Father has never been about power. Man is about power; God is about being. It has always been about identity, perspective, and position with God; Relationship!
His kingdom is about care-taking – about others. From the beginning man was given “Kingdom responsibility” and provision. We were created in God’s image and likeness. We were to “care-take”, (have dominion authority) in the world. In Jn.17:20-23 Jesus conclusively prays and states that it is about being “one” with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This was so the world would know that Father had sent Jesus and that He loved us!
Holy Spirit was and is always the miraculous presence of God on earth, the doer of God’s desires, (Jn.16:13). He is always demonstrating the authority and presence of God; from “hovering over the waters” and being “breathed into” man as “the breathe of Life” at the beginning to the end of all things. Jesus restored man to God’s original design as He breathed on the disciples and said, to “receive (take, drink in or inhale) Holy Spirit” (like in the beginning, the breath of life being “breathed into Adam).
We also see through the scriptures that He, Holy Spirit, needs to be upon us. Holy Spirit came “upon” men of old and they spoke and revealed Father’s presence and He needs to be upon us as well to reveal His presence through us. (Nu.11:25, 24:2; Judges 3:10, 6:34, 11:29, 14:6,19; 1 Sam. 10:10, 16:13; 2 Chron. 20:14, 24:20; Joel 2:28-29; these are just a few examples found in the Old Testament of Holy Spirit coming upon men)
We need all the precepts and provisions of Father to BE whom man was and is created to be.
There are seven things we need, to be like Jesus, (our example of who created man is to be). To begin; First we believe, which leads us to repent and become sons and daughters of God, which is followed by baptism in water, and prayer, which should lead us to get baptized in HS, then we are to be led by Spirit (hear His voice), which is to cause us to overcome the enemy through speaking God’s words received from Spirit. These things will empower and start us walking like Jesus!
(Interestingly in Mt. 3:11 and Lu. 3:16 John the Baptist says of Jesus that “the one who is coming.. will baptizes you with the Holy Spirit. And fire”. He could have said a lot of things, why is it so important to tell us that he will baptize us with Holy Spirit and fire?)
Jesus was born the Son of God, thus the first two steps for him are already there, then He was baptized in water, Lu.3:21, He then prayed and while praying Holy Spirit descended “upon” Him. Then Jesus, full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit (Lu.4:1 AMPC) was led BY THE SPIRIT – into the wilderness where He would be tempted by the enemy AND overcome him, to begin His ministry life. (Jesus is never said to be “filled with the Spirit” until after He is baptized and Holy Spirit descends upon Him and is not just in Him as a Son).
Jn.20:22 shows Jesus upon resurrection coming to the disciples and breathing on them and saying “receive the Holy Spirit”. The word receive means to take, take in – like to inhale breathe in, This is Holy Spirit coming into man and restoring us to Sonship. All believers receive Holy Spirit in them upon true conversion. (The word that is used here translated as “receive” is totally different from the word in Acts 1:8 and 2:4 which is translated “upon”). Jesus did not begin His ministry years until this second act: “upon” happened to Him and in Lu3:21,22 this is shown. In Lu 24:49 and Acts 1:4-8 He shares with His disciples that they should follow His model.
At the end of Jesus’ time of ministry as He was handing the mandate and mantle to His disciples, He gives us His final statements (one in each Gospel) which should begin and lead us on our journey with Christ. Each Gospel confirms and adds different dimensions to Jesus calling, precepts and provision for beginning this walk of being like Him.
In Matthew.28:18-20 He gives us a general command to “go” make disciples. We are to teach them to”observe” or do what He had taught or imparted to them and states that He would be with them always. (Think about what He actually taught them to DO).
In Mark 16:15-18 Jesus unfolds Matthew’s statement. He shows them the results of doing His will. Others will repent (believe and change direction or repent). They will be baptized and the signs Holy Spirit did with Jesus will be done by them (plus one more, speaking in tongues). The Lord kept working with them as they went.
In Luke 24:46-49 Jesus unfolds Matthew’s statement a bit more and gives them a condition of going and a provision they must have before they are to go. He tells them to wait for “the promise of my Father” to come upon them FIRST – before trying to be a witness. He did not begin His ministry until it happened to Him and He tells them it must be the same for them. The Spirit of God must not just be in them (sonship) but ON them -empowering them. (This promise comes upon them 50 days later).
In John 20:21-23 Jesus sums up His calling and His equipping of them. This is the deepest and hardest to receive as it seems pretty high or lofty, yet it is really summarizing all the previous 3 statements. He states plainly (V.21) His disciples are to “go” being sent JUST LIKE HIM! (V.22)He breathes on them and says to receive, (take in) Holy Spirit which makes us SONS OF GOD and that we have the authority (care-taking responsibility and position of authority) (V.23) to forgive sins. That is so scary yet it is Jesus saying it!
In Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8 the disciples are told that they will receive power when Holy Spirit (the promise of Father) comes upon them (Acts 1:4-8). In this scripture he show them that the ‘promise of my Father’ is the baptism of the Spirit. They were told not to go without this event and promise happening. When He does come upon them Acts 2:1-4, Holy Spirit sets upon each of them and for the first time they are said to be “filled with the Spirit”. (Just like with Jesus, first they have Spirit in them making them sons at His resurrection. Like He was born they must be “born again by the Spirit of God on His resurrection making them sons of God like Him). Then on Pentecost the Holy Spirit comes upon them and just like Jesus they are then called “filled with the Spirit” and begin to walk like Jesus, not just with power but as Sons of the Most High God! In Acts 2:14-21 Peter explains that what happened in Acts 2:4 is the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy found in Joel 2:28-29. Now it is not just a few chosen men that can have Holy Spirit upon them in power but all who believe!
Until we stop arguing about scripture and begin to follow the examples set by Him and then His disciples and finally with Paul we will not see what we are looking for – His Kingdom coming “on earth as it is in Heaven”. We need all of the provision and precepts they had and to receive them we must humble ourselves and accept the “foolishness of God to confound the wisdom of men”. Identity, provision, perspective and position change must happen at the beginning of our walk not the end!
All of creation is waiting for the revealing of “the sons of God” Romans 8:19. We must be like Him, His disciples, Paul and others if we are to complete His task of going into all the world with His Gospel! His presence, His provision and His commands take us to a different place and Holy Spirit upon us brings the power that confirms His presence as always. The world awaits, we must be transformed and go!
We will never have the intimacy of sonship with Father, (that close, dynamic,powerful, personal fellowship and friendship with Father), until we accept who we are and the provision we have been given to demonstrate the relationship in this world.
It is interesting to me how much contention there is over “tongues” in the NT and the baptism of the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. The other day I had some pastors asking me why and what is so important about tongues. I explained that tongues is only a part of the power that comes through the baptism of the Spirit. In 1 Cor.14:2,4 two things are shared about tongues, one in verse 2 it is stated to be a language that God understands actually it states- no one understands tongues but God. Secondly in verse 4 it is said to edify or build up those who speak in it. (To edify in Christian terms would be to “build up in the nature of Christ”)
It is interesting though to consider; why was “tongues of fire” the first sign of the baptism with the Spirit that happened in Acts 2:1-4? This is just Neil here but how did God create all that is? Doesn’t it state, “God spoke or God said” and then whatever He said was created? Words are important to God. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue, a righteous man lives by the fruit of his lips and James speaks a bit about our tongues. Could God have started His new creation with giving us a new language to speak new things? With tongues He does away with man’s ability to speak death or wrongly because tongues are not generated in our mind but in our spirit by His Spirit. Maybe that is why we do not like it, because we have nothing to say about what is spoken. We do not even understand the language! Speaking in tongues requires trust and faith in God that He is not a deceiver nor will He allow the enemy to give us a gift that He, God offers. It has nothing to do with salvation but the power of God to demonstrate His presence and to build us up to be like Jesus. Paul prayed in tongue more than anyone it states, maybe I should follow his example and be like him? I have always wondered, why be against something sent to edify and equip you to be like Jesus?
Another thing about tongues is it levels the field so no matter your education you can walk like Jesus… because Holy Spirit will teach you, guide you into all truth, teach you all truth, be your comfort, advocate, helper, and God’s hand and presence in your life because He brings what Father and Son tell Him to. Jn. 14:26, 15:26, 16:13.
Leaving you with, Lu 3:16,21-22, 24:49 and Acts 1:4-8. Leading you to Acts 2:1-4, 16-18.