Have you been promised a visit that did not materialize? This family member or longtime friend promised to come to your home and stay with you for a while. Did it ever happen? Are you still longing for that loved one to pitch in your door step? For three short years the Lord Jesus literally stayed together with the Twelve Disciples who become His Apostles.
1) The Promise. Because of His imminent crucifixion He told His disciples He would send them another Counselor to be with them, forever.
Jn 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
I am certain you saw that the complete Trinity is present in these verses. “Me” and “I” are the Lord Jesus, God the Son. “My Father” is God the Father and the “Counselor” is God the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. You also note the Oneness of God here. Jesus makes a promise not leave His disciples “Fatherless”. He says of the Spirit … “he lives with you and will be in you.” Clarity on the indwelling Spirit will come later to them (and us). Then Jesus says … “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” How is this possible? He says He is in the Father and the Father is in Him and He will be is us! The Spirit who is God the Spirit will dwell within His people as God the “parent” preventing us being “orphans” … being without our Lord Jesus. He is God, as the Father is God, as the Holy Spirit is God. We are not alone … though the first disciples needed to wait for the Holy Spirit’s arrival, and they did! You see, after Jesus crucifixion this Counselor did not come. He rose from the dead and this Counselor did not come. But when he was about to return to glory He reaffirmed His promise.
Ac 1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus never forgot His promise … now He says it will be a matter of days and this Counselor will arrive. Coupled to this, He says this Counselor will come and empower them to be His “witnesses” throughout the world.
Ac 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
In the context of the text Jesus is implying that their sole mission in life must be evangelism … evangelism without any distractions! Although the Holy Spirit largely operates quietly and silently, His promised coming was dramatic. Before He arrived however, the followers of the Lord Jesus spent quality and quantity time in prayer.
Ac 1:14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
When one studies the History of true Revivals, these were always preceded by prayer. Then came the Jewish Festival called Pentecost. This Jewish feast, known as Shavuot was primarily a thanksgiving for the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, but it was later associated with a remembrance of the Law given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Ac 2:1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. This seems to be the place of prayer. Then came the arrival of the Holy Spirit, not silently or quietly, but demonstratively. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. They were the firstfruits!
I have dealt with the speaking in tongues elsewhere so I won’t go into that now, other than to say this was the reversal of what happened at the Tower of Babel when people received different languages and were unable to communicate with each other. Then came Abraham with God choosing him and his descendants to be a special people with Him as their God. Now at Pentecost, people from all over the known world, Jews and Jewish proselytes were in Jerusalem. As the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples, they preached in the languages represented by the people, meaning that unlike the Babel incident, everyone heard the Gospel in their own language. Remember Jesus’ instruction in chapter 1:8 was that the gospel be spread into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. It was from this moment that what Jesus had said to Nicodemus would come true.
1) The Holy Spirit brings spiritual regeneration. Many then and many now thought they could enter God’s paradise through good works, giving large sums and assets and being moral. Jesus rebuffed this declaring the need for a spiritual revival to take place deep within the soul of mankind.
Jn 3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
We will return to this theme tomorrow, but ask yourself whether you have been Born Again. Ask whether you understand what being Born Again means and how it effects one’s life.
Dear Lord, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit and through Him applying the Gospel to my soul, convicting me of Truth and convincing me to surrender all, believe the Gospel and follow Jesus. Amen.