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.
The Looming Cross
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 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.
Indwelling Holy Spirit
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.
The Spirit’s Empowerment
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 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 the Holy Spirit.
They were put into the body of Christ by means of the Spirit – oh, what JOY. For 2000 years the Spirit has 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.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
19 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
3 And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.