EARLY CHURCH HISTORY 101 (Lesson 2)

The Gospel of Luke is the only one which sets the scene regarding the Lord’s last morning before ascending to heaven. He adds more detail in the opening of Acts. We now continue with the narrative:

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INTRODUCTION   LESSON 1  

LESSON 2

ACTS 1:4-5

4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Many Christians are familiar with the incident in which the Lord appeared to two men on a road west of Jerusalem on the day of His resurrection. That afternoon they were heading to the small village of Emmaus, about seven miles away, when the Lord Jesus approached and began walking with them. Luke is the sole gospel writer to record the full story, though it is also briefly mentioned in Mark 16:12. After an eventful evening the two men quickly returned to Jerusalem and met with the apostles and the others, excitedly telling them what happened. While there the Lord again appeared to all of them and began His final instructions. It was then that we have the only occurrence in the gospels of “the promise” as mentioned above: 

49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” [Luke 24:49]

In both books Luke records the Lord’s commandment that His disciples remain in Jerusalem to await the big event. It will happen in a matter of days. Before they can be His witnesses they must receive His power and anointing. He called it an immersion in the Holy Spirit (from the Greek baptizo, meaning “to submerge or overwhelm”). Though the specific terminology “promise/Father” is recorded nowhere else but these two verses to this point, there are several other gospel references. The first time Luke mentions it is in the following when he also pairs the two baptisms:

15 Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, 16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” [Luke 3:15-16]   

One of the most profound events referencing the baptism in the Holy Spirit is recorded in the Gospel of John. It is in Jerusalem at the temple on the final day of the feast of Sukkot in the fall of the year. From it we can gain a greater understanding of the significance and timing of the baptism:

37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. [John 7:37-39][1]

© 2020 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on April 1, 2020, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. And to this very day, many “born again Christians” don’t understand, or experience the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is very sad and unfortunate since this great and wonderful gift is the greatest blessing of the Christian’s life, not to mention as well, how very needful to have the power to serve the Lord and resist temptation and attacks of the enemy.
    The main reason for Christians not receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit lays on the doorstep of faulty man made doctrines and traditions of the apostate church failing to teach people how to appropriate the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

    Like

    • Thanks Scarlett. There are those times when the Lord answers the sincere heartfelt prayers of many believers and brings forth an answer for all at about the same time. There are so many believers who want more of the Lord but don’t know what to do and are apprehensive of doing anything which might go against their Christian tradition. Their hearts are right. They want to make sure that whatever they should do or will happen is the will of God. I think of what the Lord did in late 1900 and early 1901 at Topeka, Kansas or what He did in Los Angeles in 1906. I especially recall what began in roughly late 1959 when the Lord began pouring out His Spirit among all Christian denominations extending also to the Catholic Church beginning in about early 1967. There were many receptive Christians at that time who welcomed what He was doing and we still have great spiritual fruit to this day from those times.

      I believe we are at another one of those points in time. There are a great many sincere believers who want more. The Lord will bless them.

      Many blessings to you Scarlett. Thanks again for reading and your welcome contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Brother RJ. I’ve done a bit of study on moves of the spirit in these places, and in the UK or I believe more specifically Wales during the early 1900’s.
    Unfortunately, I happened to have been one of those receptive Christians who at a very young age of 19-to 20, wandered into a Southern Baptist church searching for Jesus, but not properly discipled, told to study the bible, or pray, just come to Bingo and bring the pies. That’s all you have to do!
    Walked out one day, thinking to myself, “There’s nothing to this”, Threw the baby out with the bathwater and promptly backslid for many years until Jesus rescued me. One might say, “Well, that’s your own fault” I would have to disagree….if someone had told me the truth and laid hands on me, or prayed for me to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, looking back, I know I would have been eager to receive that blessing and of course, it would have revolutionized my entire life.
    That said, I would have to say that these moves of the spirit and revival are more in spite of most mainstream church doctrines and traditions when the Holy Spirit has to literally bump man out of the way and take over Himself. Glory be to God that He does, I see some of this going on now as we are going through this present crisis. I’ve been praying there would be much more, plus more repentance from the things of the world and back to the God of the Bible.
    Shalom,
    Scarlett

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    • Thanks Scarlett. Trying to figure out the what if’s is a problematic proposition. I was raised in a particular denomination that I could not leave fast enough when I got older. I was determined to find truth and began what turned out to be a four year quest. The Lord saw my hunger and kept guiding me. I believed the last place I would find truth was in a church. Through a perfect set of circumstances I ended up being witnessed to by people I trusted who had just recently been born again and filled with the Spirit. You never thought it could possibly happen to them. Then it happened to me! It was just what I had been searching for but never would have made the connection through my own efforts. Also, I never would have settled for anything else but the real thing. The real Gospel completely transforms a person’s life just as the Word of God says. Too many people settle for LESS and many are somehow prejudiced against the real truth. The Lord will have to sort all that out. Only He knows our hearts. But I am thankful the Lord knew I was ready for the whole nine yards so He led me to the exact experience of Acts. Blessings to you.

      Liked by 1 person

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