Before Jesus left this earth, He had very specifically assured His disciples that He would send them a Comforter, namely the Holy Spirit. He would abide with them forever. So they waited ten days and prayed for the promise from the Father. They were not disappointed. In power and glory, the Holy Spirit came upon them. It was such a tremendous experience that the Jews who were present marveled.
From that moment on, their lives were changed in a wonderful way. Now they were filled with power and courage to witness. Fear had disappeared from their lives. The word of their Master was fulfilled: “…you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
What was the secret of their power and joy? Nothing other than the filling of the Holy Spirit. Now a fire burned in their hearts. They could no longer be silent but spoke and testified of that which they had experienced and seen. The love of Jesus in them compelled them. The fire was ignited, which Jesus had spoken of: “…how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49) It spread across cities and villages, across countries and continents. God Himself was with His servants and maidservants. More and more people became filled with this same power. In an obvious way, the Holy Spirit came over them. Christ, their Master, had been crucified and rose again. His Spirit lived in thousands and countless thousands. One witness was buried, but countless others stood up and took the message further: “Christ lives! Christ rose again! Whoever comes to Him will not be denied! He who repents will have his heart cleansed by Him! This Promise from the Father applies to you and your children! The kingdom of God is at hand! There is righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit!”
So it was back then, and so it is today. The kingdom of God has power. The promise of the Father is still valid today: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you….” This Word applies to us and to our children.
Can we say with all our hearts: “I believe in the Holy Spirit?” This is what the Church of our time needs: the rediscovery of this old truth that Jesus baptizes with the Spirit and with fire. We have many large organizations and beautiful church buildings today. We may be proud of our traditions and teachings. But we are in danger of having Christianity like that of Laodicea. We can say: “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing.” And God may answer: “And do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). May God give us salve for our eyes that we may see!
The prophet Isaiah says: “‘…Heap it up! Heap it up! Prepare the way, take the stumbling block out of the way of My people.’ For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones’” (Isaiah 57:15). God can only give us grace if we are humble. Only when we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness with all our hearts can all these things be added to you (Matthew 6:33). Let us burn all idols! I do not mean the idols of the heathens but the modern idols of so-called Christianity. During the short time of our pilgrimage, we want to go forward with courage. We are not alone. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, is with us. He is our Teacher. He gives us strength in afflictions, God’s presence in loneliness, joy in sadness, and victory in battle. We do not need to fear as long as He is with us.
Jesus has promised not to leave His children as orphans. Even if the storms thunder and the waves swell, even if dark clouds gather on the horizon, Christ rose again! He is with His children every day until the end of the world. Yes, He works in us the assurance of eternity.
He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. John says: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2). He makes us strong in the battle of faith because He is the Spirit of power and witness. It is the Holy Spirit who binds His people together in the unity of His love because He is the Spirit of love. He teaches us to pray for a mighty outpouring of this Spirit. As Spirit of hope, He lifts up our heads because our redemption draws near.
If you have not received the Holy Spirit yet, then this word applies to you: “Now is the day of salvation!” Believe in His presence. He is near. Neither space nor time can separate you from Him, neither can relationships nor circumstances. Only sin and unbelief can separate you. Submit yourself fully to Him and receive the Promise of the Father: the Holy Spirit. He is God’s great gift to you, your guide to your eternal home!
“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).