The Feast of Pentecost
The Feast of Pentecost has become one of
the greatest feasts celebrated in the church
with ordinations that everyone look forward to.
On this year’s feast we celebrated with ordaining
3 reverend bishops and 20 reverend fathers…
Therefore I would like to talk to you today about the
Because of the importance of the Holy Spirit’s
work with us, the Lord said to His disciples, the
saints: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your
advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the
Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will
send Him to you” (Jn 16:7)… And told them about
Him “that He may abide with you forever… and will be
in you” (Jn 14:16, 17).
The Glorified, Lord Christ, lived with them in His
body until He rose to Heaven then promised them the
Holy Spirit to stay with them forever, the Spirit of
truth, the Comforter… So what should we know about
the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit, therefore it
existed since ever.
We read about it in the first verses of the Genesis
Book. The divine response says: “In the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth. 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.” (Gn 1:1, 2).
And Isaiah talks about the Holy Spirit and gives
Him names in his saying: “…The Spirit of the LORD…,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of
counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the
fear of the LORD.” (Is 11:2).
And we add to that in the third Hour Prayer
(Terce) of every day and say: “…a spirit of prophecy
and chastity, a spirit of holiness, justice and
authority…” and call Him by saying: “O Heavenly
King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who is
present in all places and fills all, the treasury of good
things and the Life-Giver…”.
And the Lord says about Him in the St John’s
Gospel “the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the
Father” (Jn 15:26). And the doctrine of being
proceeded from the Father was mentioned by the
Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in the Faith
Creed. Yet our brothers, the Catholics add to it
“Filioque” meaning “and from the Son”. And this is
opposing to the Holy Trinity Doctrine. In assimilating
the Holy Trinity to Fire we say: "Fire brings forth
heat; and light proceeds from it” and we do not say
that the light proceeds from heat! But the light and
the heat both come from the origin, which is the fire
and not one from the other…
The Holy Spirit used to work in the Old
Testament as well.
In the story of Samson we read that “the Spirit of
the LORD began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan”
(Jg 13:25). And we also read that after Saul was
anointed as king that “the Spirit of God came upon
him, and he prophesied” (1 S 10:10). This also
happened when David was anointed by Prophet
Samuel to be king “the Spirit of the LORD came upon
David from that day forward” (1 S 16:13).
And the way the Holy Spirit came upon both Saul
and David was through the Anointing Oil that the Lord
ordered them to prepare in Exodus Book (Ex 30:22-
31). And Aaron was anointed as a high priest when
Moses poured from this holy anointing oil on Aaron’s
head and anointed him (Lv 8:12), as we say in the
psalm “It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.” (Ps
133:2). And with this anointing oil the tent of meeting
along with the altars and the utensils were anointed
and became holy (Ex 40, Lv 8). With this anointing oil
also kings and prophets were anointed (1 K 19).
And as a result to the anointing, the Holy Spirit
comes upon them and so comes His gifts as well.
And we read in prophet Joel the Lord’s saying:
“And it shall come to pass afterward That I
will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons
and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old
men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall
see visions.” (Jl 2:28).
And this is what happened on the fiftieth day (the
Day of Pentecost), as St Peter the Apostle explained
this verse from Prophet Joel’s Book (Ac 2:16, 17).
The Holy Spirit also could be transferred
from one person to another.
This happened to the seventy elders on the days
of Prophet Moses when the Lord said to him: “Gather
to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel… Then I will
come down and talk with you there. I will take of the
Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon
them” (Nm 11:16, 17). And here the bible says:
“Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke
to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and
placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it
happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that
they prophesied” (Nm 11:25).
We notice that before Moses, when Joseph the
Righteous interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream, “Pharaoh
said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this,
a man in whom is the Spirit of God?"” (Gn 41:38).
And here was the Holy Spirit’s gift
interpreting dreams, i.e. the Spirit of
Also there is another work for God’s Spirit in
every art, so as to what the tent of meeting needed
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: "See, I have
called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur,
of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the
Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in
knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to
design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in
bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood,
and to work in all manner of workmanship” (Ex 31:1-
Here we see that the Holy Spirit works even in
the talent of workmanship that is given to some even
in jewelry and carving woods…
Among the most important characteristics of
the Holy Spirit is that it is Who spoke in the
And this is a statement in the content of the Faith
Creed. This means that the Holy Spirit is the source of
the divine response of the Holy books. the Holy Spirit
was the source of all what the prophets and apostles
said in the holy books.
In this St Peter the Apostle said in his second
epistle “for prophecy never came by the will of man,
but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by
the Holy Spirit.” (2 P 1:21).
Nowadays, in the New Testament, the Holy
Spirit is given through three ways: The holy
anointing, laying priests’ hands and the holy
As for the holy breath, it was written in St John’s
Gospel that our Lord Jesus, after His Resurrection,
when He appeared to His disciples, the saints, in the
upper room, He told them “As the Father has sent
Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He
breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the
Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are
forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are
retained."” (Jn 20:21-23).
And in the ordination of the bishop or the priest
we breathe in his face and say “Accept the Holy
Spirit”, so he opens his mouth to accept the holy
breath and says with the psalm “I opened my mouth
and accepted myself a spirit”.
As for laying hands, the Holy Spirit in the time of
our fathers the apostles was given through the
apostles laying hands. This was mentioned in giving
the Holy Spirit to the People of Samaria. The Apostles
Synod in Jerusalem sent them St Peter and St John
“Then they laid hands on them, and they received the
Holy Spirit” (Ac 8:14-17). And the same was done to
the People of Ephesus “And when Paul had laid hands
on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them” (Ac 19:7).
Same applied to the Priesthood Sacrament, St
Paul the Apostle said to his disciple Timothy “I remind
you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through
the laying on of my hands” (2 Ti 1:6).
The holy anointing was also known in the
apostolic age. St John the Apostle says about that:
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One…” (1
Jn 2:20) “… But the anointing which you have
received from Him abides in you” (1 Jn 2:27).
And we, in anointing children after baptism: we
anoint them with the Holy Chrism (Myron) and lay
hands on them and breathe in their faces. And say to
them: “Accept the Holy Spirit”.
And with the Holy Anointing Sacrament we
become temples for the Holy Spirit. And the
Holy Spirit dwells in us…
St Paul the Apostle talks about that in his first
epistle to Corinthians and says: “Do you not know
that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of
God dwells in you?” (1 Co 3:16), and “Or do you not
know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
who is in you” (1 Co 6:19). Then every one of should
remember that on the day he was anointed with the
Holy Chrism (Myron) that he became a temple for the
Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit became dwelling in
The Holy Spirit works in priesthood and
priesthood is granted through the Holy Spirit.
It has the power of forgiving sins. But someone
may say: How is that? And no one can forgive sins
except God alone! We say: Yes, the Holy Spirit that is
in the priest is one who forgives sins. As we say in the
Holy Liturgy “…be absolved by my mouth through the
Holy Spirit”, so it is the Holy Spirit that forgives sins.
And this forgiveness comes from the priest’s mouth.
And the absolution that the priest gives through the
absolution prayer in which he says: may God absolve
you, may God pardon you, may God forgive you…
And the Holy Spirit is present also in all the
Church Sacraments. He also is present in all the Holy
Synod decisions. In the first decision that came from
the Synod in Jerusalem on the days of our fathers the
apostles, they said: “it seemed good to the Holy
Spirit, and to us…” (Ac 15:28).
The Holy Spirit works in the Service too…
The fathers, the apostles did not start the service
until the Holy Spirit came upon them and the Lord’s
promise saying: “But you shall receive power when
the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be
witnesses to Me” (Ac 1:8) was fulfilled in them.
The Holy Spirit was the One choosing the
servants, like when He said: “Now separate to Me
Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called
them” (Ac 13:2, 4). And it was Him who directed the
servants in their paths and worked in them and using
Asking for the Holy Spirit is a point of our
daily prayer of the Third Hour (Terce).
We ask it to come upon us and purify us from all
defilement of body and spirit. And we cry to God
saying: Your Holy Spirit, O Lord, do not take away
It is part of our freedom to accept the Holy Spirit,
work with Him, and go into the “Holy Spirit
Partaking”. And we are also free to reject and quench
the Spirit and fight the Spirit. And the most serious
thing is to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit,
meaning to reject it completely all through the life.
But how beautiful is the bible’s saying: “For as many
as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God”
Here I would like to warn those who are deceived
and think that every spirit that leads them is God’s
Spirit!! The apostle says: “do not believe every spirit,
but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because
many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium