Sabbath, June 6, 2015
“We should pray as earnestly for the descent of the Holy Spirit as the disciples prayed on the Day of Pentecost. If they needed it at that time, we need it more today.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 158 (1882); Last Day Events, p. 188.
Gift of the Holy Spirit
1. What desire should every believer have?
Psalm 143:10, last part Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
Other versions translate this verse in the following way: “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” –New American Standard Bible (1995).
“Teach me to do Thy will; for Thou art my God: let Thy good Spirit lead me in a plain country.” –Darby Bible.
“Teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. Thy good Spirit shall lead me into the right land.” –Douay-Rheims Bible.
2 Kings 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
“I beseech the members of every church to seek now for the greatest blessing Heaven can bestow–the Holy Spirit. If in faith you seek for a greater measure of God’s Spirit, you will be constantly taking it in and breathing it out. Daily you will receive a fresh supply. Your everyday experience will be enriched by the rich current of God’s love. Before you lie vast fields of truth, vast sources of power. Let the daily prayer be, ‘Take from us what Thou dost choose to take, but withhold not Thy Holy Spirit from us.’ We must have the gift of the Holy Spirit.” –The Upward Look, p. 143.
2. What is the Lord willing to give to those who ask Him with all their hearts? For whom did Jesus ask the daily baptism of His Spirit?
Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
“Christ was continually receiving from the Father that He might communicate to us…. Not for Himself, but for others, He lived and thought and prayed. From hours spent with God He came forth morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men. Daily He received a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 139.
“Since this is the means by which we are to receive power, why do we not hunger and thirst for the gift of the Spirit? Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, and preach concerning it?… For the daily baptism of the Spirit, every worker should offer his petition to God. Companies of Christian workers should gather to ask for special help for heavenly wisdom, that they may know how to plan and execute wisely.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 219.
3. What condition made it possible for the disciples to receive the Holy Spirit? What did they do while they requested the power that Christ had promised?
Acts 2:1; 5:42; 8:25 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place…. 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ…. 8:25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
1 Corinthians 1:10; 12:12 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment…. 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
“Notice that it was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. They were of one accord. All differences had been put away. And the testimony borne of them after the Spirit had been given is the same. Mark the word: ‘The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.’ Acts 4:32. The Spirit of Him who died that sinners might live animated the entire congregation of believers.
“The disciples did not ask for a blessing for themselves. They were weighted with the burden of souls. The gospel was to be carried to the ends of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of power that Christ had promised. Then it was that the Holy Spirit was poured out, and thousands were converted in a day.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, pp. 20, 21.
4. What should the church especially strive for?
Romans 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 4:1-6 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
“The answer may come with sudden velocity and overpowering might, or it may be delayed for days and weeks, and our faith receive a trial. But God knows how and when to answer our prayer. It is our part of the work to put ourselves in connection with the divine channel. God is responsible for His part of the work. He is faithful who hath promised. The great and important matter with us is to be of one heart and mind, putting aside all envy and malice and, as humble supplicants, to watch and wait. Jesus, our Representative and Head, is ready to do for us what He did for the praying, watching ones on the day of Pentecost.” –Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, p. 272 (1878); Last Day Events, p. 194.
“So it may be now. Let Christians put away all dissension and give themselves to God for the saving of the lost. Let them ask in faith for the promised blessing, and it will come.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 21.
Consecration, faith, and sincerity
5. What other conditions need to be in place for the Lord to grant His people’s petitions?
Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
“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.” –(Review and Herald, July 21, 1896) Evangelism, p. 699.
“Every individual is under obligation to give to others the truth he possesses. Nothing should be allowed to keep the servant of Christ from letting his light shine forth to his fellow men…. We should be daily increasing in ability to do the precious work of winning souls to Christ. This is such a precious work, such a satisfying work! And all heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the heavenly oil to refresh and strengthen needy souls. The Lord will protect and guide those who will let His divine fullness flow from their lips in grateful praise, and who labor, through deeds of charity and love, to bless mankind. Such workers will become consecrated agents for God.” –Reflecting Christ, p. 102.
6. What other factor is essential to receive the gift of the Spirit? In what measure will the Holy Spirit be received?
Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
“The measure of the Holy Spirit we receive will be proportioned to the measure of our desire and the faith exercised for it, and the use we shall make of the light and knowledge that shall be given to us. We are not willing enough to trouble the Lord with our petitions, and to ask Him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Lord wants us to trouble Him in this matter. He wants us to press our petitions to the throne.” –Last Day Events, p. 188.
“Let Christians … ask in faith for the promised blessing, and it will come. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the former rain, and glorious was the result. But the latter rain will be more abundant.” –(Signs of the Times, February 17, 1914) Evangelism, p. 701.
7. What may we expect if we call on the Lord in truth with the desire to receive the Holy Spirit?
Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.
Proverbs 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
“To Jesus, who emptied Himself for the salvation of lost humanity, the Holy Spirit was given without measure. So it will be given to every follower of Christ when the whole heart is surrendered for His indwelling. Our Lord Himself has given the command, ‘Be filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18), and this command is also a promise of its fulfillment. It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Christ should ‘all the fullness dwell,’ and ‘in Him ye are made full.’ Colossians 1:19, R.V.; 2:10, R.V.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 20.
For personal study
“The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the church is looked forward to as in the future; but it is the privilege of the church to have it now. Seek for it, pray for it, believe for it. We must have it, and Heaven is waiting to bestow it.” –(Review and Herald, March 19, 1895) Evangelism, p. 701.
“I was shown that if God’s people make no efforts on their part, but wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors; if they depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting. The refreshing or power of God comes only on those who have prepared themselves for it by doing the work which God bids them, namely, cleansing themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 619.