Tuesday, March 15, 2016

ACCEPT AND BE FILLED (THE HOLY SPIRIT)

God tabernacled or dwelt with humanity in many different manifested forms. Some of these appearances were the great cloud of thunder and lightening at the top Mt. Sinai, a pillar of cloud by day, a pillar fire by night, a burning, but not consuming bush. Other examples would be God's Glory resting on The Ark of the Covenant and the pre-incarnate Christ visiting as The Angel of the Lord. Then there was The Word of God becoming flesh and dwelling with us on earth as a man named Jesus of Nazareth.

Then sometime after Jesus' death, burial, resurrection and ascension - Paul, in his first letter to the believers in Corinth stated - Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; When the reader of Scripture arrives at 1 Corinthians 6:9 it should make him/her ponder - when did this happen? God's Presence went from dwelling in Moses Tabernacle to Solomon's Temple to Christ Himself/Emanuel to Believers by the Holy Spirit.

There are two times that the Holy Spirit is administered to The Disciples, as a group, by Jesus after the Resurrection. The first instance is John 20:21-23 and the second is Acts 2:1-4 (Pentecost). It is here, in these two occasions, that I believe Christ Jesus sets-up all future Believers for an enriching, awaking, and powerful Spirit-led life. 

In this first account of John 20:21-23, I observed that Jesus was initiating a Changing of the Guard as well as supplying the supernatural Helper of the Holy Spirit to live within us the rest of our lives. Believers now became Christ's hands and feet and body on earth; His representative. "Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. And with that he breathed on them and said,“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.

The other passage, Acts 2:1-4, reads - When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

I personally believe the key between the two events is in the words "receive" and "be filled". In the John 20:21-23 reference - Accept ("Receive") in the original Greek is the word "lambano", meaning to take, be amazed, attain, bring and hold. Accept the Holy Spirit as your guide, teacher, mentor and friend (For Jesus was preparing to ascend to The Father). In addition, another possibility for receiving this first wave of the Holy Spirit could have been to restore "The Vessel". The Disciples had to be restored, cleaned and readied before the next installment of The Holy Spirit. 

Salvation through Jesus had to take place first. Then be believed by the Disciples, evidenced by the resurrection. But these instances lead me to believe Christ activated the Spirit-man of the Disciples and encouraged them to accept this new Tabernacling. All this before the Holy Spirit came on the Disciples in power in the upper room.

Later, observing the Disciples had accepted The Holy Spirit and the Spirit-led life (John 20:21-23), they waited for the indwelling or to "be filled" or empowered (Acts 2:1-4) in The Upper Room. The original Greek word for "filled" is "pletho", meaning someone who is imbued, influenced and supplied. The arrival of The Promised One, The Holy Spirit, for acceptance, filling and life-leading had come.