Luke 24:36-53 The apostles and disciples still did not believe despite the physical appearance of the resurrected Jesus. They were terrified and frightened. He showed them His hands and feet and asked them to touch and see that He had flesh and bones and not a ghost. He even ate with them. He opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures (the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms) which were written concerning Him and must be fulfilled.
[John 20:22 He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”]
(continue Luke 24 above)Then He spoke this last word, “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.“
The Acts of the Apostles (also titled “the Acts of the Holy Spirit”) recorded the actual physical historical events demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit being received and lived out in the lives of the apostles and disciples, as they believed and obeyed the words of God (including all that Jesus had spoken).
Acts 1:2 Until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,
1:8 And you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and and supplication…
2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2:2 And suddenly there came…
2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
______________________The following recorded the conversation between the religious Jewish leaders and Peter and John after many had witnessed Peter healing a man born lame. Five thousand men heard the word of God they preached and believed. The high priest, rulers, elders, and scribes arrested the two apostles and interrogated them:
4:7 “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
4:8-10 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “…that by the name of Jesus Christ…this man stands here before you whole.”
4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
________________After this Peter and John were let go and went to their own companions and reported…they all prayed to God with one accord. The following is part of the prayer and what happened after the prayer. The physical evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit confirmed their prayer.
4:24-30 Lord, You are God…the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ. For truly against Your holy servant Jesus, Whom you anointed…to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they speak Your word.
30 “By stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled were shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul…
____________The power of the Holy Spirit was manifested through the increasing number of believers, and the healing and deliverance of multitude of sick people and those tormented by evil spirits. Even Peter’s shadow could cause healing.
5:16 …and they were all healed.
5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching Jesus as the Christ.
____________The Holy Spirit led the apostles and disciples to set proper priority for leadership as in the kingdom of God. (6:1-10)
Priority of the apostles: 6:4 “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (2 “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.”)
Priority for qualification set for appointment of the other church leaders: be of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, full of faith and power, do great wonders and signs among the people, able to speak God’s words by wisdom and by the Holy Spirit.
______________Baptism of the Holy Spirit by laying of hand was recorded in the following episode.
Philip preached Christ (the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus) to the Samaritans and the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Him, hearing and seeing the miracles He did. Unclean spirits were cast out and many paralyzed and lame healed. There was great joy. They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. But when the two apostles Peter and John came they had to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit. Why? Because they did not have the physical evidence (praying in tongues).
8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
8:18-19 And when Simon (a former sorcerer) saw that…he offered them (Peter and John) money, saying, :Give Me this power also, that anyone on Whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
(Simon saw the physical evidence of the Holy Spirit and knew this is real!)
Peter corrected Simon and told Him that the baptism of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by physical manifestation of speaking in tongues is the gift of God.
What was the difference between the multitudes of believers who received when Peter and John laid hands on them and the former sorcerer Simon?
The multitudes of believers just believed that God wanted to give them this gift and they all received by faith.
Simon was filled with other thoughts and desires:
- Envy of the others’ possession of a power which is greater than the one He used to display.
- Worry about own congregation (followers) having gone to another ‘church’. His regular income would be adversely affected unless he copied their method and displayed their power too.
- Perhaps He even secretly prayed for the power but could not receive. He was filled with jealousy and bitterness. After all He was more qualified and experienced in spiritual matters.
But The Acts of the Apostles has shown otherwise. The real problem is not in the external. It is inside the heart.
8:20-23 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for Your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this Your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of Your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
_____________________Pentecost is here again. The watchman urges the leaders of churches who do not yet manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit and desire to receive the gifts to turn to Your Bible and the word of God. Be still before the Lord and wait upon Him.
- Read what Jesus has commanded.
- Believe and obey.
- Read the Acts of the Holy Spirit.
- Believe and obey.
- Repent for unbelief and walking according to the flesh and not in the Spirit and pray humbly for spiritual weapon, the might of God to “pull down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
- Live a lifestyle of living before God. Have the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2)
“I pray that God, the Father of glory, give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of our understanding being enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of our calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power…”