In the last post I made the case from the Bible that believers were not first indwelt by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. I did have the time to discuss all of the blessings brought to each believer by the blessed Holy Spirit who lives in them. It is a rich and exciting study and perhaps one day I will attempt to scratch the surface of that topic. Today I want to address another myth concerning the events of Pentecost as recorded in the book of Acts, especially chapter 2.
Pentecost was not the first time people were filled with the Holy Spirit. Many people teach that view and most of them make other errors as well. It is clear that it is our blessing and wonderful privilege to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4; Acts 4:8; Acts 4:31; Acts 6:5; Acts 7:55; Acts 9:17; Acts 11:24 all talk about Christians being filled with the Holy Spirit just in one book! However, before Luke wrote those words consider these people.
Elizabeth in Luke 1:41, Zacharias in Luke 1:67, Luke 4:1 speaks about Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit (if Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit don’t you guess we should be too?). It is also from Luke that we learn that John the Baptist would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. God filled Bezaleel with the Holy Spirit (Exodus 35:30,31).
All of these old Testament men of God who were filled with the Spirit were so filled that they might accomplish the impossible for God. Jesus never did a miracle, healed the sick, or did any other great work until the Spirit of God came upon Him and “anointed” Him for empowered service. Before Christ came God would fill one here and there for specific tasks, but now just as Peter said in his great Pentecost message, “this is that” great promise given by the Prophet Joel that God would one day “pour out His Spirit on all flesh…”. Now any man or woman who is a child of God can have the power of God for witnessing to the risen Christ. Every person saved now has the Holy Spirit living in them as a resident who will never leave, but they can also have His fullness and power for ministry, especially for giving out the good news about Jesus.
In Luke 11 Jesus taught the disciples to pray and He ended the lesson with this verse. Verse 13 says “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Notice the context here, prayer; praying and not giving up. Yes, just as the disciples and others obeyed Jesus’ command and waited in prayer until the Holy Spirit came in prayer we too can come with persistance and get the same blessing as they.
Perhaps you and I should not be so busy trying to find the secred to ministry at the next lectureship, or in someone’s newest book, but in the discipline of prayer.
Grace to you,