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Vasiliy Evchik's Pentecost Holiday Congratulations

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Beloved brothers and sisters! Please receive my heartfelt congratulations on the Pentecost Holiday - the Day of the Holy Spirit's Descent on Earth! On this day during the coming down of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles the active work of the Third Person of the Trinity has begun, and the teaching of Jesus Christ about the Triune God has acquired its complete clearness and fullness. 

The Advent of the Holy Spirit is considered to be the beginning of the Christian Church. This Holiday is also called the Pentecost because the coming down of the Holy Spirit happend on the fiftieth day after Easter, and usually this holiday was during the end of harvest and gathering of crops. 

Prior to His ascending to heaven, Jesus has told to His disciples: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 1:4-5). In the second chapter of the Book of Acts we can read about this event: "Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." (Acts 2:2-4). 

The Holy Spirit has changed the disciples, giving them the power to overcome fear and to preach the Good News. The Holy Spirit acted in the hearts of people who having listened to the fiery sermon shared by Apostle Peter, were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" Having heard Peter's warning, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation," those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Through the power of the Holy Spirit... the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. In this way the Church of Christ was started. The greatness of the works carried out by the Holy Spirit was manifested not only in the tremendous numbers of those who were being saved but also in the change that occured in their hearts and minds. The people were leaving behind their former sinful way of life and starting to live for the glory of God. The renovation of souls that has been done by the Holy Spirit since the day of Pentecost, became possible thanks to the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ and His victorious resurrection. The born again Christians started to spreading the Happy News of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria, and even now they keep on carrying this torch even to the ends of the earth. Even today the Holy Spirit is acting on earth, He raises people to new life, transforming and building up the Church. 

Every one of us can feel the movement of the Holy Spirit. Our faith is being strengthened, our thirst of fellowship with God is growing, and many people receive the baptism of thr Holy Spirit. My dear friends, let us be sensitive to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, so we can participate in His great work here on earth. Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit, and stock up on the oil so that our lamps would never go out! Let us not extinguish the Spirit, but rather give Him a proper place in our lives, so we could attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ! 

Let us take the example of Jesus Christ and His Apostles in preaching the Good News of God's grace to all people living near us. May the Holy Spirit strengthen and empower your heart and fill you with His love and peace in this great Holiday of Pentecost! I wish you, your families and friends to have joy and be blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ! 

Vasiliy Evchik, Deputy Head Bishop of the Russian Pentecostal Union