in the midst of social stigma.

B.   A source of power and authority for witnessing:

7  He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;  8  but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:7-8).

1.   Peter was transformed from a waffling disciple to a dynamic apostle.
2.  Thomas as transformed from utmost doubter to a missionary to the uttermost.


A.  In the Apostolic Church:

1.   Peter and the lame beggar of Acts 3

1  Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer.  2  And a certain man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple.  3  And when he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms.  4  And Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze upon him and said, "Look at us!"  5  And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.  6  But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—walk!"  7  And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened.  8  And with a leap, he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.  9  And all the people saw him walking and praising God;  10  and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him (Acts 3:1-10).

13  Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.  14  And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.  15  But when they had ordered them to go aside out of the Council, they began to confer with one another,  16  saying, "What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it (Acts 4:13-16).

31  And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness.  32  And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them.  33  And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all (Acts 4:31-33).

B.   In the Church today:

1.   Lowell Dowdy and Marco Palomeque.
2.   The blind lady of Praia and the Church in Cabo Verde.


A.  Jesus applied the upper room discourse and prayer to all believers:

14 "I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  15  "I do not ask Thee to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one (John 17:14-15).

20  "I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; (John 17:20).

B.   Peter applied Joel's prophecy to all generations:

39  "For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself" (Acts 2:39).

C.  God applied the promise to this generation at Azuza Street in Los Angeles and in Topeka at the turn of the century.

D.  Jesus applied the promise to my life in 1954:

1.   I know what I have experienced and I don't doubt it.
2.   No one else has the right to doubt what I have experienced.


Jesus said to tarry until we are filled.
Paul simply said, "Be filled with the Spirit"  (Ephesians 5:18).
The problems we face are too great to face alone.
Be filled with the Spirit!
The harvest we face is too great to reach alone. Be filled with the Spirit!


This is the outline of a sermon Dr. Harold Carpenter preached at Fair Grove Assembly of God, Fair Grove MO on Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2003, where he is pastor. Dr. Carpenter and his wife served as missionaries for twenty years. Dr. Carpenter also taught missions for twenty years at Central Bible College.
© Harold Carpenter 2003. Published by permission.
In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity—Peter Meiderlin 1626.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 07 August 2011 16:38