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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, June 6, 2014


All Christians are aware of the active and vital work of the Holy Spirit in the early church and the New Testament.  Let us consider some examples:


  • The work of the Holy Spirit is seen in the beginning when Gabriel, the angel, manifested Himself to Mary.  This is what He told her, "The angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God."'   Luke 1:35 
  • Matthew confirms the participation of the Holy Spirit in the conception and birth of Jesus:  "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit."  Matthew 1:18

The Holy Spirit was working miraculously in the birth of Jesus.  His birth was distinct from any other birth since Mary was a virgin.  If it were not for the miraculous power of God in the Person of the Holy Spirit to bring about the birth of Jesus, this could have never happened.  The birth of Jesus had been prophesied in the Old Testament through the Holy Spirit and was fulfilled in the New Testament, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."  Isaiah 7:14.  Such a prophecy is found again in Isaiah 9:6-7; Micah 5:2 and Hosea 11:1


  • Again we see the involvement of the Holy Spirit in the beginning, at the Baptism of our Lord and Savior: 
"After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,  and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."'  Matthew 3:16-17
  • John testified saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’  I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.'"  John 1:32-34

Notice that ALL three PERSONS of the Godhead (trinity) are present at Jesus' Baptism.

  •  This is one the most vital and critical moment of testing for the Son of Man.  "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."  Matthew 4:1


  • It is very important to state the HUMANITY of our Lord and Savior.  He was tempted as a man just like we are.  This is crucial in understanding the life of Jesus as man.  "Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone."  James 1:13.  It is undeniable that He was God but He lived and died just like any other man.  Since He as a man was tempted and suffered in His flesh, He is able to sympathize with us in our weaknesses, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin."  Hebrews 4:15
  • It is important that we understand that when He performed many miracles, He performed them as Jesus the man who was anointed by the Holy Spirit rather than Jesus as God.  It was the Holy Spirit working in Jesus that would allow Him to perform these signs and wonders to happen.  Scripture bears witness to this TRUTH.  Let us take a look:

"For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure."   John 3:34
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.  He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.  And He began to say to them, 'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.'"  Luke 4:18-21
"You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."  Acts 10:38

Also, read:  Isaiah 42:1-4; Matthew 12:18-21, 28


  • In what we know as the GREAT COMMISSION, Jesus gave the apostles authority and power by means of the Holy Spirit.
 "Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.  Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the  Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.  These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.  Freely you received, freely give." Matthew 10:1-8, also vs. 20; Luke 10:1ff


  • Jesus our Lord at the close of His ministry here on earth promised the apostles the Holy Spirit.  This promise was an even greater exercise of the Holy Spirit than they have previously received.
"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;  that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."  John 14:16-17
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."  John 14:26; John 15:26
"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come."  John 16:13; John 20:22
"Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, 'Which,' He said, 'you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now '"  Acts: 1:4-5; Luke 24:49


  • When the Early church began, the Holy Spirit was at work.  We find it many times in the beginning of the Early church described in the New Testament.  Let us consider some texts that confirm this:
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance."  Acts 2:4
"For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:  ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit and they shall prophesy."  Acts 2:15-18


  • The Holy Spirit was miraculously active throughout the Book of Acts as well as all the letters written to churches.  Let us look at some examples of this involvement of the Holy Spirit:
"But Peter said, 'Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?"'  Acts 5:3
"Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task."  Acts 6:3
"You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did."  Acts 7:51
"Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.  Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money..."  Acts 8:14-18
 "Then the Spirit said to Philip, 'Go up and join this chariot."'  Acts 8:29
"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message."  Acts 10:44
"While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'"  Acts 13:2
"But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him."  Acts 13:9
"They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them."  Acts 16:6-7
"Except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me."  Acts 20:23

This is not a complete list of the involvement and activity of the Holy Spirit in the Early church in the Book of Acts.  Nevertheless it is enough to emphasize the great magnitude of His work.

In our next study we will wade into the challenging study of the "gift" and the "indwelling of the Holy Spirit."


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