18 May 2024 at 00:00:00 JST

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. Good Friday and Easter celebrate His death and resurrection. But Pentecost? What exactly does the outpouring of the Holy Spirit mean? Here are the answers from the ten most recent Pentecost services.



So what about the Holy Spirit? He was not born on Pentecost. He has always been there. In Genesis 1: 2 it says: “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”


From Pentecost onwards though, the biblical Pentecost event, the Holy Spirit started to display a special power. A look back over the past ten years of New Apostolic Pentecost services shows some of the effects.


Reception and pledge

“As New Apostolic Christians, we believe that we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands and the prayer of an Apostle,” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider said in 2017 in Vienna→. This faith is the prerequisite for the gift of the Holy Spirit to unfold its full effectiveness. “It is very important for me in my commission to strengthen this faith.”


However, this gift is not an exclusive right, but a kind of down payment for all human beings, the Chief Apostle explained in Washington in 2018→. “The Spirit who raised Jesus Christ from death dwells in you. You will experience your own resurrection.” The gift of the Holy Spirit is therefore a kind of down payment or a foretaste, the Chief Apostle said. Even if we will only see God as He is in eternal glory, His love and presence can be experienced by us already today. And we can experience God’s peace.


Freedom and development

Where the Spirit is active, there is liberty (Darmstadt 2020→). “Our plans have been changed by God. But God has not changed His plan.” Free from fear, the gospel can be proclaimed in word and deed.


This is how the Spirit also acts as Creator: “The Holy Spirit can create new things where there was nothing before.”(Zurich-Seebach 2021→). The new creation in Christ can develop within those who have been reborn out of water and the Spirit. This requires that we move forward and allow ourselves to be guided: “Let us allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. He will always find a way to give us peace and joy and salvation.” This motion is forward-looking and future-orientated: “Don’t dwell on the past. The Holy Spirit leads us onward and forward. Trust in the Creator. He will find new ways.”


Walking and acting

Believers should not only allow themselves to be moved by the Spirit, but also walk in the Spirit (Frankfurt am Main 2016→). Those who walk in the ways of the Holy Spirit take in the food that is offered, hear and accept the sermon, and partake of Holy Communion. This is a way of fighting against everything that goes against the commandment to love God and our neighbour. Another way of walking in the Spirit is to serve Him: “We did not become part of the church of Christ to be served,” the Chief Apostle said. And those who walk in the Spirit profess like the Spirit Himself does that “Jesus Christ is the way, the helper, and the solution”.


Some feel too weak to be able to take on this task and are anxious about giving this Spirit room. On Pentecost 2023 in Cape Town→, South Africa, the Bible text was: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1: 7). Even if there is a risk of anxiety paralysing our commitment: “Don’t shy away from your mission. Believe that God has enabled you to serve as Jesus Christ did.”


The love of God was poured out into our hearts. It was not just a few drops. “It fills our whole being. God has given us the maximum of love we can receive. The love of God is much more than emotions and feelings. It is a strong commitment and a self-sacrificial energy,” the Chief Apostle said in Cape Town.


Love and unity

This love (Munich 2014→) motivates believers to do good even if they know that God allows the sun to shine on the good and the evil. God, as the giver, is our role model: “He who loves gives without return, without calculation.” Driven and motivated by the Spirit of love, we can be sure: “Giving brings us closer to God. It brings us fellowship with Jesus Christ.”


We can experience this fellowship tangibly already now. The Chief Apostle based the Pentecost service in Goslar in 2019→ on 1 Corinthians 12: 13: “For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body.” The Holy Spirit always strengthens this unity. Whether in persecution, suffering, or need the Holy Spirit has always strengthened Christians. And despite human faults and inappropriate behaviour in the Church, the Spirit strengthens our belief.


Church and proclamation

Thanks to this strong belief, everyone can contribute something to the Church. Regardless of how different the individual gifts and abilities may be within a congregation: everyone has received the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” This was the Bible text in Buenos Aires in 2022→: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

And by the time the thousand-year kingdom of peace is completed, all human beings will have heard the good news, the gospel (Lusaka 2015→).

Author: Simon Heiniger


nac.today: New Apostolic Church International

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