Monday, September 5, 2016


By the late Pastor Bob Hanna

The Holy Spirit of God has influenced lives in every dispensation, but not always in the same way. A great number of students of Scripture consider the Holy Spirit's appearance at Pentecost and His effect on those present on that occasion to be the beginning of a continuous influence, even to this present day. Such, however, is not the case.

At Pentecost the Holy Spirit appeared in fulfillment of prophecy - a promise made by Jesus Christ to His apostles. When He was preparing to ascend to heaven, He told them, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). He had already said to them, Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence" (Acts 1:5). Thus there was to be a twofold action: empowerment, and baptism. The promise of His coming as made by the Lord when the apostles were assembled at passover: "I will pray to the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever" (John 14:16).

These conditions were exclusively related to Israel. "When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind ... and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them" (Acts 2:1-3). They were filled with the Holy Ghost, they spoke in other (unknown) tongues.

In this present dispensation our relationship to the Holy Spirit is entirely different. The apostle Paul explains, "That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed (or, upon believing), ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1: 12,13). "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you" (I Corinthians 6:19)? "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free" (I Corinthians 12:13).

God is looking for those with whom He can do the impossible -
 what a pity that we plan only the things that we can do by ourselves. -- A. W. Tozer

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