The Advent Part 25
Acts 1:15-17, “And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, ‘Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus; for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry.”
If we diligently follow the historical aspects of the work of God, we can more readily, and more clearly understand the spiritual aspects as well. God is consistent, there is no shadow of turning in Him, and if we desire to know, to live, and to confess the truth, then we must be diligent in our study thereof.
One can readily imagine the atmosphere of those days, the days between the ascension of Jesus, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The disciples and those who were gathered in the upper room did what they were commanded to do, which was wait in Jerusalem, then what they knew they ought to do, which is pray. One hundred and twenty souls waited, prayerfully, patiently, but with expectation and anticipation, the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus spoke to them, namely that they would be filled with a power from above. It was a power that the world could not receive, nor comprehend, but rather a power reserved in exclusivity for the followers of Christ, and those who know Him as Lord and King of their lives.
Many a soul today has been duped into believing that they can have the best of both worlds. Unscrupulous wolves, and soothsayers have for decades now taught that one can live as the world six days a week, come and praise Jesus one day a week, and the fullness of the power of God will have no choice but to dwell in their midst and in their hearts. The idea that we can be of the world and of God simultaneously is a lie, it is a fallacy, and it is from the bowels of hell.
John 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him not knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans I will come to you.”
The world cannot receive the Spirit of truth, nor can the world know it or see it, because it is holy and undefiled, and it can only be seen with spiritual eyes, and known with spiritual hearts.
If we look at these verses a little closer we see two distinctions that Jesus makes that are worth highlighting. First, that the Helper, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit would abide with us forever, and second, that although the Holy Spirit already dwelt with them, on that great day when the promise would be fulfilled He would be in them.
The disciples were already being led by the Holy Spirit, He dwelt with them, but as yet they had not received the infilling of the Holy Spirit, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit whereby He would be in them. The Holy Spirit was already at work, He was already giving unction to men such as Peter who seemingly was the first to speak on more than one occasion, but when the power would come, and they would be filled it would be a whole new experience, something heretofore unseen.
Regarding the words that Peter spoke, one can readily see that he understood he was part of a community, a tightly knit fellowship rooted upon the foundation that is the Word of God, and in a few days’ time they would be the congregation of God on earth. He begins his discourse with the words ‘men and brethren’ signifying that he likewise understood the equality they all shared in Christ. Gone were the musings of the flesh as to who would be greater in Christ’s kingdom, gone was the desire to lord over other brothers, Peter realized that in Christ they were one, equally important to the cause of Christ, equally committed to the furthering of the Kingdom of God.
From what Peter said, we can also infer that the topic of Judas, the one who betrayed Christ, and became a guide to those who arrested Jesus, was still a sensitive topic for all of them. It is not of his own volition that Peter tries to ameliorate the situation, but prompted by the Holy Spirit, because rather than try to explain away what Judas did, or minimize the immensity of his betrayal, Peter goes to Scripture, and reminds those who were gathered that the Scripture which the Holy Spirit spoke by the mouth of David had to be fulfilled.
If history teaches us anything, it is that Scripture is always and without equivocation fulfilled. From the minute details concerning the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Christ, from being born in Bethlehem, to being betrayed by one close to Him, to rising again on the third day, Scripture is fulfilled because it is the Word of God, and not the traditions of men.
We get into trouble, and are overwhelmed by confusion when we mistake the traditions of men for the Word of God, or when we would rather believe what men say than what the Word of God says. There are doctrines floating about that are nothing more than human fabrications, concocted to soothe the consciences of those unwilling to surrender all to Christ, yet they will soon be exposed and proven the fallacies that they are. Believe the Word of God over the words of men, for it is the Word that gives life, that Word which was with God in the beginning, that Word which is none other than Christ Jesus.
There are as yet other Scriptures within the Word of God that must be fulfilled, and improbable as they might seem to some, they will nevertheless come to pass because God does not lie, and He saw the entirety of human history play out from the moment He took a lump of clay, breathed life into it, and called it Adam.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.