An Amazing Occurrence – Part 2 – the power and person of the Holy Spirit
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”Matthew 3:11
We’ll look at Verses 2-4 in a moment, but first let’s go back and think of passages in the gospels where they talk of the Holy Spirit.
“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”John 7:37-39
These verses tell us of Jesus’ love, and if we come to him and believe, the Holy Spirit will come upon us, but for the disciples as John told us, Jesus hasn’t been glorified yet. This passage reminds me of John 6, so let’s see what it says there,
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.”John 6:35
This isn’t thirst for water but thirst for the knowledge of God, and the Holy Spirit has this knowledge.
Paul tells us this in 1 Cor 1:10+11,
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God.”
(And as A.R Torrey tells us in, “The Person And Work Of The Holy Spirit”.)
“We are clearly taught that the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence that illuminates our minds to comprehend the truth but a Being who Himself knows the truth.”
And here is the question I bring before you, Is the Holy Spirit a power or a person?
Here is the answer in 1 Corinthians 12:11, “But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
If you’re looking for some power to get hold of for yourself. Don’t! For as Zephaniah said. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; rest in his love.”
So our thoughts should not be ‘how do we get this power?’, but ‘how can the Holy Spirit use more of me?’
“There is a Person, infinitely wise, as well as infinitely mighty, who is willing to take possession of them and use them according to His own perfect will.”
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind,” We can see that the Spirit is like the wind in that He is “invisible but none the less perceptible and real and mighty.” The disciples heard the wind, and they probably saw and felt the rustle of their clothes and probably thought it was the Holy Spirit, though they didn’t see Him.
In John 3:6-8 ,when Nicodemus comes to Jesus, Jesus tells him, “Ye must be born again … That the flesh is flesh; and … the Spirit is spirit.” The spirit can not be flesh, and flesh can’t be spirit, but spirit can be in and with the flesh and the flesh can rest and rely on the spirit.
“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
“The word translated “sound” in this verse is the word which elsewhere is translated “voice”. We not only hear the voice of the wind but we see its mighty effects. We feel the breath of the wind upon our cheeks, we see the dust and leaves blowing before the wind; but the wind itself remains invisible.”Torrey
Just so with the Spirit; the disciples felt his breath upon their souls and so will we. Through this book of Acts, we will see the mighty things the Holy Spirit did and still does, but Himself we do not see. And here we come to this point, “He is invisible but He is real and perceptible” and I believe Torrey explained this quite well.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
This is Amazing, that just as they were praying, the Holy Ghost came upon them, to comfort them(John 15:26) But it didn’t just comfort them, it gave them tongues.
And this reminds me of when the great, great, grandsons of Noah came to try to reach God, by building a tower.
“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 11:1-9)
We can see that these people weren’t following God, like the Israelites did, they weren’t relying on God, like the apostles and prophets did. But they were following their own way, and relying on their will and desire. And now through their jealousy, pride and even foolhardiness. They started to build a tower, which they thought would take them to God’s kingdom, which is foolishness. Because as we have known that we could never reach God’s kingdom by our own efforts, even if we like them built a tower we can’t breathe properly at around 8,848 meters high by yourself. So these people would die if God didn’t lovingly stop them. And it’s only through God, through dying and rising again, that we could get to heaven.
But these people didn’t go to heaven. So then how will we get to Heaven?
Well, the answer is in the cross. “But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8) and five chapters away,and verse nine, tells us what we should do,”That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”and through believing in Jesus, the son of God, who died for us.We have“an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:4) We have “a sure foundation” that fades not away. What a promise! But in the next verse we,”are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.“(1 Peter 1:5) We see that God is with us, but not just God but now because of this amazing occasion on Pentecost day the Holy Spirit. And now as we live day by day with the Holy Spirit, we are looking forward to another day, because of this next promise,”Behold, I come quickly“(Revelation 22:7) The scriptures are full of promises but we might look at them another time.
“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2+3