Posted by: Veroni Kruger | June 10, 2011

Pentecost – Even More Cause to Celebrate

“Externalization” of the work of the Holy Spirit (See last week’s blog for the “Internal” aspect.)

Sunday, June 12, the church will be celebrating Pentecost, that is, the day the Holy Spirit was “poured out” in the church. That means He came to be present in the church in all his fullness.

The manner in which Jesus talks about the work of the Holy Spirit in John 16.14 encompasses both internal and eternal aspects. “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” This refers to the Holy Spirit persuading us that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. It also suggests something of the external work, since what belongs to Jesus is certainly more than just internal things in the life of the believer.

In the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit, God gives us as much of Himself as is humanly possible to contain. This is what “the promise of the Father” is (Luke 24.49). This is the gift promised by the Father and that Jesus said He would give to his church. This is what He imparted to the church in Acts 2.

This is the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Joel. The general context is abundance.

Joel 2.19:
I am sending you grain, new wine and oil,
enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
an object of scorn to the nations.

This theme of abundance continues in Joel 2.21-24:

Be not afraid, O land;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the Lord has done great things.

Be not afraid, O wild animals,
for the open pastures are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and vine yield their riches.

Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord, your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains as before.

The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

God promises that He will pour out on his people such blessings that even the land will be rejoicing. There will be grain during autumn; there will be rain during springtime. The threshing floors will overflow. “You will have plenty to eat, until you are full” (Joel 2.26).

And it is in this context that the promise of the Holy Spirit is given: “I will pour out my spirit on all people” (Joel 2.28).

This is the gift Jesus says his Father has promised.

And out of this comes the possibility of the externalization of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

What, then, is the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

According to the words of Jesus in Acts 1.8, the evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, is the presence of the power of God in the life of the believer. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” is a promise, not a command, as some would interpret it. This is clear primarily from the language used. The grammatical form is a simple future, such as is normally used in talking about the future, in predictions or promises. The nature of the power also makes it impossible to see this as a command. If it were a command, the supposition would be that we could somehow become powerful of our own accord. No, we can only wait to receive the power of God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The power that Jesus speaks of, is the power of God, given through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This distinguishes this experience from that of John 20. There they received the Holy Spirit as God dwelling in them. In Acts 2 they received the fullness of the power of God.

In spite of their having received the Holy Spirit from the Lord, the disciples were nevertheless enjoined to be on the lookout for “what my Father has promised” (Luke 24.49). This is further described as being “clothed with power from on high”. In Acts 1.4 this experience is referred to as “the gift my Father promised.” It is further qualified as being the baptism with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1.5), and holds the promise of receiving power (Acts 1.8).

In John 20 the Holy Spirit came to live in the disciples as He still comes to live in every person who is born again. In Acts 2 He brought the promise of receiving as much of the power of God as is humanly possible to contain. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The power of the Holy Spirit was immediately manifested in the disciples. The manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the Spirit-filled believers encompassed witnessing, boldness, the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit.

This experience is for us as much as the early believers, if we only open our hearts and minds to it!


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Alexander F. Venter

Live a life of love as Jesus loved us...

Attempting Authenticity

real life. real writing.


Life worth living

Martha Elizabeth Kruger

creativity, passion, love

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