1 Kings 8.56 "Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.
These words were spoken by king Solomon when the temple was completed and the ark of the covenant was placed in the new temple designed by David. There were promises made to the children of Israel through Moses, the spiritual leader of the house of Israel, and of those promises Solomon declares in the hearing of all that not one promise failed of all that was spoken. It is a testimony to God's character that His word once given is "Yea" and "Amen." It is with this God that we have our covenant relationship and trust in His promises to His new people, those who are called in Christ Jesus.
John 5.20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
By their works you shall know them. It is one of the ways to discern those who belong to God and those who do not. When the power of God is manifested it brings those who are witnesses to a time of decision. In this verse we have a declaration that God the Father loves the Son of God. We know that the Son is Jesus. It is important to the Father that people accept His Son Jesus. To display that He is with Jesus, He reveals to Jesus great works... greater works... so that those who witness will know that Jesus is approved of God when Jesus himself performs these wonders. So much so that the amount and magnitude of miracles is so great that none can dispute it.
John 7.37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (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.)
This is the promise, that the Holy Spirit will be in you. When the Holy Spirit takes up residence within your heart; read that as your spirit, or the physical center of your body, belly... there are many ways in which the scriptures picture this "center"... when in residence the Holy Spirit's life energy comes bubbling up into your own life. This life sharing Holy Spirit residing within the believer is something unique, it has never existed before in time, place or circumstance.
The reason for this is that the issue of sin has not yet been dealt with. Verse 39 says; "should receive," as not yet having obtained. The Holy Spirit has not yet been given to anyone in the manner promised to those who will come to Jesus. This giving will only occur after Jesus has been glorified. This glorification occurs when he completes his work on the cross, the giving up of his life for the life of others, and the resurrection to a new life and a new body... a new creation. When Jesus fulfills his calling and purpose on the earth, it is then that the Holy Spirit will be given to those who come to him and ask for this new life.
John 14.12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
I will acknowledge at this time that the apostles, when they were sent out by Jesus on missionary journeys, did have many miracles occur when they used the name of Jesus to command change. When the disciples returned they reported that the sick were healed, demons cast out, etc., this while Jesus was still alive. Yet Jesus talks of greater works than these because he is going to his Father. After his death, greater works are going to occur. This as a witness to others that the ones doing the work of miracles are children of God. A witness from God that we are His just as God witnessed that Jesus is His Son through the works done by Jesus. The difference for the disciples is that the current works were done by the Spirit who was with them. After the resurrection the works are going to be done by the Spirit who will be on them.
John 14.15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
As great as the promise of the Holy Spirit being upon us for ministry, it is the promise of him within us that is the greatest of these. He shall be in you. The God of creation dwelling inside a your body of flesh. This is the seal of the Holy Spirit. More than that though, for he is the river of life within. Through His Spirit you have life and life abundantly. He is the guide that will lead you to life everlasting. Following His leading you will do all the wonderful works that God has ordained for you. Above all these... you will be changed to reflect God's character traits and they will be your own. To have the heart and mind of God. What a promise!
John 20.19 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, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 23 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Luke 24.49 "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high."
Here we have two authors of the new testament refer to the same event... the giving of the Holy Spirit. This is the beginning of the church, for the church is the sealed membership of those who have accepted Christ and have received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. According to John, Jesus breathed on them and said; "receive ye the Holy Spirit." Luke says that Jesus sent the promise of the Father upon them. With Luke you see that Jesus also says to tarry in Jerusalem until you are endued with power from above. With these two examples we see that the Holy Spirit was given to be within the disciples, yet... that there is also to be a subsequent enduing of power... by the same Holy Spirit.
When did this indwelling occur. Contrary to popular belief, it occurred Sunday night, the same day that Jesus arose from the grave. This is the birth of the church. Pentecost, with its power for ministry was still 49 days away. The first part of the promise was that we would be Christ's forever. It does not matter whether we are under the enduement of power... that comes and goes to one degree or another. What matters is the residency of the Holy Spirit within you. It is He who will never leave you nor forsake you.
It is wonderful to know that God dwells within His own people... yet when it comes to ministry, to each other and to the world, we need the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1.4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 8 But 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 all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
We have forgotten what it means to tarry until the power to minister to others comes upon us. I am not talking about acts of kindness, sacrifice, grace, etc... for these acts should flow naturally from the heart that is committed to Christ because it has been changed. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This is the motivation from the fruit that is maturing within us. But the power... to change lives, circumstances, situations... to receive direction and encouragement... from God... comes from the Spirit of God on you with power.
There has not been anytime since the Spirit was given, that his manifestation in the lives of believers was done away with. For about 2,000 years the Spirit has been willing to move where there still remained faith to believe that God still moves. The members of churches and those being reached out to still need healing, encouragement, prophecy, deliverance from evil spirits, words of knowledge, wisdom, etc... and God still supplies all our needs, if we have faith and walk according to His word. His word says to tarry until you are endued with power... to the disciples then... to us now.
Acts 2.1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The apostles and those with them had to wait for the giving of the Holy Spirit with power before they left their upper room and went to minister to the world. The first sign was of tongues. Later, other signs followed as well. The Spirit of God on them performed the mighty works. The promise is to us as well. If we approach God with faith and ask, He will give to you the Holy Spirit to rest upon you. Why... because you too have a work and a ministry and it will take the power of God to fulfill it. Does this mean signs and wonders? Perhaps. You see, the power enables one to receive a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom as well. This from the Holy Spirit upon you. He gives to each one a gifting so that as the church gathers, the whole list of gifts, the moving of God with power, will be there. That is why it is important not to forsake the gathering together.
There is a promise that comes in two parts:
The Holy Spirit will be given to reside within you. His purpose is to seal you to Christ making you a child of God, an heir to the kingdom. Within you He moves to heal, to refresh, to deliver, to give you life. He wishes to change your carnal mind to reflect the mind of Christ. He wants to change your carnal heart to be like the heart of Jesus. The inward working of God in your life.
The Holy Spirit given to be upon you. His purpose is to minister through you to others. Both to believers and those outside of the fellowship of the saints. The signs are the witness that God approves of you and your work... just as He did for Jesus when Jesus walked upon the earth. People need to know that God cares and still moves and you are one of the vessels that He uses to do that.
Together these two parts which are one give a powerful testimony to the world. The heart of love in the believer and the heart of God as He meets the needs of others through that believer. These two promises are yours. IN You & Upon You. Do not let anyone cheat you out of the fullness that God has provided for you.
Author: Joseph Raymond
Wednesday, February 21, 2001
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