Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: The Coming of the Indwelling Spirit

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Coming of the Indwelling Spirit

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come {being completely fulfilled in its type}, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly {in such a manner as to be startling} there came a sound from heaven as {like the sound} of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire {so that they could know this more than just a rushing wind}, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).

Those that lack a comprehension of the OT types in the Feast Days and sacrifices are prone to miss the great truths regarding dispensational transitional issues when we see these types fulfilled. This is the case with the Day of Pentecost. Before time itself was created, the Godhead covenanted together in a three-fold plan of redemption and a New Genesis. Lewis Sperry Chafer1 refers to this as the “before time covenant.” This Covenant of the Regeneration (promise of a new, eternal Genesis) is spoken of in II Timothy 1:9 and Titus 1:2. It is the primary Covenant of God to which all other Covenants find their source in grace and in God’s longsuffering with fallen mankind. It is to this ultimate “blessed hope” that the believer’s citizenship in Heaven is connected and to which the Day of Pentecost, in both the giving of the Law at Sinai and the beginning of the Church Age on this day in Acts 2, connects believers and our service/ministry to the LORD and His eternal purpose and creation.

6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. 13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us” (II Timothy 1:6-14).

Therefore, the critical truth for us to see here is that the New Genesis began “in Christ Jesus” in the plan of God “before the world began.” Secondly, the New Genesis “in Christ Jesus” is an ongoing WORK of creation. Jesus referred to this continual work of the New Creation in John 5:17; “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” Thirdly, believers join themselves to this continual, ongoing work of the New Creation “in Christ” as they live the Word of God and proclaim the Good News of redemption.

Finally, “born again” believers (those entering the New Creation by being born again spiritually) are elected/chosen vocationally to become partners with Christ in this vocation (Eph. 1:4 and 4:1; vocationally “chosen in Him” as our High Priest) to reach the lost and the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in bringing the lost to conviction of their sin, God’s righteousness, and the coming eternal judgment, repentance towards God and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21), and actually beginning to be “doers of the Word, and not hearers only.” In other words, the free gift of salvation comes with a moral obligation to be the Ambassadors (servants) of Christ and actually DOING the “ministry of reconciliation” (II Cor. 5:17-21).

1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith {faithfulness or fidelity to our responsibilities to God as His “born again” children} of God’s elect {vocational Priests}, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed {pisteuo; entrusted to my faithfulness} unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; 4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 1:1-4).

The Day of Pentecost typified this promised new, everlasting, eternal Day initially existing only in the Plan and Purpose of God through promise of the birth, holy life, death, burial, and resurrection/glorification of the Promised God/Man (the “last Adam”) extending from eternity past into eternity future. The original Day of Pentecost fell on the 50th day after a seven week period (there are seven Dispensations or Days of New Beginnings revealed throughout Scripture), with each week ending on a Sabbath Day. This was the Day God gave Israel the Law through Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Day of Pentecost as part of the feast of Weeks (also called the Feast of Firstfruits) then always fell on the first day of a new week after this seven week cycle. It typified the New Eternal/Everlasting Day of “the regeneration.” Although all believers of all Ages (Dispensations) have been positionally integrated into this New Genesis, Christ Jesus was the first human being Who ACTUALLY became part of this Eternal Genesis through His resurrection/glorification (the “Firstborn”).

In Acts 2:1-4, we find God’s record of the first day of this New Beginning of the New Covenant as manifested in the release of the Holy Spirit of God to indwell believers, baptize those believers into the “body of Christ” (the New Creation), and be released through the lives of yielded believers as those believers were supernaturally enabled in their priestly vocations as bold witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. The baptism with the Spirit and the indwelling of the Spirit is a partial fulfillment of the believer’s future glorification/transfiguration. Therefore, the baptism with the Spirit and the indwelling of the Spirit partially fulfills the believer’s glorification/transfiguration. The believer is progressively being transfigured (becoming Christ-like) through progressive sanctification (Romans 12:2; “be ye transformed;” lit., transfigured; present, passive imperative).

Practically then, if the disciples had not been obedient to Christ’s command to wait those ten days between His ascension and the coming of the Spirit, and, after the Spirit of God came and they were “filled” with the Spirit of God (meaning they yielded their wills to Him), and had they not spoken the gospel message because they were afraid of being killed by the Jews, none of the miraculous outcomes of the Day of Pentecost would have happened. What then do we need to learn from Acts 2:1-4?

1. According to Matthew 5:17-48, we each need to strictly interpret the Word of God to discover God’s expectations of us before we can seek to live those expectations. Lowering God’s standards of expectation by a liberal/loose interpretation of the Word of God, or a distortion/perversion of the doctrine of Grace, will not release the power of God through our lives.

2. “They were ALL in ONE ACCORD in one place {assembled where they were supposed to be};” we must obey what God tells us to do (and not to do) and we must do so through the supernatural enabling of the indwelling Holy Spirit (in “fellowship” or in the “unity of the Spirit”).

3. We must understand that no one can be saved apart from HEARING, UNDERSTANDING the details of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and BELIEVING (resting faith) in the Person of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:18-23; notice the word “understandeth”). Therefore, we must understand that this is a supernatural work and we will not attempt it in the mere strength of our own human resources of knowledge, intellect, art of persuasion, or appeals to human carnality.

4. “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance;” we must actually unite ourselves in the eternal purpose of the Godhead in the plan of redemption through joining ourselves to Them in “fellowship” (partnership in “the work of the ministry”) and becoming living translations of the Word of God, and the literal voices of the Holy Spirit of God in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The “other tongues” was to reveal the supernatural nature of the Spirit of God in bringing UNDERSTANDING to the hearers of the message. People are amazed by, and often foolishly become preoccupied with, miracles without seeing the supernatural purpose in the miracles. Real faith merely sees God supernaturally working in everything that is “good” (Rom. 8:28) and then seeks to be joined with God (“fellowship”) in that supernatural work (“the work of the ministry”).

The visible result, or spiritual outcome, of this new operation of the Spirit (the “fruit”), beginning on the Day of Pentecost, was that thousands of people believed, were baptized, and were added to the Church (“of the firstborn”). This was a literal fulfillment of what Christ spoke of in John chapter 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

As we read the book of Acts, we need to keep in mind that it records transitional issues moving from the operations of God in the Dispensation of Law (the Mosaic Covenant) into the Dispensation of Grace (the New Covenant or the New Creation). As we come to understand that the Day of Pentecost was a fulfillment of an Old Covenant type fulfilled at the time recorded in Acts chapter 2:1-4. This event recorded the coming of the Holy Spirit to begin a new way in which God would operate through ALL believers during the Dispensation of Grace regarding the threefold ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers:

1. To indwell all believers the moment they trust in Christ and are “born again”

2. To move those believers positionally from the fallen family of Adam and into the family of God (the baptism with the Holy Spirit)

3. To fill to overflowing all believers completely yielded to, and in unity with, the indwelling Spirit of God with the Christ-life.

4. To continue God’s ongoing work of the New Creation that began “before the world began in Christ Jesus” through a synergism with Him in a constantly growing network (local churches) of Spirit filled and supernaturally empowered believers supernaturally enabled to do “the work of the ministry.”

[1] Lewis Sperry Chafer; Systematic Theology; Vol. V, Thirteenth Printing, June , 1976, page 27

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Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist.
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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