トップ

 

ACTS and EPISTLES

F  The Gentile Period - spread of the Gospel through Christ’s witnesses (The church)

As part of God’s redemptive plan, we now enter a period of time when the Gospel is spread to the whole world through the disciples after Messiah’s (Christ) ascension.  The text is written in the book of “Acts” which is also known as “the work of the Holy Spirit” and the book was written as a sequel to the Gospel of Luke.

Please read the following Bible passages.           Jesus referred to this time as follows.

 ‘Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. (John 5:24-25)

Acts 2 onwards also speaks of this period of time when the Gospel spreads to the whole world by the work of “Christ’s witnesses” who are empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The prophet Joel also prophesied and longed for such a time in the following passage.

‘And afterwards, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams,
 your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.  (Joel 2:28-32)


The work of the Holy Spirit

We cannot understand God’s word or God himself without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
            

2 Corinthians 3: 14-18                      
   As God is Spirit, it is only when there is revelation from the Spirit of the living God that we are able to    understand His word.

John 14:23-26                    
   The Holy Spirit teaches all things and also reminds us of God’s word.                      

John 16:13-15                     
   The Holy Spirit guides us in to all the truth and tells us what is yet to come. 

Genesis 1:2-3                     
ow the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Everything came into being through God’s word.

 In this way, God’s Spirit and God’s word were intricately involved in creation. Everything came into being through the work of our Trinity God (God the Father, God the word/son, Jesus Christ and God the Spirit), as an extension of their perfect harmonious relationship with each other.

 Psalm 33:6
Creation of the heavens and the earth by God’s word and by God’s breath (Holy Spirit).

The Holy Spirit was not only present during creation, but He was always with Jesus Christ during his ministry on earth as can be seen in the following passages.

Jesus’ baptism (Luke 3:21-22),
Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (Luke 4:1),
Jesus’ death (Hebrews 9:14) and
Jesus’ resurrection (Romans 8:11)         

Jesus’s witness on earth was always guided by the Holy Spirit. After His ascension, just as Jesus had promised his disciples, God the Father sent the Holy Spirit as an ever-present helper. The Holy Spirit now resides eternally within those who believe that the Spirit is of God and of Jesus (John 14:16-17, 26-29). 

The character of the Holy Spirit
The omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God     

John  14:26, Acts 5:3-4, 1 Corinthians 3:16, Hebrews 9:14, Luke 1:35, Psalm 139:7-10, Romans 1:4, 8:2, 15:30, John 16:13

The Holy Spirit who is intimately involved in the lives of believers
John 3:63. 16:13, Acts 8:29, 13:2-4, Romans 8:11-16, :26-28, 1 Corinthians 2:12, 14:15, 15:47-57, 2 Corinthians 3:6, Ephesians 3:16, Philippians 3:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, 2 Thessalonians 2:!3, 1 Peter 1:2, 1 John 2:27, Jude 20, Revelation 2:7, :11, :17, :29

The work of the Holy Spirit in the church (gathering of believers)
Psalm 133:1-2, Acts 2:1-4, 13:1-4, 15:28, 20:28, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, 3:16, Ephesians 4:8-12, 1 John 2:20

The gifts of the Holy Spirit  1 Corinthians 12, 14, Romans 12:3-21
1. message of wisdom, 2. message of knowledge  (supernatural revelation), 3. faith, 4. healing, 5. miraculous powers, 6. prophecy, 7. power to distinguish between spirits, 8. speaking in different kinds of tongues, 10. interpretation of tongues

These 9 gifts are given to any who seek after them and they are to be used for the benefit of the whole congregation (to help others) and they are to be used in love (1 Corinthians 12:1-12, :31-14:1).

Spiritual gifts for use in evangelism and for God’s service, i.e., ministry     
Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, Romans 12:6-8
1. apostle, 2. prophet, 3. evangelist, 4. pastor, 5. teacher

These 5 areas of service are ordained by Christ himself and such giftings are given to individuals to build up the body of Christ (gathering of Christ).

The fruits of the Holy Spirit  Galatians 5:22-26, 1 Corinthians 13, 14:1
These are gifts that are evident in believers in whom the Holy Spirit resides. There are 9 fruits of the Spirit.
1. love, joy, peace:  These are gifts directed towards God. These gifts are not earned through works, but are given by God and without these, we are not able to please God.
2. patience, kindness, goodness: These are gifts directed towards others. These gifts should become evident through our relationship with others.
3. faithfulness, gentleness and self-control: these are gifts for our own training.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit  Joel 2:28, Matthew 3:11, John 16:7, :12-14, Acts 1:4-8, 2:1, 2:38-39
The power of the Holy Spirit  Acts 8:14-17, 10:44-46, 19:1-6

RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT!

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and 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.” (John 20:21-22)

In order to fulfil Jesus’s Great Commission, we need the Holy Spirits’ guidance and power. So, how can we receive the Holy Spirit? Please open your Bible and read the following passage.

John 4:1-42
The Samaritan woman received the Holy Spirit by simply believing in and accepting Jesus as the Messiah. She had met with Jesus and wanted the “living water” that Jesus had offered her.  This woman, who had previously been fearful of appearing in public due to her sinful life was transformed by the Holy Spirit and she was able to boldly go into town and testify to all she came across as Christ’s witness. Many of the Samaritans were thus saved because of the woman’s testimony.  Many more were saved by the power of the Spirit in the 2 days that Jesus stayed there.

This is without doubt, the work of the Holy Spirit. The Samaritans said “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.” Such faith declaration could only have been prompted by the Spirit.

Such time was prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah 600 years prior to Jesus’ day. Please read Jeremiah 31:31-34

John 7:37-39
On the last and eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles (known as the Sabbath day and greatest day of the feast, for complete rest and a holy gathering took place), Jesus spoke to all that had gathered in a loud voice
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

Thus, Jesus had promised the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit after his death on the cross, burial, resurrection and ascension which took place 6 months after this declaration.

Luke 11:9-13
Jesus taught his disciples how they should pray. For the fulfilment of the latter half of the Lord’s prayer, “forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation” , we certainly need the help of the Holy Spirit.

In order to teach the disciples of this fact (that we need the Holy Spirit for the fulfilment of this prayer), Jesus told them of the example of how even an evil father would give his own children good gifts, and therefore how much more, our loving heavenly Father would give the Holy Spirit to all who ask him earnestly. The Holy Spirit is able to fulfil all things which are impossible by man’s efforts alone.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)


We are already at the end of this period of the Gentiles. 

The next big event to come in God’s plan is the second coming of Jesus Christ, when He will once again return to the earth. The time is short.

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:7-8, :15, 4:7)  and
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

 

top page

 

 Visit Our New Site!