Promise Of The Outpouring To The Disciples
Even though we saw that the disciples were given power over unclean spirits to cast them out, Jesus wanted them to have sustaining power when He is gone from them. Jesus told His disciples in John 7: 38 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” This would happen if they believe and act in obedience to another command He told them in Luke 24: 49 “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” After Jesus’ resurrection He reminded the disciples in Acts 1: 4 “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me” As Jesus continued the conversation, He went on to give them clear understanding of the purpose of this outpouring of power. He told them in Acts 1: 8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” Now that they are cognizant of the fact that they are going to be the ones to carry the good news after Jesus’ departure, they know that receiving the Holy Spirit’s outpouring was vital. Through their obedience the disciples gathered in Jerusalem, waiting and anticipating the new move of God because of Jesus’ promise.
The Outpouring And What Happened There
There is always power in unity. The Bible says they were all with one accord in one place. This unity reflects the unity in heaven. Oh how our churches need this today. Jesus had prayed the model prayer “Thy will be done on earth as is in heaven” This united front was pleasing to God and there was a response from heaven
- There came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind and filled all the house
- There appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire
- This appearance of fire sat upon each of them
- They were filled with the Holy Ghost
- They began to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance
The Impact Of Disciples By The Holy Spirit
After being filled with the Holy Spirit the disciples were empowered with holy boldness. All fears were gone from them as they operated in power. Negative voices we heard saying that these men were drunk. Peter now experiencing this new birth would no longer pull a sword but now explained in Acts 2 15- 16 “For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel” Peter delivered a very convicting message about Jesus Christ and three thousand souls were saved that day. Peter dug into the history of the fore-fathers, the promises to Abraham and his descendants, the prophesies by David and the prophesies about Jesus.. This pricked their hearts, that they asked “men and brethren , what shall we do? They were told to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins and they shall receive the Holy Ghost. These disciples now Apostles continued in the ‘Apostle’s Doctrine” and fear came upon every soul as many signs and wonders were done by them.
Many people were healed as the Apostles availed themselves to be used by the Holy Ghost. A man blind from his mother womb was healed at Gate Beautiful when Peter and John went up to the temple.The shadow of Peter healed many sick. Even multitudes from other cities around Jerusalem came with sick folks, those vexed with unclean spirits and everyone was healed (Acts 5)
A man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira conspired to lie to the Apostles about the price of a land they sold, which displeased the Holy Ghost and they died. Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ and many yield to the call of salvation as they heard what he said and seeing the miracles that was performed. Unclean spirits cried and came out of many that was possessed and many were healed. Peter and John came on the scene in Samaria where Phillip was preaching. They prayed for the people to receive the Holy Ghost in the midst of them was a man called Simon who had been bewitching the people. The Bible tell us in Matthew 12: 37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” Simon requested to buy the power the apostles had. Peter was able to discern that he was a crafty man and rebuked him. The fervency of Phillip caused the gospel to spread in those times to Africa when the angel of the Lord told Phillip to arise and go south by the way from Jerusalem to Gaza which is a desert area. Phillip went and there he met a man from Ethiopia and the Holy Spirit told Phillip to go closer to the man’s chariot. Phillip went and heard the man reading from the prophet Esaias (Isaiah). Phillip asked the man if he understood what he was reading. The man told Phillip he did not understand. Phillip expound the word, preaching unto him Jesus Christ, which led to the man to request to be baptized.
Opposing The Power Of The Holy Spirit
As these disciples received unction to do exploits they were also faced with oppositions. Saul a young man full of zeal concerning the law was going about persecuting the churches. He was the one who saw to the death of Stephen. Stephen became the first martyr because of his boldness and he die for the cause of the truth. One day Saul was on his journey to Damascus to persecute the church and he was met by the Ancient of Days, Jesus Christ. He became blind and now needed help. God then send His servant Ananias who lived in Damascus to pray for Saul to receive his sight. This began his conversion to become a servant of God. With this encounter Saul who was then named Paul counted it joy to suffered for the gospel. This was a beauty that was birth out of opposition (Acts 9) Paul and many of the apostles were imprisoned, whipped, cast in dungeons and even suffered shipped wrecked.
King Herod became a threat to the work of God. He had James the brother of John killed by the sword and because it was pleasing to the Jews he had plans for Peter. Herod also had Peter in prison but prayer was made without ceasing for him. An angel of the Lord appeared and lead him out and he was able to go to the home where the prayers were being made for him. Herod would experience the wrath of God because he tried to hinder the move of the Holy Ghost. On a set day as the people gathered and he gave an oration and the people said it was the voice of a god and there an angel smote him and he was eaten by worms and die.This caused many to fear and as the Bible states the word of the Lord grew and multiplied (Acts 12: 23- 24)
A deputy of Paphos whose name was Sergius Paulus desired to hear the word of God called for Barnabas and Paul. This was met with opposition from Elymas the sorcerer who tried to turn the deputy from the faith. The Bible says Act 13: 9- 11 “Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. 10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand” God is no respecter of persons and once anyone opposes His will the result can be detrimental.
The Power Is For Us Today
This outpouring of power was prophesied by the prophet Joel long before Jesus came in human form. The Bible tells us in Revelation 19: 10c “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” Jesus came and fulfill all righteousness in obedience to the Father’s will. The disciples obeyed the words spoken by Jesus and received power. For us to receive this outpouring of power there are criteria to follow.
- We must be a believer of the Word of God. This is the truth that will set us free
- We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ so that we can be saved
- We must be a doer of the Word of God
- We must decide to reject the sins and pleasures of this world and follow Christ
- We must be hunger and thirst for righteousness
From the days of the disciples until now many across the world have obeyed the call to salvation. They have experienced the manifest power of the Holy Spirit outpouring. They have continued throughout the centuries and have done exploits for the Lord. We will never know when and where Jesus will meet us to pour out His Spirit upon us. One thing for sure He is ready to give us this priceless experience. The power is for us today to help us to live a victorious life so we can make it to glory land in fine style. The power is for us to change and shape our generation so that there can be a better tomorrow. The power is to be used to limit souls from going to hell. This power is to enable us to display the character of Christ in our society so that others would desire to follow Jesus Christ.
God knows how to glorify himself in situations. As the gospel was been opposed the signs and wonders grew, the fear of the Lord increased, the word of the Lord grew and multiplied. Those who were slayed for the gospel strengthen the unity of those standing up for the truth. Many of those in authority that opposes the gospel and drove fear in the citizens died disgracefully. May the crippling power of fear be destroyed and we set our faces like a flint and say like David “Is there not a cause?” God will not fail on His word, it is so precious that He honors it above His name. Today it is for us too to live by power of the Holy Ghost as vessels of honor unto Jesus Christ