God has made a great provision for the people in the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was wonderfully manifested on the day of Pentecost. Christ’s ascension was the event which in heaven’s order was to mark the descent of the Holy Spirit. The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you John 14:26. The world’s Redeemer designed to show His followers on earth His union with the Father and with man. Christ declared: It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. John 16:7.
To us belongs the same promise of the Spirit as to the first disciples. Today God charges men and women with power from above as He endowed those who on the day of Pentecost heard the word of salvation. Even now His Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and will take Him at His Word. Apostle Peter urged the people to repent and be baptized in the name of Christ for the remission of their sins. In addition he said: Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:38, 39.
Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church. In immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation of the Spirit. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Joel 2:28. This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. It will reach its full achievement in the manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel.
The gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
After filling the vacancy in the apostolic number, the disciples gave their time to meditation and prayer. They were often in the temple testifying of Christ and praising God. The Pentecost was a feast celebrated seven weeks after the Passover. At that time the Jews were required to present in the temple the first-fruits of all the harvest. Thus they were acknowledging their dependence on the great Giver of all good. On this day of divine appointment the Lord graciously poured out His Spirit on the little company of believers who were the first-fruits of the Christian church.
Transformation upon receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit
Under the influence of the Spirit words of penitence and confession were mingled with songs of praise for sins forgiven. Words of thanksgiving and of prophecy were heard. Lost in wonder the apostles and disciples exclaimed: Herein is love. 1 John 4:10. They grasped the imparted gift. And what followed? Thousands were converted in a day. The sword of the Spirit, newly edged with power and bathed in the lightnings of heaven, cut its way through unbelief.
Disciples were filled with an intense longing to add to the church of such as should be saved. They called on the believers to arouse and do their part. Then all nations might hear the truth and the earth be filled with the glory of the Lord.
Under this heavenly illumination, the scriptures which Christ had explained to them, stood forth in their minds with the vivid luster and loveliness of clear and powerful truth. The vail which had prevented them from seeing the end of that which was abolished was now removed. The object of Christ’s mission and the nature of his kingdom were comprehended with perfect clearness.
When one is fully emptied of self and every false god is cast out of the soul, the vacuum is filled by the inflowing of the Spirit of Christ. Such a one has the faith that purifies the soul from defilement. The individual is conformed to the Spirit and minds the things of the Spirit. Thus one has no confidence in self. Christ is all and in all. He or she receives with meekness the truth that is constantly being unfolded and gives the Lord all the glory, saying, God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit… Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10, 12.
The Spirit that reveals, also works in one the fruits of righteousness. Christ is in him or her a well of water springing up into everlasting life. John 4:14. The believer is a branch of the True Vine and bears rich clusters of fruit to the glory of God. What is the character of the fruit borne? The fruit of the Spirit is love, not hatred; joy, not discontent and mourning; peace, not irritation, anxiety, and manufactured trials. It is long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Galatians 5:22, 23.
Apostles received power
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit the disciples were to receive a marvelous power. Their testimony was to be confirmed by signs and wonders. Miracles would be wrought, not only by the apostles, but by those who received their message. Jesus said: In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17, 18.
The disciples were to have the same power which Jesus had to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. By healing in His name the diseases of the body, they would testify to His power for the healing of the soul. Matthew 4:23; 9:6. And a new endowment was now promised. The disciples were to preach among other nation. And they would receive power to speak other tongues. The apostles and their associates were illiterate men. Yet through the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost their speech, whether in their own or a foreign language, became pure, simple, and accurate, both in word and in accent.
Results after receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost
The glad tidings of a risen Savior were carried to the utmost bounds of the inhabited world. The hearts of the disciples were overcharged with a full, deep, and far-reaching benevolence. It impelled them to go to the ends of the earth, testifying: God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:14. As they proclaimed the truth as it is in Jesus, hearts yielded to the power of the message. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. Backsliders were reconverted. Sinners united with Christians in seeking the pearl of great price. Those who had been the bitterest opponents of the gospel became its champions.
With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them. Acts 4:33. Under their labors there were added to the church chosen men. By receiving the word of life they consecrated their lives to the work of giving to others the hope that had filled their hearts with peace and joy. Hundreds proclaimed the message: The kingdom of God is at hand. They could not be restrained or intimidated by threatening. The Lord spoke through them. Wherever they went, the sick were healed and the poor had the gospel preached unto them.
The Holy Spirit – the theme of our thought and instruction today
In the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit are contained all of heaven’s resources. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit.
In His intercessory prayer Christ declares that the Father’s love is as great toward us as toward Himself – the only-begotten Son. We shall be with Him where He is, forever one with Christ and the Father. The gift of the Holy Spirit – rich, full, and abundant should be to His church as an encompassing wall of fire. And the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. In their untainted purity and spotless perfection, Christ looks upon His people as the reward of all His suffering, humiliation, and love. One is to do more by accepting the heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit.
How to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit
The gift of the Holy Spirit is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord’s promise. Though they talk about Christ and the Holy Spirit, they receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. Yet the Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people to will and to do of His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13.
But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ. He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.
The same Power is to be revealed
The disciples, filled with the power of the Spirit, went forth to proclaim the gospel. Likewise God’s servants are to go forth today. Filled with an unselfish desire to give the message of mercy to those who are in the darkness of error and unbelief, we are to take up the Lord’s work. He gives us our part to do in co-operation with Him. He will also move on the hearts of unbelievers to carry forward His work in the regions beyond. Already many are receiving the Holy Spirit. No longer will the way be blocked by listless indifference.
The history of the disciples work who labored with holy zeal, animated and vitalized by the Holy Spirit, has been recorded. From this record the Lord’s people today are to gain an inspiration to work earnestly for Him? What the Lord did for His people in that time, it is just as essential, and more so, that He do for His people today. All that the apostles did, every church member today should do. And we are to work with as much more fervor, to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit in as much greater measure, as the increase of wickedness demands a more decided call to repentance.
Zeal for the glory of God – the motive of today
Everyone on whom is shining the light of present truth is to be stirred with compassion for those who are in darkness. From all believers, light is to be reflected in clear, distinct rays. A work similar to that which the Lord did through His delegated messengers after the Day of Pentecost He is waiting to do today. At this time, when the end of all things is at hand, should not the zeal of the church exceed even that of the early church? Zeal for the glory of God moved the disciples to bear witness to the truth with mighty power. Should not this zeal fire our hearts with a longing to tell the story of redeeming love of Christ and Him crucified? Should not the power of God be even more mightily revealed today than in the time of the apostles?
God does not ask us to do in our own strength the work before us. He has provided divine assistance for all the emergencies to which our human resources are unequal. He gives the Holy Spirit to help in every strait, to strengthen our hope and assurance, to illuminate our minds and purify our hearts. Just before His crucifixion the Savior said to His disciples: I will not leave you comfortless…I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever… When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, and He will show you things to come. John 14:18, 16; 16:13.
The Holy Spirit as an educator
He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26. God takes men as they are, and educates them for His service, if they will yield themselves to Him. The Spirit of God, received into the soul, quickens all its faculties. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit the mind that is devoted unreservedly to God develops harmoniously. It is strengthened to comprehend and fulfill the requirements of God. The weak and wavering character becomes strengthened and steadfast. Continual devotion establishes so close relation between Jesus and His disciples that the Christian becomes like his Master in character.
Christ promised that the Holy Spirit should abide with those who wrestle for victory over sin. The divine power will endow the human agent with supernatural strength and instruct the ignorant in the mysteries of the kingdom of God. The Spirit had been given as a constant, working, and regenerating agent to make effectual in each individual case what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. Thus we receive the benefits from the only begotten Son of God who humbled Himself, endured the temptations of the wily foe, and died, the just for the unjust,
End-time outpouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit
God has bestowed his grace and Spirit upon his people to strengthen them to stand against the power of the evil one. As the church approaches her final deliverance, Satan is to work with greater power. He comes down having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:12. He will work with all power and signs and lying wonders. 2 Thessalonians 2:9. And in this time of peril the followers of Christ will bear to the world the warning of the Lord’s second advent. People will be prepared to stand before Him at His coming, without spot, and blameless. 2 Peter 3:14. At this time the special endowment of divine grace and power is not less needful to the church than in apostolic days.
Call upon all who claim to believe present truth
We are living in the last days. An error of a most deceptive character is accepted and believed, while truth is discarded. God calls upon all who claim to believe present truth. Moreover, to work diligently in gathering up the precious jewels of truth, and placing them in their position in the framework of the gospel. Let them shine in all their divine beauty and loveliness, that the light may flash forth amid the moral darkness. This cannot be accomplished without the aid of the holy Spirit. With the aid of the Spirit we can do all things. When we are endowed with the holy Spirit, we by faith take hold of infinite power.
Jesus said to his disciples: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. John 16:7,8. The Comforter is to come as one who lays open before us our defects of character. At the same time the Spirit reveals to us the merit of Him who was one with the Father. Jesus said – He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. John 16:14. In Christ dwelt all the fullness of the God-head bodily, and we are to be complete in him. With all our defects of character, we are to come to him in whom all fullness dwells.
The gift of the Holy Spirit subject to conditions
We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people to will and to do of His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13. But many will not submit to be led. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.
To impart the Spirit is to impart the life of Christ. Thus those only who are taught of God and possess the inward working of the Spirit, and in whose life the Christ-life is manifested, can stand as true representatives of the Savior. The baptism of the Holy Ghost as on the day of Pentecost will lead to a revival of true religion, and to the visitation of angels and the performance of many wonderful works. Men will speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit of God. But many who now claim to believe the truth, would know so very little of the operation of the Holy Spirit. They would cry – Beware of fanaticism. They would say of those who were filled with the Spirit – These men are drunk with new wine.
The Spirit opens the Word to Christ’s servants
God has revealed His will to mankind through his Word. Yet this fact has not made unneeded the continuity of the presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the promised Spirit was to open the Word, illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the Word. The Spirit was not given to supersede the Bible. For the Scriptures explicitly state that the Word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested.
Apostle John said – Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1. And Isaiah declares – To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20.
For the believers at Ephesus the apostle Paul prayed, That the God of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what . . . is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19.
Holy Spirit’s work in conversion
The God of heaven uses His Spirit as it pleases Him. Human mind, judgment and methods cannot set boundaries to its working, or prescribe the channel through which it shall operate. The wind moves in its force, bending and breaking the lofty trees in its path. Likewise the Holy Spirit influences human hearts, and no finite man can circumscribe its work.
Born from Above
Jesus laid before Nicodemus, a great teacher in Israel, the conditions of conversion. He said: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3. Perplexed and wondering, Nicodemus said, How can these things be? Jesus said – Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things? A teacher, a man among wise men, stumbled at the doctrine of conversion! Nicodemus was not willing to admit the truth, because he could not understand all that was connected with the operation of the power of God. He was looking to forms and ceremonies as more essential to religion than the deep moving of the Spirit of God.
In order to serve God aright we must be born of the divine Spirit
This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit every sincere prayer is indited, and such prayer is acceptable to God. Wherever a soul reaches out after God, there the Spirit’s working is manifest, and God will reveal Himself to that soul. For such worshipers He is seeking. He waits to receive them, and to make them His sons and daughters.
Jesus said – That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. By nature the heart is evil, and who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one. No human invention can find a remedy for the sinning soul. “The carnal mind . . is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. The fountain of the heart must be purified before the streams can become pure. There is no safety for one who has merely a legal religion, a form of godliness. The Christian’s life is not a modification or improvement of the old life, but a transformation of the nature. There is a death to sin and self, and a new life altogether. This change can be brought about only by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.
Contemplating the theme of salvation
In all of that we see Christ’s work. Not only the promised gift of the Spirit, but also the nature and character of this sacrifice. They are subjects which should create in our hearts elevated and sacred ideas of the law of God, which holds its claims upon every human being. The violation of that law in the small act of eating of the forbidden fruit, brought upon man and upon the earth the consequence of disobedience to the holy law of God. The nature of the intervention should ever make man afraid to do the smallest action in disobedience to God’s requirement.
There should be a clear understanding of that which constitutes sin. We should avoid the least approach to step over the boundaries from obedience to disobedience. God would have every member of His creation understand the great work of the infinite Son of God in giving His life for the salvation of the world.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1
The endowment of God’s Spirit is for us
This we may confidently expect and freely receive. For we can do nothing for the salvation of souls without this heavenly agency. Because of the shortness of human life, every event should be made an occasion for enriching souls with the truths of the gospel. As time is fast closing, we should keep before the mind the spirituality of the law. Furthermore, to utter worthlessness of a formal and ceremonial obedience to the commandments, involved in a legal religion.
The holy and paternal character of God should be presented to men. Not the imaginations of mankind, such as their schemes and conclusions, but the grace of God in the gift of his only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. We are to lift up Jesus, that He may draw men unto himself.
The promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit is not limited to any age or race. Christ declared that the divine influence of His Spirit was to be with His followers unto the end. From the day of Pentecost to the present time the Comforter has been sent to all who have yielded themselves fully to the Lord and to His service.
God has given us light in regard to the things that are now taking place, and with pen and voice we are to proclaim the truth to the world. The life of Christ in the soul is the active principle of love imparted by the Holy Spirit. That alone will make our words fruitful. The love of Christ is the force and power of every message for God that ever fell from human lips.
Ask and you shell receive
You have the word of the living God. When asking you may have the gift of the Holy Spirit to make that word a power to those who believe and obey. The Holy Spirit’s work is to guide into all truth. When you depend on the word of the living God with heart and mind and soul, the channel of communication will be unobstructed. Deep, earnest study of the word under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will give you fresh manna, and the same Spirit will make its use effectual.
Christ impressed upon the disciples’ minds what was to be the burden of their prayer. They were to pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which would supply every need of the soul. The Spirit taking His abode in the heart will transform the entire being, conforming it to the likeness of Christ. Let us humble our hearts before God and believe He has pardoned all our transgressions and forgiven all our sins. We cannot honor God unless we do believe this, and make Jesus our personal Savior.
- COL 419; RH, July 4, 1893; ChS 98.3; 8T 19-20; GW 285-288; RH, Nov 15, 1892; ST, May 9, 1892; 6T 163; AA 40; GC 88; 7T 32, 33; DA 672, 821, 189; CET 208; ST, Mar, 1910; 1SM 234 – The Ellen G. White Estate
- King James Version (KJV) Bible – BibleGateway
- Image courtesy – Pixabay
Last update: January 17, 2019
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