Monday, July 1, 2013

The Promise

"Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear" Acts 2:33

In this dispensation of grace, believers in Jesus Christ started to receive the Holy Ghost in the inner man for the purpose of salvation, adoption, and ownership which comes by Jesus Christ. While you read this study, lets seek to be more than a "seer" or a "hearer" of this great promise but let us seek to be the very ones to experience the promise. 

The beginning
It is important to know that the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts is the inauguration of the church age. God personally christened his church (body of believers) with his very own Spirit. It was the beginning of his beautiful church. The Apostle Peter recounted this great event to the brethren in Jerusalem, affirming that it was "the beginning" or the start of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
"And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?"
Acts 11:15-17

It is evident that even the Apostle Peter acknowledges that the Pentecost experience was the beginning, mankind had never experienced such a phenomenon until then. The church, the body of Christ was no longer and empty shell, we can now be filled with his Holy Spirit. What a marvelous experience it is to not only be born of the water, but to be born of the Spirit as well, just as Jesus said in John 3:3-8.

Can we withstand God?
God is the coordinator of this biblical event called the baptism of the Spirit. The called out Apostles could not withstand what God was doing in those days, neither can we withstand what he is doing now. Jesus orchestrated it, he gave the Apostles instruction to tarry (wait) in the city of Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father (The Holy Ghost).
"And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me." Acts 1:4

It was Jesus who stood on the mount of olives and told his Apostles that they would be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days after his ascension and that they would receive power.
"For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Acts 1:5 

The Promises of God are sure! Ten days later they were all filled with the Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4


 
This is that!
The birth of the church was so significant that even the prophet Joel prophesied about it. The Apostle Peter, seeing and experiencing this spiritual birth, understood what was happening and said...
"..this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" Acts 2:16-17.

A promised experience!
Jesus promised his disciples before he was crucified that another comforter would be sent in his name. This comforter would abide with his disciples forever. After Jesus made this statement he let them in on a secret "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you" John 14:18. Yes, Jesus himself would be that comforter in Spirit form.   

This same promise was reiterated several times during Jesus' earthly ministry, in one account he explains that the Holy Ghost would not come unless he departs John 16:7. He also taught his disciples that believing on him as the scripture says that "out of his belly shall flow rivers on living water" John 7:38. The proceeding verse sheds significant light on this saying. "But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified" John 7:39.




More good news!
This promise is for everyone that believes in Jesus Christ, Jesus said "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" John 7:37. Paul passing through the upper coasts of Ephesus seeing certain disciples asked "have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? This my friends, I ask you today, have you received the Holy Ghost in the same manner as they did in "the beginning"? Acts 11:15


Authored by: