I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
Jesus knew that His work on earth was almost finished and that in the near future He would leave His disciples to return to His Father’s throne in glory, in heavenly places. Jesus had been sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel to prepare them for the coming kingdom and much of His words, works, signs and miracles were a witness to the nation that He was indeed Israel’s Messiah, Who was promised by the Father.
But they rejected their King Messiah and said, we will not have this man rule over us. Luke 19:14. And throughout the gospel, there are little glimpses where the Jesus was seen preparing and training His disciples for the dispensation of Grace – the church-age. Jesus knew that the cross loomed and that the resurrection would follow and He knew that the day was fast approaching when He would have to leave His trusting followers.
And so He comforted them with some precious words of comfort: Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me John 14:1, He comforted them and promised them a wonderful future in His Father’s house: Jesus told them that He would go to the Father’s spacious, heavenly home where He’d promised to prepare a place for them – so that one day He would return … and take them there to be with Himself.
He comforted them with the promise of the Holy Spirit – the heavenly Comforter. He pledged to ask the Father, to give them another Helper like Him, to be with them.. the Spirit of truth, Who was already with them but would one day live in them.
He didn’t explain that first much had to be done in the coming church dispensation. Christ did not describe church age doctrine – that was to be Paul’s responsibility, but He did comfort them with the promise of His permanently indwelling Holy Spirit.
This was a new and fresh empowerment of the Spirit in a distinct group of people. This was very different from the empowerment of the Spirit in the Old Testament. This was to be a precursor to the new covenant blessing God promised to Israel.
In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit gifted a few people for their particular ministry or their specific service – or for a certain office such as prophet, priest or king. In the Old Testament we hear the Holy Spirit came upon such people rather than dwelling within them – In the New there was to be an entirely different empowerment – He was to come and dwell in all believers and make our bodies His residence,
Jesus put it very concisely, The Spirit lives with you and will be in you. The promise of the Lord Jesus was something that was to take place in the future. The promise to the disciples was to be something entirely new for the Church age.
It was in the book of Acts that we see the beginning of this prophecy fulfilled. It was in the book of Acts where the Church had its origin, its formation – its birth. It was in the book of Acts where we see the Spirit taking up permanent residence within the body of all believers during the Church dispensation. It was the book of Acts when these first believers were baptised in Holy Spirit.
They were put into the body of Christ by means of the Spirit – oh, what JOY. For 2000 years He’s taken up residence in the body of all who trust Jesus as Saviour – He takes up permanent residence the moment a man or woman puts their trust in Jesus. The moment they place their trust in Jesus they are baptised into the body of Christ – and in John’s gospel, Jesus promises the Spirit will abide with us and will be in us.
Pentecost was the birthday of the Church – it was a one-off, unique happening. Pentecost was the launch of the Church – through whom God would now work. Pentecost was a unique occasion and part of the bridge between the old and new. Pentecost was the point when the Church began – and we are all one IN Christ.
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