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  The Great Bible Story #117
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The Holy Spirit is poured out

Jacob Ninan
Around nine in the morning on the Day of Pentecost, when the Jews celebrated the Feast of Weeks, fifty days after the Passover, the disciples of Jesus were gathered together in one place. Suddenly they heard the sound of a mighty wind coming from above, and they saw what looked like fire in the shape of a tongue coming and resting on each of them. Immediately they were filled with power and they started speaking in languages they didn't know. This was the fulfilment of the promise from Jesus just before He went back to heaven about the Holy Spirit being poured out on them for power to be His witnesses. At this time there were many Jews from all over the world who had gathered in Jerusalem for the feast. It happened that when they listened to the disciples now they could each hear them praising God as if it was in their own languages!

Some people began to mock the disciples saying they were drunk! Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood up among them and started speaking aloud. He explained to the people that they were not drunk but this was the result of the Holy Spirit being poured out on people. He said that the prophet Joel had written about it saying that in the last days the Spirit would be poured out on all people, their sons and daughters would prophesy, young men would see visions and old men would see dreams.

When he had caught their attention, Peter started speaking to them about Jesus, how God had attested to Him through miracles and wonders, and how they had delivered Him to death through wicked men. Peter said that they had unknowingly carried out the plan God had made, that Jesus should die for the sins of the people! But God raised Jesus from the dead, whom they had crucified, which was now a fact established by many eye witnesses including the apostles.

When the people heard this, the truth struck home in their hearts, and they were troubled by their guilt. So they asked Peter what they could do. His reply was that each of them should repent from all their sins, and turn to God believing in Jesus. Then God would forgive their sins and fill them also with the Holy Spirit.

About three thousand people responded to this first message of the gospel (good news), and the apostles baptised them in water on the same day. All these people began to gather together regularly to listen to the apostles and to celebrate Jesus through breaking bread together. This was the beginning of the church.


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