Sabbath, October 15, 2005
“There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord’s promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people ‘to will and to do of his good pleasure.’ (Phil. 2:13).” –The Faith I Live By, p. 53.
• To follow the good example of the early disciples.
• To receive the power of God so as to be faithful witnesses.
• To prepare for the latter rain experience.
POWER BESTOWED ON DISCIPLES
1. What special power was bestowed on the disciples shortly after Jesus was translated to heaven?
Acts 1:8; 2:4 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…. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
“The Spirit came upon the waiting, praying disciples with a fullness that reached every heart. The Infinite One revealed Himself in power to His church. It was as if for ages this influence had been held in restraint, and now Heaven rejoiced in being able to pour out upon the church the riches of the Spirit’s grace. And under the influence of the Spirit, words of penitence and confession mingled with songs of praise for sins forgiven. Words of thanksgiving and of prophecy were heard. All heaven bent low to behold and to adore the wisdom of matchless, incomprehensible love. Lost in wonder, the apostles exclaimed, ‘Herein is love.’ They grasped the imparted gift. And what followed? The sword of the Spirit, newly edged with power and bathed in the lightning’s of heaven, cut its way through unbelief. Thousands were converted in a day.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 38.
2. How did the believers prepare themselves to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?
Acts 1:14; 2:1 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren…. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Luke 24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
“As the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief. …
“The disciples prayed with intense earnestness for a fitness to meet men and in their daily intercourse to speak words that would lead sinners to Christ. Putting away all differences, all desire for the supremacy, they came close together in Christian fellowship. They drew nearer and nearer to God, and as they did this they realized what a privilege had been theirs in being permitted to associate so closely with Christ. Sadness filled their hearts as they thought of how many times they had grieved Him by their slowness of comprehension, their failure to understand the lessons that, for their good, He was trying to teach them.
“These days of preparation were days of deep heart searching. The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not ask for a blessing for themselves merely. They were weighted with the burden of the salvation of souls. They realized that the gospel was to be carried to the world, and they claimed the power that Christ had promised.” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 36, 37.
THE MESSAGE OF HOPE
3. What was the central theme preached by Peter on the Day of Pentecost?
Acts 2:21, 22 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
“Peter urged home upon the convicted people the fact that they had rejected Christ because they had been deceived by priests and rulers; and that if they continued to look to these men for counsel, and waited for them to acknowledge Christ before they dared to do so, they would never accept Him. These powerful men, though making a profession of godliness, were ambitious for earthly riches and glory. They were not willing to come to Christ to receive light.” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 43, 44.
4. What solemn appeal was directed to those who heard Peter’s timely gospel message?
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
WONDERFUL RESULTS OF PREACHING
5. What else took place during the Pentecostal outpouring of Gods’ Spirit?
Acts 2:4-6 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
“ ‘There were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.’ During the dispersion the Jews had been scattered to almost every part of the inhabited world, and in their exile they had learned to speak various languages. Many of these Jews were on this occasion in Jerusalem, attending the religious festivals then in progress. Every known tongue was represented by those assembled. This diversity of languages would have been a great hindrance to the proclamation of the gospel; God therefore in a miraculous manner supplied the deficiency of the apostles. The Holy Spirit did for them that which they could not have accomplished for themselves in a lifetime. They could now proclaim the truths of the gospel abroad, speaking with accuracy the languages of those for whom they were laboring.” –The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 39, 40.
6. What were the wonderful results of the preaching of the gospel?
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 4:4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
“After the descent of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were so filled with love for Him
“The glad tidings of a risen Saviour were carried to the utmost bounds of the known world…. Under their labors there were added to the church chosen men, who, receiving the word of life, consecrated their lives to the work of giving to others the hope that had filled their hearts with peace and joy. Hundreds proclaimed the message, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand.’
They could not be restrained or intimidated by threatenings. The Lord spoke through them; and wherever they went, the sick were healed, and the poor had the gospel preached unto them. So mightily can God work when men give themselves up to the control of His Spirit.” –Christian Service, p. 254.
FINAL OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT
7. What long, looked-for event is forecast to take place at the end of the earth’s history?
Zechariah 10:1 Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
8. What will occur during the final outpouring of God’s Spirit?
Acts 2:17, 18 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
“The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with His glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God.” –Christian Service, p. 253.
9. How can we personally obtain the infilling of the Holy Spirit and be used in the service of soul winning?
John 16:23, 24 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
“To every one who offers himself to the Lord for service, withholding nothing, is given power for the attainment of measureless results.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 30.
“When we labor diligently for the salvation of our fellow men, God will prosper our very effort.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 86.
• Have you been asking God to fill you with His love and His Spirit?
• Are you preparing yourself to receive the fullness of the Spirit during the latter rain?