Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Presence And The Power Of The Holy Spirit (Part 2)

Part 2

Most folks don't realize there is a third account of the Great Commission. I'm sure you're familiar with Matthew's and Mark's account issued by Jesus just before He ascended back to the Father. But there is a third, less popular account given by Luke. Actually he included something that Matthew and Mark didn't. 

(Luke 24:46), "...and He (Jesus) said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." This is pretty much what Matthew and Mark said, but with a few less words. But listen to what Jesus says next. "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24:49)

So Jesus gives the command to "go". But...He tells His disciples NOT to leave the city of Jerusalem until they are "clothed with power from on High." Jesus had worked with them for three and a half years. He was about to return to His Father, and they would be launched out into the world to preach the Gospel to all nations. But not before He sent what God had promised, the power of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew and Mark didn't include this in their accounts; however, they certainly did stay in the city, and were clothed with power for on high! From there they, and all the disciples, were compelled by the Holy Spirit to go out of the city and to the remotest parts of the earth.

Luke also wrote the book of Acts. He opened with a continuation of the subject with which he closed the Gospel of Luke. "Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts 1: 4-5) They could not leave Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on high, the power of the Holy Spirit! Jesus told them, "but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8) Just like Jesus, they needed not only the presence of the Holy Spirit, but the power of the Holy Spirit.

A few days after Jesus had risen He appeared to His followers in a room that was closed up tightly. "So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you. And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; 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, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." (John 20: 19-23) What happened when Jesus breathed on them? They were born again by the Spirit of God. Jesus had completed the work of the cross. They now had the presence of God in their lives. They received the presence of the Holy Spirit so that soon afterward they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit. Here's another way to put it. They were born again by the Spirit of God (like you and me), so that they would later be clothed in the power the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said, "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." Remember, in order for Jesus to be sent, He had to empty Himself and be born of the Virgin Mary. His conception was of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, being born of the Holy Spirit, had the presence of the Holy Spirit. (See Philippians 2 and Luke 1) However Jesus didn't begin His ministry until He was anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit. He needed the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. (See Luke 3) Jesus clearly is our example. Then we see the example followed as Jesus imparted the Holy Spirit to the disciples in that private room. And according to Luke's account, Jesus told them not to leave the city of Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on High. They were born again, by the Spirit of God, and now, before they depart to preach the Gospel to the whole world, they needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus was sacrificed. (Acts 2: 1- 4), "When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance."

This was no small event. The Spirit upon these folks compelled them to leave that upper room where they privately had been praying, waiting, and seeking God for what He had promised. They were different after that. They were bold. They were on fire for Jesus. They were single-minded about Jesus. Miracles took place at their hands. The same works Jesus performed when He was here on the earth, they were also performing, just like He said. (See John 14: 12)

We need the presence of the Holy Spirit to cause us to be born of God. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to cause others to be born of God through us. When Jesus breathed on the disciples, they became born again. When the Holy Spirit fell on them in that upper room, others began to be born again. He is in you for your sake. And He is on you for other's sake. Seek Him for His promised power, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Subsequent to your salvation (just like the disciples) is the enduement of power from on Him. If you are tired of the "status quo" in your walk with Him, and if you desire to see the world shaken for the glory of God (you as His vessel) then by faith, receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We desperately need Him for today.

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