It’s staggering to realize the Holy Spirit of God Himself actually dwells within us! As believers, we can be been clothed with supernatural power from on high. Listen as Derek Prince adds another vital layer to this enlightening teaching about “The Holy Spirit in You.”
It’s good to be with you again as we continue to study together our exciting theme for this week, “The Holy Spirit in You.”
In my talk yesterday I spoke about the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus. I established three main points. First, John the Baptist introduced Jesus as the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, that was his distinctive introduction to Israel. Second, the Holy Spirit was the source of power for the whole ministry and teaching of Jesus; He depended totally on the Holy Spirit. Third, Jesus promised His disciples that when He Himself went back to heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit in His place as His personal representative to be their paraclete (the one called in alongside) to help them. Other translations are counselor, comforter, or helper.
Today I’m going to show you the outworking of this promise that Jesus made. In particular, I’m going to explain the wonderful new thing that happened when the Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost. As with many of the promises of the Bible, this promise of the Holy Spirit was not fulfilled in one single event; but rather it had a ongoing outworking, phase by phase. The first phase took place on what we now call Easter Sunday, the Resurrection Sunday. This is what we read about this event in John 20:19-22:
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After He said this, he showed them his hands and his side. [He demonstrated He was the same one they’d seen crucified.] The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus 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.’”
Notice that last important statement, “he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’“ We need to bear in mind that the Greek word for Spirit pneuma also means breath or wind. So that His act of breathing on them was related to the words He spoke, “he breathed onto them and said, ‘Receive Holy Breath’ (Holy Spirit, the breath of God).”
What happened at that dramatic moment? I believe it was one of the most critical and decisive phases in the whole outworking of God’s purpose of redemption and I would answer the question “What happened?” with two statements. First of all, at that moment, those first disciples entered into what I would call New Testament salvation. You see, in Romans 10:9, later on Paul laid down the basic requirements for salvation. He said:
“That if you confess with you mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”
Now that was the first moment at which the disciples really believed that God raised Jesus from the dead. Up to that moment they could not enter into salvation as it’s presented in the New Testament. At that moment they confessed Jesus as their Lord and they believed that God had raised him from the dead; they were saved with New Testament salvation.
The other thing I would say is that at that time they were regenerated, born again. They became a new creation. They passed out of the old creation into the new creation through the inbreathed breath of God. To understand this, we need to look back for a moment at the description of the original creation of man in Genesis 2:7, which says this:
“And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being [or a living soul].”
So the original creation, the first creation of man, took place as God breathed the Spirit of life, the Breath of Life, the Holy Spirit, into that figure of clay that was there on the ground and the inbreathed breath of God, the Holy Spirit, transformed that figure of clay into a living soul. But now we’re talking about a new creation. For Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17:
“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.”
And you see, there’s a direct parallel between the first creation and the new creation. In the new creation, Jesus, the resurrected Lord and Savior, having conquered sin and death and hell and Satan, appeared to His disciples and breathed into them the breath of resurrection life. A new kind of life. A life that had triumphed over all the forces of evil, that had triumphed over death and triumphed over sin. And through that inbreathed breath of God, received from the lips of Jesus, they became a new creation. They were regenerated. So through that experience, the disciples entered into New Testament salvation and they passed out of the old order into the new creation, in Christ, through the inbreathed breath of God, the resurrection breath of life, received from the lips of Jesus.
However, it is important to understand that even after this Easter Sunday experience, the promise of the Holy Spirit was renewed even up to about forty days later. In other words, the total fulfillment had not yet come. In Luke 24:49, Jesus says to them, after the resurrection:
“...behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city [that’s Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high.”
And even more explicitly, in Acts 1:5, probably just a short while before His ascension into heaven; forty days, or nearly forty days after the Resurrection Sunday appearance, He said to them:
“For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So the Resurrection Sunday was not the total fulfillment. Almost all theologians and commentators on Scripture agree that the final and complete fulfillment took place on the day of Pentecost. And here it is described in Acts 2:1-4:
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
Now this is the actual manifestation, the actual fulfillment of the promise, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven, in person, in the form of a mighty wind and filled each one of them individually and gave them a new and supernatural utterance in a language they’d never learned. But at the end of this second chapter of Acts, Peter gives what we would call the theological explanation of what had taken place and he says this concerning Jesus:
“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.”
Notice first again, all three persons of the Godhead in that verse. Jesus the Son receives from the Father the Holy Spirit and pours out the Holy Spirit upon the waiting disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem. And so at that point, the final fulfillment of the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit took place. The Holy Spirit Himself was released from heaven by the Father and the Son together and descended upon the waiting disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem.
Notice that at this point Jesus was not merely resurrected but He was also exalted and glorified, for in John 7, the writer of the gospel had pointed out that the promise of the Holy Spirit could not be fulfilled until Jesus had been glorified.
And so we’re confronted with two dramatic, wonderful Sundays. The first: Easter Sunday, and there we have the resurrected Christ and the inbreathed Spirit. The second: Pentecost Sunday, the glorified Christ and the outpoured Spirit. Let me just say that again so that you can see the two phases and relate them in your mind. Easter Sunday, the resurrected Christ, the inbreathed Spirit; Pentecost Sunday, the glorified Christ, the outpoured Spirit. And remember, each are patterns for all believers even today.
In closing my talk today I want to sum up briefly the permanent significance of the events that we’ve just been looking at. The coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. As I understand it, the Holy Spirit came down to earth as a person. He is now the resident, personal representative of the Godhead on earth. It seems to be a kind of law that I cannot explain that only one person of the Godhead can be resident on earth at any one given time. For some years, it was Jesus the Son. But when Jesus left and went back to heaven, He said another person will come in My place and He’ll stay with you forever, not just for a few brief years. That was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Jesus the Son, as a person, had returned to the Father in heaven. Then from the Father and the Son together, the Holy Spirit came down to take the place of Jesus.
Where does the Holy Spirit now live? Well, I’ll give you two answers. First of all, He lives in the church, the corporate body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 3:16, Paul says:
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”
That’s the corporate temple of the Holy Spirit, God’s people on earth, the church of Jesus Christ.
But in 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul says something even more dramatic. He reveals that not only is the corporate body of Christ the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, but it’s God’s purpose that the body of each believer be also the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul says:
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
“Do you not know... your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.” To me, that’s one of the most breathtaking statements found anywhere in the Bible. That my physical body, your physical body, if we are believers in Jesus Christ, is to be the dwelling place of God Himself, the Holy Spirit, the person of the Holy Spirit indwells our physical bodies. That’s His temple, that’s where He lives.
Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be explaining what it means for us that the Holy Spirit has come to be our paraclete, our counselor, comforter, helper.