Jesus spoke of two simultaneous floods of the Holy Spirit.
One would be a flood of revelation, knowledge of the holy things of God flooding into their lives. The other would be a tide of witness as they told people about Jesus. Truth would flow into them and out of them.
- The Holy Spirit would abide with them, the Spirit of Truth, The Helper, The Comforter, the One who would bring His words to their remembrance and lead them into all truth.
- The Holy Spirit would anoint them, enabling them to live holy lives and empowering their words. They would perform the same kind of miracles they had seen Jesus do. Their words and deeds of witness would fly like arrows piercing the hearts of those who heard and saw them. Their lives would point the way to Jesus.
This two-way flood would give them a lasting impact on the world. In short, they would be His witnesses.
The First Generation
They were the first generation of countless generations to come. They would possess an authority no other Christ-followers would enjoy. They were the ones who walked this earth with Jesus. Millions more would come to know Jesus by believing their witness but the distinction of being His original disciples would forever belong only to them. As such, they would set patterns and teach principles for believers to follow for ages to come, all the way to our day and to the wonderful day when Jesus will return. Like everything else Jesus asked of them, this was far beyond their ability to perform. They would need the Holy Spirit to strengthen them from the inside out and guide them through every unpredictable, unprecedented situation they would face.
They must not stumble.
So much depended on these eleven men and the ones they would train. As if their mission weren’t daunting enough, they would have to deal with intense opposition. Just as the leaders of Israel opposed Jesus, they would likewise oppose His disciples.
“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.
They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.”
What is worse than the opposition of those who should be helping? Following Jesus would divide families both internally and among the generations. Two great forces of opposition would arise:
- The entrenched religious leaders, and
- The Roman authorities.
The leaders of Israel would arrest them, torture them, and execute them thinking they were doing the work of God. In their generation, the Roman government would suppress them and make following Christ a dangerous life style. The disciples would see the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Jesus was leveling with His men. He did not exaggerate for history reveals nearly three centuries of persecution from religious leaders and from the Romans.
The sustaining force to counter this two-pronged onslaught of violence was the two-fold flood of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was gone from them physically, He would still be with them spiritually through the abiding Spirit of God. The more they opened to the inward flow of life from the Spirit, the more powerful would be the outward flow of power and victory in their lives.
John 15:26-27; 16:1-4
“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. (John 16) “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. “And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.
Lord Jesus, I open my heart to the ministry of the Holy Spirit—flow into my heart in a flood of compassion and into my mind in an ever-rising tide of wisdom and understanding. O Holy Spirit, let Your anointing rest on me to sanctify my life and empower my witness. Flow into me, Lord! Flow out from me, Lord! When persecution comes my way, help me be strong and patient, trusting always in You. You have called me to faithfulness and fruitfulness. Grant it, Lord! Amen.
Let Me Touch Him
Words and Music: Vep Ellis
1. Let me touch Him let me touch Jesus.
Let me touch Him as He passes by.
Then when I shall reach out to others.
They shall know Him they shall live and not die.
Oh to be His hand extended,
Reaching out to the oppress’d.
Let me touch Him let me touch Jesus,
So that others may know and be bless’d.
2. I was straying so far from Jesus.
I was lonely had no peace within.
Then the hand of my Saviour touched me,
Now I’m reaching to others in sin
3. There’s a river a river flowing
From within and to cleanse my soul,
And the flow sets my life to glowing,
Holy Spirit more than silver and gold.
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.