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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Abiding Meaning of Pentecost # 3

Pentecost was a Recognition and a Proof of all Christ came to be, and all He Taught, and All He Did

All the spiritual value of that comes by Pentecost into its full vindication.

 His claim to sovereignty is established by the moral and spiritual results of the Holy Spirit coming into the life of a child of God and transforming it, by causing it to know in experience (not by intellectual argument) the life of His sovereign triumph, that inward reigning in life by Christ Jesus. All that the Lord Jesus taught and did is vindicated by the Holy Spirit in working into the life of the believer the victory of that resurrection life of the Lord Jesus!

The Lord Jesus was vindicated by a mighty experience of the Holy Spirit! It is the spiritual and moral value of the Person, and the bringing of the fruits of that by the Holy Spirit into the life; it is the change the Holy Spirit makes in the moral life that is the vindication of the Lord Jesus. You cannot divorce moral responsibility and spiritual experience, there is no vindication thus, but chaos and contradiction. Pentecost is the climax to the Person, work, and teaching of the Lord Jesus in the days of His flesh, as it gives spiritual and moral value to those in whom He dwells; i.e., proved in experience by the Holy Spirit.

Why did the Holy Spirit come? To make experimental in the life, by the same Holy Spirit, all that Jesus is for the believer. This is the progressive and constructive work of the Holy Spirit, the transforming of men and women.

Pentecost was a Climax in Relation to the Training and Preparation of an Instrument

The first chapter ends with the presentation of that instrument; the completion of the Apostolate with the inclusion of Matthias. An instrument had been trained and prepared for the continued work of the enthroned Lord. This preparation is in three parts: 1. In the days of His flesh; 2. The forty days after His resurrection; 3. The ten days after His ascension.

The First Part of the Training - in the Days of His Flesh

One year after He started His public ministry, He called and had in training for about two years those whom He chose. What were the chief features of that period of training? First, a seeing and a hearing without understanding; a very real thing. As we read the Gospels we see it was a time of laying in of a subconscious store of not understood deeds and words. Oh! but did not the Holy Spirit work on that afterward?! What does the Holy Spirit coming into our life mean? An explaining of Who Jesus is; "He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you," and until He comes words have not that potent force; "the Spirit giveth life' (John 6:63).

Second, being allowed to participate in the works and supernatural powers, and being given flashes of spiritual revelation; "flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is n heaven." Only flashes, immediately passing, but a knowing something of "the powers of the age to come."

Do get the principle of this. Very often the Lord antedates things for us, and then we find them go down into death; but this is training; and has to be in order to get us, our flesh-hold out of it; it is a principle of training, and so the Lord brings us into spiritual cooperation with what He is doing.

Pentecost is necessary to put things into another realm, where the "I" is utterly OUT and the Lord is utterly in. Pentecost is the climax of this. This was all accompanied by and headed up to a complete breakdown and personal failure on the part of the disciples, they failed Him all along the line; see them with the Syrophenician woman, distraught with trouble, crying unto them, "Have mercy on me!" and they "besought Him, saying, "Send her away; for she crieth after us."

Again, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times?" "Lo, we have left all, and followed Thee; what then shall we have?" Bargaining to get more than they gave up! and caring not for the others, only let us be first; ambition for a place of prominence; this is not the spirit of Him Who emptied Himself, and humbled Himself, unto the death of the Cross!

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 4)

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