November 14, 2012 - Obeying His Command
By Beatrice Northcutt
"And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, 'which,' He said, 'you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. … But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth'" (Acts 1:4,5,8, NKJV).
"When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1,4).
This was the Church in its infancy, born in power! Jesus commanded His followers not to leave Jerusalem to work for Him until they had this promised power. It was not a suggestion.
He didn't say, "If you think this is for you, tarry in Jerusalem until you receive the power of the Holy Spirit," but He specifically said, "Don't depart from Jerusalem until you have this power I told you about that is sent from the Father. The baptism in the Holy Spirit wasn't an "option" if they were to carry on His work. It was absolutely "necessary" that they went forth with the power it took to accomplish the task.
What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Some will tell you that you are filled with the Holy Spirit when you are born again. Look at Acts 19:2, where Paul asks those at Ephesus, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" Verses 3, 4, 5 and 6 give the account of how these believers received the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues and prophesied to the people after they knew there was a Holy Spirit.
Others will tell you the Baptism was just for the disciples to begin the Church, but not for us today. Read all of Acts 2 to get the full meaning, but Peter said in verse 39, "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." That means you and me today!
Many churches flatly deny the need for Holy Spirit baptism; others who believe and know it's a command from our Savior that gives us power to witness still only make it an option. Therefore, many who have known the Lord for years, never see the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Surrendering our lives to the depth of receiving the Holy Spirit means allowing our most unruly member that no man can tame, our tongue, to be under subjection to God.
Why are we powerless to pray for our loved ones, for healing and miracles that are recorded in the Early Church? Jesus said 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 went to the Father and sent the power of the Holy Spirit back that we might do things greater than He did!
Have you received the Holy Spirit? Are you experiencing that power? If not, it awaits as God's wonderful gift to you.
— Beatrice Northcutt lives in Independence, Kan.