Pentecost revisited – Myth #1

It is a fact that the Holy Spirit lives in every true believer. Jesus promised speaking to the disciples in John 14:16,17

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you”. 

And of course, He kept that promise. Paul made clear the indwelling of every Christian by saying in Romans 8:9-11

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you“.

Then in 1 Corinthians 6:19 he wrote

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”.

This is very clear and easy to understand isn’t it? The question then is not “if” believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the question is “when” did they first experience the fulfillment of Christ’s promise given above in John 14? The prevailing teaching is that it was at Pentecost. But was it? Consider the following facts.

In John 7:37-39 Jesus made this promise,

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified“.

This is a very important text for learning the “when” of the Holy Spirit living “in” Christians. First, the condition is that they are believers. This is repeated twice in these verses. The second condition given was that Jesus must first be “glorified”. “He was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” At the time Jesus said these words the first condition had been met, the second would not be met until He was “glorified“. What did that mean? Jesus was “glorified” when He came out of the grave victor over death, hell, and the grave. The same day Jesus was raised from the dead he again spoke to the disciples in John 20:19-22,

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to 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”.

Is there some reason I am missing that I should not believe exactly what the Bible says here? Jesus made the promise and then after he had been “glorified” said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit“. I know they did receive the Holy Spirit when He commanded that they should. The same God who spoke and the created things lept into existence now spoke to the disciples and will anyone argue that they did not receive the Holy Spirit?

When the Lord commanded the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait “until you are endued with Power from on high” they were not going there to wait to be saved, they were not waiting to have the indwelling of the Spirit, but they were waiting and praying until they would be endued with Power when the Holy Spirit would come upon them in His fulness so that they could then get God sized results when they witnessed about the resurrected Christ.

The danger of not understanding this point is that if you believe Pentecost was when Christians were first indwelt by the Spirit you will of necessity also believe it is not repeatable. The narrative of the Acts proves that to be incorrect but people believe it anyway. No, the Pentecostal Power of the Holy Spirit is still available to those who are willing to wait on God, emptied of self, and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus. Just at Peter and the others were filled with the Spirit in Acts 2 and were then filled again, and again later, so you and I can be as well.

Mark it down. If you attempt to do God’s work in the abilities and energy of the flesh you will get what the flesh can give. However, if you do God’s work in the power of the Holy Spirit you will have the results God can give. Paul did not say in vain, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might“. (Ephesians 6;10)

When we set out to preach the gospel of Christ we are invading Satan’s territory and that same 6th chapter of Ephesians teaches us that we are in a “spiritual” war. We must not enter the fray in our own strength. If we do we will have churches full of actors and pretenders and not people who have been “born from above”.

Grace to you,
Royce Ogle

5 comments on “Pentecost revisited – Myth #1

  1. Pentecost not only memorializes the first giving of the law written on tablets of stone, but it also memorializes, on the same day many years later, the giving of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), when the law of God is written in the heart of the believer. As it states in Jeremiah 31:33, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
    The passover freed God’s people physically from bondage, but the giving of the Torah on Shavuot redeemed us spiritually from our bondage to idolatry and immorality.

    The Commandments Given Fifty days from the crossing of the Red Sea, Law of Yahweh written in Stone, Three thousand slain, The letter of the Law.

    The Holy Spirit Given Fifty days from the resurrection of Christ, Law of Yahweh written on our hearts, Three thousand receive salvation, The Spirit of the Law.

    Pentecost was the time the Holy Spirit instilled his law in the inward parts of his believers, therefore the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Christian. The “Comforter” of the apostles and the indwelling of today’s Christian are totally two different things.

  2. Execellent Laymond!

    Beautifully stated, however I don’t know how you reached the conclusion that somehow the Holy Spirit the apostles recieved is any different than the Holy Spirit who lives in me and you. But, I really appreciate your comment.

    Grace to you,
    Royce Ogle

  3. Royce; In order to stay on subject, I won’t go into why we are not indwelled in the same way as the apostles, but I can later, or maybe even write a post on it, I believe even you can become convinced.

    I suggest you write a post on that. You do have my interest.

    Lets see…There is one Holy Spirit. Jesus said to the disciples that one Holy Spirit who had been “with” them would be “in” them, but not until He (Jesus) was glorified. Once He was glorified He commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit and I’m sure they did. Since the day they received Him (to be “in” their bodies as a permanent resident), the day of Christ’s resurrection, every one who puts his or her faith in Christ also receives Him in the same way. Peter’s testimony in Acts 11 when he defended baptizing Gentiles (who by the way received the Holy Spirit before they were baptised) to the counsel at Jerusalem he said to them in part “If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ”.

    I don’t know what the difference you refer to could be but I’m anxious to hear.

    Grace to you,

  4. Pentecost was also the day, in the Qumram community, when the president/mbqr would read the scriptures in many languages–to show that God reigned over all nations. I think that the Holy Spirit also empowers us to go into the world and illustrated/illustrates that by using the language of the people.

    I find that often we get into discussions about what the Holy Spirit does to “me” rather than how the Holy Spirit empowers us to take Jesus to all nations.

    I liked this post and am enjoying this discussion.

    In Christ,
    Ron Clark

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