Volume 43

E. Michal Gayer
Volume 43

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And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” (Mark 16:19-20)

“The Holy Spirit and God’s Long Range Plans

Devotional TeachingsIn the upper room on the Day of Pentecost 120 people received the gift of the Holy Spirit, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, with speaking in other tongues. The “Promise of the Father” had been fulfilled. The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, had come to indwell believers. At that same time, Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to state clearly that it was for us who were afar off and everyone called by God as well as for those who were alive in that present day (Acts 2:38-39).

Those early believers received the power from on high that Jesus spoke of and they went out as described in Mark 16:20, preaching “…everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” Jesus knew that the work He called them to do could not be accomplished under their own strength. They definitely needed God’s ability and empowerment.  Jesus had told them to wait, don’t go or do anything until they received God’s promise, His power from the Holy Spirit. He knew that through the baptism in the Holy Spirit, He could impart Himself to people in a special way empowering them, guiding them and transforming them to do His work, to walk in His way and grow into His likeness.

On that first Day of Pentecost, after Jesus had ascended to the Father, the disciples received the baptism in the Holy Spirit to endue them with power from on high. Just like those first disciples, we need God’s ability and essential preparation. We need to be “clothed with” the Holy Spirit. The “Promise of the Father” exists for us as well as it did for those early faithful ones.

We receive the Spirit Baptism just like we receive all things from God.  We receive by faith.  We pray, asking in faith, and by faith we receive.  Then we trust God that we can speak forth sounds of praise to him and pray forth in the heavenly language of other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.  God then moves to fulfill His promise.

It is God’s long-range plan for Him to empower people. The empowerment comes from receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We are to receive of the fullness of God and go forth to continue the ministry begun by Jesus, just like those early disciples did. And what is that ministry assignment?  Jesus said it best when He said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18).

In addition to speaking forth, He likewise sent out the twelve commanding, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:5,7,8). And when He sent out the seventy, as recorded in Luke 10:7-10, He said, “Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” God’s plan for believers has not changed.  He still desires that we take his Word to lost sinners so that they can receive eternal life and that we minister the healing life of Jesus to sick people.

When you have received the Holy Spirit you can do precisely that. You can go forth fulfilling God’s purpose in your life, speaking His Word of salvation to the lost and ministering to the sick expecting the Lord to confirm His Word through you, with accompanying signs following just like He did for the early believers as recorded in Mark 16:19-20, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” You can expect that kind of confirmation!

It is the Holy Spirit who does the work to regenerate the sinners who respond to hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is the work of the Holy Spirit to heal the sick when we minister to them. It is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to receive the Holy Spirit so He can do HIS WORK through us. This is an awesome opportunity for every born again person.

It is our voice, our hands, our hearts ministering to others and meeting the needs of hurting people, but it is the power of the Holy Spirit who does the work! When Jesus spoke these words to believers as recorded in John 14:12, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father,” He was revealing something important about how the Holy Spirit would continue His ministry through us.  In a sense He was preparing and encouraging us for the work that we would do after the Holy Spirit had come. Likewise, when Jesus continued speaking, as recorded in verses 16-17, he said, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him: but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” Jesus was revealing that not only would the Holy Spirit come to believers, but also the Spirit was being positioned permanently for the best advantage in equipping believers to continue Jesus’ work here on earth.

If you have received the Holy Spirit, if you are growing in the things of God, if you are reading, studying and applying His Word, God is equipping you to proclaim the Gospel, so that lost sinners may be saved and He is preparing you to lay hands on the sick so they may be healed. Thank God for His Holy Spirit who has come to live in believers and do the greater works of Jesus Christ. We will build further upon our study of the Holy Spirit in our next teaching lesson as we take a hard look at the “healing anointing.” Continue to walk with God and serve Him with your whole life.