Encouraged by the Holy Ghost (2)

  • At the end of part 1 of this subject, I suggested you briefly review it before starting part 2. Here's part 2.

    This is a good place to drop this quote in from A.W. Tozer:

    “If the Holy Spirit were taken away from the New Testament church, 90% of what they did would have come to a halt. But if the Holy Spirit were taken away from today’s church, only 10% of what it does would cease”.

    Oh by the way – I saw something else in verses 32 – 35 of Acts 9

    32 Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly35 Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord.

    Wow. It didn’t say he ranted and raved asking for Jesus to heal him. He didn’t use some faith formula to try and bring about healing. He didn’t make a vow to God if he would heal the man, he said Jesus Christ heals you!"

    It’s reaching into the unseen provision of God in the supernatural and bringing it into the natural manifestation in the physical realm. The man agreed obviously, because he was instantly healed. Then look what happened. If we’ll just walk in what God has already provided to us, people will turn to the Lord.

    So, let’s get this straight. Does that mean that if we’ll be what “thus saith the Lord”, and be obedient to his grace filled declarations, that He will do what He says He will do?

    Well, In Acts 1 Jesus gave them “further” instructions from the Holy Spirit. He said in verses 4, and 5 “do NOT leave Jerusalem (remember, this meant the beginning of their ministry to GO and TEACH ALL that Jesus had told them) until you receive that package the Father promised He would send”. Again, it’s waiting for and allowing God to manifest the promises He already provided for us.

    Do you see the choice to be obedient in the promise made? Of course, we know He never forces us, but He gives us the right to choose. If we decide not to choose based on His promises, we are the ones that suffer and miss out by our choice not to receive what He has for us in all it’s fullness and glory.

    Then He reminds them by saying “I told you about this before, remember? John baptized with water, but in just a few days you WILL be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Here it is in verse 8. “You will receive POWER WHEN the Holy Spirit has come upon you……..then you will tell people about me everywhere……..in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”

    There’s a reason Jesus listed the areas they were to “go” to like He did. Jerusalem is our immediate or inner circle, our households. Judea is those we work with or relatives outside our immediate family and those we encounter outside our household on a daily basis. Samaria will be those we encounter when we go on vacation, etc. and the uttermost parts of the earth is wherever the Lord instructs our feet to go after that.

    I just noticed that in Acts. 2:4 it says, “And everyone PRESENT began speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability”. Or, in other tongues. There’s that nasty “t” word again!.

    Tongues is a GIFT. James 1:17 says that “every good and perfect GIFT is from above and cometh down from the Father of Lights, in Whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

    This clarifies to me that this “thing” that Joel prophesied and Jesus spoke about to them was not something that hit the whole area that first day of Pentecost. The disciples had to go THERE where Jesus instructed them to go and be in one accord with what the Lord had stated.

    Ooooooooh, Glory. Let me try to explain. God has a “there” for you. It is in the place He has you that you will experience His Power to do what He has for you to do. In order to receive this Promise of the Father today, we know we don’t all have to go back to the upper room that the original disciples had to go to in order to receive the Promise. However, our heart, which is the “chamber prepared for His indwelling” must be there, open and yielded to receive what He says I am to do. I must be in one accord, believing Him, to hear and receive what I am an heir and partaker of concerning the Promise.

    Remember, in the book of Hebrews it says Abraham “believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness”. James 1:22 “Be ye doers of the Word and not just hearers only, thereby deceiving your own selves.”

    Ever wonder why, if it was a “mighty rushing wind from Heaven”, that the whole area didn’t receive the Promise? And who were they in one accord with? I doubt it was each other, because there were those among them still doubting what had happened at the Cross, arguing over who would be first in the Kingdom, etc. Ephesians 4:3 says “Be united in the Spirit”. I’m sure they were saying, “Baptized in the Spirit? What does that mean, I wonder?”

    There was a whole lot they didn’t agree on in the natural realm, or even understand with their natural minds, but they TRUSTED Jesus enough, not having a clue about what this PROMISE was they were going to receive. Jesus really didn’t go into much detail about what was going to happen to them when they got BAPTIZED in the Holy Spirit and they didn’t try to reason it with their minds and figure it out before they did what Jesus had instructed them to do on His departure from Earth.

    Notice in Acts. 2:1 it says the “believers” were meeting together in one place. That tells me there had to be unbelievers who did NOT meet with them in that place.

    There’s several stories in the OT and NT that speak of “putting the unbelievers out”. The woman who’s son died and she asked them to send for Elisha. It says when he went into the room with her dead son to pray he “shut the door”. When Jesus prayed for Jairus’ daughter he “put out” the ones who were speaking negatively and “shut the door” to pray for the little girl.

    Acts 2 doesn’t say exactly what the “unbelievers” had to say, but I’m guessing it’s a lot like today. “Are tongues really necessary, do we have to, is it really from God?” It’s okay to question to further understand. If you question to negate the Truth of God’s Word, you are in rebellion, which I Sam 15:22,23 clearly states “is as the sin of witchcraft.” It also says there that “obedience is better than sacrifice”.

    Many try to take their disobedience to the Lord’s commands to Him as a sacrifice for Him to accept, because “they did it for him”. Just like Saul in that chapter. Remember when Samuel asked Saul, “what is that lowing I hear of animals?” He knew God had instructed Saul to “kill everything and leave NOTHING living.” Saul said, “I brought the best as a sacrifice to the Lord.” God cannot accept and bless your disobedience as an offering.

    Just fill in the blank with any negative reasoning you’ve heard yourself about this PROMISE of the Holy Spirit Baptism and Tongues. Two things I see right here is that we know according to the OT and NT that “unbelief” keeps us out of the Promised Land. I also see here that those who “believed” didn’t question the Lord’s instruction to go to Jerusalem and simply receive what the Father wanted to give them. That begs the question then, are you a believer and a receiver?

    Jesus said it this way, “Why do you call me Lord…Lord, and NOT DO the things that I say?” Rather, these “believers” simply said, in effect, “Be it done unto me according to thy word”.

    Oh Lord, if you say I’ve got to have it, I may not have full understanding of it, but because YOU SAID IT I won’t dispute that You say I need it. I don’t even understand this “tongue/unknown language thing”, but if you say that this is a sign that will follow me because I believe, then I just trust you, Lord. (Watch for my two part teaching on “Tongues&rdquo.

    This Baptism in the Spirit must be really important ‘cuz they were Jesus’ last words before going away. Remember Jesus said it is expedient for ME to go away so that the Father can send back the Counselor Who will lead us and guide us into ALL Truth about Him (the Lord). I also recall that Jesus never did anything to harm us and He wouldn’t tell us to do anything that would be bad for us ‘cuz He loved us.

    If this Promise is something He said we need in order to receive Power from Him “to continue what HE began” (Acts 1:1), the same Power that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with to do those things (Acts 10:38), then let us go to that Place He told us to go to and agree on this one thing (accord), that the Father is sending us something we are going to need. Jesus was not a man who could lie (Romans 3:3,4). If Jesus needed this Power to do all the things He did, then we certainly need it as well.

    So here’s a question. Could there be a direct correlation to the Power we walk in based on our obedience to receive what Jesus told us we had and could do? Ephesians 3:20 says “Now, He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask or even think, according to (His mighty) power THAT WORKS IN US.” Verse 19 says “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

    WHY in the world would we NOT want ALL that the Father Promised to us. If He wanted me to have it; told me I needed it, then WHIP IT ON ME, LORD! Be it done unto me according to THY Word, as a little handmaiden of the Lord named Mary said.

    He won’t force anything on you. He gives gifts unto men. It’s up to us to RECEIVE THEM, like any other gift. We can reach out and accept the gift and the blessing intended for us to have, or we can deny ourselves the blessing of that gift.

    The Father wants you to have His gifts because He knows they will be a blessing and a benefit to us, but HE DOES NOT FORCE YOU, and it won’t keep you out of Heaven. The Blessing of Receiving the Promise is POWER FROM HIM. If we don’t receive, we don’t receive POWER.

    I liken it to trying to cut down a tree with just the Axe handle without the Axe Head. There’s No power. Many Christians are hacking away at life and ministry, careers,etc., wondering why they are seeing no results. They are trying to chop down a tree without the Hammer Head of power. All they have is the axe handle. All that does when they struggle and chop away is make a lot of noise.

    So we’ve seen in the 9th chapter of Acts that there were many people responsible for assisting Paul in getting his ministry off the ground and keeping it that way. There was Ananias, Barnabus, and “other believers”. You know, the ones that lowered him down in a basket. See verse 25. As great and wonderful as Paul was, he needed others. Later on Silas joins him and we see Timothy come into the picture as well as others.

    In closing, once again lets look at Acts 9:31 – The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.

    Paul’s ministry was encouraged and empowered by the Holy Spirit. He wrote more about the Holy Spirit than any other writers, detailing the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit. Paul understood the importance of the leading of the Holy Spirit in his ministry. Do you? Grace and Peace.