H. Maurice Lednicky, president of Central Bible College
in Springfield, Mo., for 20 years, spoke about the significance
of Pentecost Sunday with Ken Horn, managing editor of the Pentecostal
Evangel: What is Pentecost Sunday and what is its significance
to the believer?
Lednicky: The Day of Pentecost was not an arbitrary date
on the calendar. In the Old Testament, Pentecost was the second
of three annual major festivals, and it came 50 days after Passover.
So, the Old Testament type, the Feast of Pentecost, was fulfilled
on what we know as the Day of Pentecost. First, this is the birthday
of the New Testament church. Second, it represents a fulfillment
of Old Testament prophecy. And third, with the outpouring of the
Holy Spirit came enduement of power to be witnesses to the resurrection
of Jesus Christ.
Evangel: When someone is baptized in the Holy Spirit, what changes
On the birthday of the Church, Peter indicated the Baptism is for
Speaking in other tongues is the initial physical evidence of the
baptism in the Holy Spirit. And, it is also the continuing evidence.
However, believers are not to seek "tongues," but rather
the fullness of Gods presence and power.
The ministry of the Spirit is to exalt Jesus Christ. Jesus said,
"He shall testify of me." When people are hungry for the
Holy Spirit, they need to begin praising and magnifying Jesus Christ.
They will soon recognize their vocabulary is limited and that it
is impossible to ascribe to Him all the glory and praise that belongs
to Him. In that moment, when human resource has been exhausted,
the Holy Spirit comes and helps the believer exalt Christ.
The message of the Book of Acts was not the baptism in the Holy
Spirit; rather that we will receive the Spirits power to be
witnesses to the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Evangel: How does a believer walk in the Spirit?
Lednicky: Our lifestyles must glorify Almighty God, and
that requires the work of the Spirit. There are several ways that
The Holy Spirit illuminates the truth of Gods Word. The Word
deals in principle; the Holy Spirit applies the particulars to the
individual believer. So when the Word of God is being illuminated
by the Holy Spirit, then we have a solid foundation that produces
a changed lifestyle.
The Holy Spirit gives personal correction or conviction. He simply
nudges our hearts and says, "This isnt the way,"
or "That was wrong," and we can repent and make restitution.
The Holy Spirit guides in our decision-making. When we walk closely
and hear His voice, we will always be pleasing to God.
The Holy Spirit makes us sensitive to His leadership in spiritual
matters. When we meet someone in the grocery store or sit next to
someone on the airplane, God opens doors of opportunity to witness.
Young people express it this way: "Its 24-7"
24 hours a day, seven days a week that we are to walk in the Spirit.
Evangel: What are your observations about our churches in the
United States today?
Lednicky: Many of the students who come to this campus
are first-generation Pentecostals. So we know people are being saved
and filled with the Spirit in our churches. That is evidence of
the work of the Spirit today.
But I wish there was a stronger emphasis on being filled with the
Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will sustain and keep believers during
inevitable trials and tests. Emotions vacillate. As soon as a person
is born again, he or she should be led into the baptism in the Holy
With the fire of the Holy Spirit within us, we will then be effective
witnesses and evangelism will take place. That is what Pentecost
is all about.