Preparation for Pentecost

Posted May 28, 2019 by Adrian Ebens in General Hits: 396

Preparation for Pentecost

Working on Life Matters Audio book – Up to chapter 16. A Highway in the Desert

The Original

B. Breaking the Cycle

The first step in this plan was accomplished when Jesus was born. He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. As Paul states in Hebrews:

Hebrews 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

The humanity of Jesus is our connecting link to the channel of blessing from the Father. In the book of John it is represented as a ladder.

John 1:51  And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

The feet of the ladder had to be firmly placed in human soil for the channel of blessing to reach us. Unless Jesus was truly human like us, then the connection would not be complete and the channel still not connected.

Once the channel was connected and God had access to the human mind through the humanity of Jesus, a message of acceptance needed to be delivered. A message that told us that God is not an aggravated King that is angry with us for stepping out of line, but that He is a tender Father that wants us back as part of His family and that the gifts He sends are from a loving Father not an angry judge.

There is a significant problem with what is written. So I rewrote it with all that we know now

B. Breaking the Cycle

The first step in this plan was accomplished when Jesus was born. He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. As Paul states in Hebrews:

Hebrews 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

The humanity of Jesus assures us of our connecting link to the channel of blessing from the Father. In the book of John it is represented as a ladder.

John 1:51  And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

The feet of the ladder were firmly placed in human soil so we could have confidence that the channel of blessing would reach us. Unless Jesus was truly human like us, we could never be certain that our mediator truly understood us.

As soon as sin entered this world Christ was revealed as the Saviour of the world. By His Spirit He carried and bore humanity all the days of old.

Isaiah 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. 

Christ has always been our mediator and priest to the Father. He has known the trials and suffering of every man yet humanity could not fully understand this until Christ was manifested in the flesh.

Romans 16:25-26  Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,  (26)  But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

In coming to this earth Christ placed humanity on a vantage ground because now they could be assured that Christ truly knew us and how to help us. Now the Holy Spirit could be poured out in greater measure because Christ was now glorified or in other words His character was fully revealed in the flesh.

John 7:38-39  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (39)  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

The Holy Spirit was not yet fully manifested until Christ came to earth because mankind did not fully present their petitions with as much boldness as they could after He came to earth. Once we knew how He truly understood us we could come more boldly to the throne of grace and thus the Holy Spirit could be poured out in greater measure. In John 7:39 the word given is an added word. It is not correct to say the Holy Spirit was not given before Christ died on the cross rather it should say that the Spirit was not fully manifested.

 

Then in preparing for tonight I was reading Acts of the Apostles

As the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief. As they called to remembrance the words that Christ had spoken to them before His death they understood more fully their meaning. Truths which had passed from their memory were again brought to their minds, and these they repeated to one another. They reproached themselves for their misapprehension of the Saviour. Like a procession, scene after scene of His wonderful life passed before them. As they meditated upon His pure, holy life they felt that no toil would be too hard, no sacrifice too great, if only they could bear witness in their lives to the loveliness of Christ's character. Oh, if they could but have the past three years to live over, they thought, how differently they would act! If they could only see the Master again, how earnestly they would strive to show Him how deeply they loved Him, and how sincerely they sorrowed for having ever grieved Him by a word or an act of unbelief! But they were comforted by the thought that they were forgiven. And they determined that, so far as possible, they would atone for their unbelief by bravely confessing Him before the world.

                                                                           37

 {AA 36.1} 

     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.  {AA 37.1} 

     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.  {AA 37.2} 

     During the patriarchal age the influence of the Holy Spirit had often been revealed in a marked manner, but never in its fullness. Now, in obedience to the word of the Saviour, the disciples offered their supplications for this gift, and in heaven Christ added His intercession. He claimed the gift of the Spirit, that He might pour it upon His people.  {AA 37.3} 

     "And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting."  {AA 37.4} 

     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 lightnings of heaven, cut its way through unbelief. Thousands were converted in a day.  {AA 38.1} 

 

Ask for the Holy Spirit

What does God require? Perfection; nothing less than perfection. But if we would be perfect, we must put no confidence in self. Daily we must know and understand that self is not to be trusted. We need to grasp God's promises with firm faith. We need to ask for the Holy Spirit with a full realization of our own helplessness. Then when the Holy Spirit works, we shall not give self the glory. The Holy Spirit will graciously take the heart into His keeping, bringing to it all the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. We shall be kept by the power of God through faith.  {UL 353.2} 

August 5, 1901 "Ask, and It Shall be Given You."--No. 1.

     It seems so sad that we praise God so little. Gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving need now to be searched for and cultivated as lost arts. They are more precious to the Lord Jesus than all the treasures of gold and silver which the earth contains. Every human being should appreciate the kindness and love wherewith God has loved us. When we were yet enemies Christ gave His life that we might be saved. How much have we appreciated this gift?  {BEcho, August 5, 1901 par. 1} 

     In His instruction to His disciples Christ dwelt upon the great gift of the Spirit, declaring that nothing was too great to be expected from the coming of the divine Spirit. He longed to quicken and enlarge the conception of His disciples by communicating to them His own complete appreciation of God's love, that they might be able to comprehend the value of the gift of all gifts, given by God with the giving of His beloved Son,--the gift of the Holy Spirit. On all who love and serve God this gift has been bestowed. Christ has made provision for all to receive His Spirit; for He desires to see human nature released from the bondage of sin, and, by the power which God gives, renewed, restored, raised to a holy rivalry with the angels.  {BEcho, August 5, 1901 par. 2} 

     To the woman at the well Christ said, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. . . . Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life."  {BEcho, August 5, 1901 par. 3} 

     Yes; in giving the Holy Spirit, it was impossible for God to give more. To this gift nothing could be added. By it all needs are supplied. The Holy Spirit is the vital presence of God, and if appreciated will call forth praise and thanksgiving, and will ever be springing up unto everlasting life. The restoration of the Spirit is the covenant of grace. Yet how few appreciate this great gift, so costly, yet so free to all who will accept it! When faith takes hold of the blessing, there comes rich, spiritual good. But too often the blessing is not appreciated. We need an enlarged conception in order to comprehend its value.  {BEcho, August 5, 1901 par. 4} 

     Christ declared, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?"  {BEcho, August 5, 1901 par. 5} 

     Oh what amazing love and condescension! The Lord Jesus encourages His believing ones to ask for the Holy Spirit. By presenting the parental tenderness of God, He seeks to encourage faith in the reception of the gift. The heavenly Parent is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children.  {BEcho, August 5, 1901 par. 6} 

     What greater thing could be promised? What more is necessary to awaken a response in every soul, to inspire us with a longing for the great gift? Shall not our half-hearted supplications be turned into petitions of intense desire for this great blessing? We do not ask for enough of the good things God has promised. If we would reach up higher and expect more, our petitions would reveal the quickening influence that comes to every soul who asks with the full expectation of being heard and answered. The Lord is not glorified by the tame supplications which show that nothing is expected. He desires every one who believes to approach the throne of grace with earnestness and assurance. Do we realize the magnitude of the work in which we are engaged? If we did, there would be more fervency in our prayers. Our entreaties would rise before God with convincing earnestness. We would plead for power as a hungry child pleads for bread. If we realized the greatness of the gift, if we desired the attainment of the blessing, our petitions would ascend with earnestness, importunity, urgency. It would be as if we were at the gate of heaven, soliciting entrance.  {BEcho, August 5, 1901 par. 7} 

     We should ask with an earnestness that will not be denied. The Lord has an intense desire that every one should take advanced steps in absolute certainty, relying upon God. He is the light and life of all who seek Him. The measure which we receive of the holy influence of His Spirit is proportionate to the measure of our desire to receive, of our faith to grasp, and of our capacity to enjoy the great goodness of the blessing and to impart it to others.

                                                       Mrs. E. G. White.  {BEcho, August 5, 1901 par. 8}