In our previous chapter we focused on the presence and work of the Spirit from the Incarnation to Calvary. Now, we will examine the role of the Spirit from Calvary to Pentecost. As we study this time period, we will include information from the entire New Testament. This information demonstrates that Luke harmonizes with the other authors.
We begin by studying the key events that have to do with the exaltation of Jesus. These include the death, the resurrection, and the ascension of Christ. Next, we will discuss the sequence of these events. Then, we will examine the impact that the exaltation had on the relationship between Jesus and the Spirit. After that we will study the events from resurrection morning to Pentecost that involve Jesus, the Spirit, and the disciples.
Finally, we will observe the transition that occurred between the Old Testament and the New Testament. This transition had an impact on the dimensions of the Spirit, individual experience, and the church. Some of the similarities and differences will be noted. .
On the Day of Pentecost Peter declared (Acts 2:33), "Therefore having been exalted (hupsotheis) to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He [Jesus] has poured forth this which you both see and hear." NAU Here, the Greek word hupsotheis is translated "having been exalted." This word can mean either lift up or exalt.
The exaltation of Jesus includes His death, resurrection, ascension, and seating at the right hand of the Father. Moreover, Jesus was glorified by His death and resurrection. The terms glorified and exalted are thus closely related.
Jesus went through a terrible ordeal, a "baptism," at Calvary. Jesus said (Luke 12:50): "'But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!'" NAU Because He was eager to accomplish His mission, He wanted to undergo the baptism of His suffering and death. Several points concerning His death stand out.
First, as noted above, both the death and the resurrection of Jesus are a part of His glorification. According to John (3:14; 8:28;12:32-33), Jesus regarded His death as a lifting up or exaltation. Also, Jesus indicated that He would be "glorified" by (John 12:23) His death. The glorification, however, is not limited to Christ's death. According to Peter, Jesus was glorified by (Act 3:13-15) by the resurrection.
Second, the death of Jesus led to His being seated at the right hand of the Father and His bestowal of the Spirit. According to Hebrews 10:12, Jesus was seated at the right hand of the Father sometime after His death. His death was part of His glorification and was prelude to His bestowal of the Spirit. John declared (John 7:39) that the "Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." NAU When Jesus was glorified, the way was open for Him to bestow the Spirit.
Third, even though Jesus laid down His life on His "own initiative" (John 10:18), He was assisted by the eternal Spirit. The writer of Hebrews speaks of Christ, "who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God" (Hebrews 9:14). Wescott (p. 261) says that "without blemish" in Hebrews 9:14 fixes "the reference to the initial act of Christ's high priestly sacrifice." In other words Jesus offered Himself in death.
According to Kuyper (p.102), "Beze and Gomarus understood the Eternal Spirit to signify Christ's divine nature. Calvin and the majority of reformers made it to refer to the Holy Spirit." Hawthorne (p. 182) holds that the "eternal Spirit" is the Holy Spirit. Kuyper adopts the view of Calvin and adds this thought (p. 104), "The term ‘Eternal Spirit' was chosen to indicate the divine human Person of Christ entered into such indissoluble fellowship with the Holy Spirit as even eternal death could not break."
Fourth, when Christ died, the new covenant became effective. Moses was the mediator of the old covenant; from Hebrews 9:15-20 we learn that Christ is the mediator of the new. The old covenant was not inaugurated (verse 17) without blood. Similarly, when Christ died, the new covenant became effective. His blood cleanses us from all sin. A person living under the new covenant must have a new heart cleansed by His blood.
The death and resurrection of Christ are central to the gospel message. This message was regularly and consistently proclaimed by the apostles. Several points are important to our study of the Spirit in connection with the resurrection.
First, the resurrection is connected with both Christ's glorification and exaltation. Peter connects the resurrection of Christ with His glorification (Acts 3:13-15). The Jewish leaders put Jesus to death, but God glorified him by raising Him up. Also, Peter connects the resurrection with Christ's exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 5:30-31; 2:32-33). Thus, exaltation and being at the right hand of the Father are clearly related.
Luke harmonizes well with Paul. Paul (Ephesians 1:20; Romans 8:34; and Colossians 3:1) connects the resurrection of Christ with His being seated at the right hand of the Father. In these verses Paul does not use the term "exalted," but Christ's exaltation is implied.
Second, God raised Jesus from the dead. Luke ascribes the resurrection to God (Acts 2:32; 5:30). Similarly, Paul says that God raised Jesus (Galatians1:1, Romans 8:11, and Ephesians 1:20). John adds (John 2:19; 10:17-18) that Jesus foresaw His own role in His resurrection. Luke does not mention the role of Jesus in His own resurrection.
Third, although Luke does not mention it, the Holy Spirit had a role in raising Jesus. As noted above, Jesus offered Himself (Hebrews 9:14) in His death through the eternal Spirit. However, as Lenski (Hebrews, p. 299) says, "we should include the entrance into the heavenly Sanctuary ‘by means of his own blood' (v. 12), where the High priestly act was completed, and he was thus ‘offering himself blemishless to God.'" If we assume this offering includes entering the heavenly sanctuary, then it presupposes that the Spirit was involved in the resurrection too.
With regard to Romans 8:11, the "Spirit of Him who raised Jesus" refers to God. However, the role of the Spirit may be implied. The verse goes on to indicate that "He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you." At least in the case resurrected people, God works through the Spirit.
Two other passages are sometimes cited with regard to the role of the Spirit in the resurrection: I Timothy 3:16; and I Peter 3:18. The NIV translates I Tim. 3:16, "He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit." The vindication, according to many, was accomplished by the resurrection. The NIV translates I Peter 3:18, "He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit."
The ascension of Christ is a part of the movement from death to being seated at the right hand of God the Father. We note the following points.
First, as we have seen, Luke connects (Acts 2:33; 5:31) the exaltation of Christ and His being seated at the right hand of God. In Acts 2:34 Luke writes that "it was not David who ascended into heaven." The clear implication is that it was Jesus, the Messiah who did. Similarly, Mark 16:19 and I Peter 3:22 connect ascension and being at God's right hand. Moreover, being exalted to the Father's right hand presupposes the ascension.
Second, in Romans 8:34 Paul connects the death and resurrection of Christ with His being seated. The seating at the right hand of the Father presupposes Christ's ascension. Further, we know that the glorification of Jesus includes his death and resurrection.
In summary the exaltation of Christ includes his death, resurrection, ascension, and seating at the right hand of the Father. Subsequent to His exaltation (Acts 2:33), Jesus poured out the Spirit. Just when Jesus ascended, however, remains a question.
We will examine the sequence of the exaltation events as described by Luke and John. On the surface the two writers seem to have two different calendars. Then, John is usually made to harmonize with the common view of Luke. We will examine each, take each at face value, and see how they harmonize.
First, in Acts 1:9-11 Luke describes the historic public ascension of Jesus. This event does not preclude a previous ascension. Jesus "vanished" from the sight of the disciples (Luke 24:31) on the road to Emmaus. We do not know where He went, but we perhaps could classify this as an ascension.
Second, in Luke 24:51 we read that Jesus "parted" from the disciples. This passage (Luke 24:50-53) is usually held to be parallel to Acts 1:9-11, but it may be distinct from that ascension. Mark 16:19 falls in the same category as Luke 24:50-53. Both are usually held to be parallel with Acts 1:9 11, but both could refer to a different ascension. If it is different, as I believe, then the ascension of Luke 24:50-53 occurred on resurrection Sunday night.
Third, John mentions an ascension. On resurrection morning, Jesus paused briefly to speak to Mary Magdalene. He said to her (John 20:17), "'Stop clinging to Me; for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren, and say to them, "I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" Jesus uses the present tense. Some say it is a progressive present. Many read it as a rhetorical future. The most natural interpretation is that Jesus tells Mary that He is now ascending. This is reason enough for her to stop clinging to Him! Thoughtfully, He asks her to speak to the disciples.
Bruce (Acts, pp. 39-40) holds that Christ's exaltation to the Father was not postponed for forty days. On the fortieth day His public appearances came to an end with a public ascension. He says, "in the apostolic preaching the resurrection and ascension of Christ seem to represent one continuous movement, and both together constitute His exaltation." Ladd (p. 335) holds a similar view. He says (p. 334) "there is good reason to believe that the glorification and exaltation of Jesus occurred at the time of the resurrection." The appearances of Jesus in bodily form were condescensions of the glorified Christ.
Fourth, the sequence presented by Luke is often interpreted as follows. (1) Jesus was resurrected; (2) He spoke with His disciples early on Resurrection Sunday and on other occasions; (3) He ascended 40 days later; (4) At the ascension He was exalted and received the Spirit; (5) Then, He poured out the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Usually those who hold this sequence acknowledge only one ascension.
Fifth, assuming that Jesus ascended more than once, another sequence is feasible: (1) Jesus ascended on Resurrection Sunday; (2) At this time, Jesus was exalted and received the promise of the Father; (3) Later in the day, He spoke with the disciples on the Emmaus road and "vanished" from their sight; (4) That night He said to the disciples (Luke 24:), "'I am sending forth the promise of the Father upon you.'" Although often read as a rhetorical future, the present tense suggests a partial immediate fulfillment; (5) Ten days before Pentecost, Jesus publicly ascended; (6) The full outpouring of the Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost.
The best solution, in my view, is that Jesus first ascended as described in John 20:17. He paused momentarily to reassure the disciples. Then, he was exalted to the right hand of the Father. Apparently, He then received the promise of the Holy Spirit. From that moment on He had full authority to bestow the Spirit.
The divine nature of the Son of God is eternal. The divine Son did not "become" the Son of God. The human nature of Christ had a beginning. Because of His human nature, Jesus experienced great moments of "anointing" with the Spirit. We will discuss those moments, highlight Christ's exaltation power, and present the cooperation between the Son of God and the Holy Spirit.
The birth of Jesus and His empowerment for ministry are great moments in His life. With regard to the Holy Spirit and these events, we observe the scriptures that follow.
First, an angel said to Mary (Luke 1:35), "'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.'" NAU According to Matthew 1:20, Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, from the very first moment of life Christ and the Spirit were closely related. Although neither Luke nor Matthew use the term here, we can call this moment an "anointing." Or, we could say that this moment was a part of His anointing.
Second, another great anointing came when Christ was empowered (Luke 3:22) for His ministry. As a result, He ministered (Luke 4:14) in the power of the Spirit. Jesus declared (Luke 4:18) that He was "'anointed'" by the Spirit. Similarly, Peter (Acts 10:38) says that "'God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit.'" In both cases the anointing is for the purpose of ministry.
With the exaltation of Jesus came full authority and power. We will now observe several points that have to do with this authority. The authority of Christ extends to the church as well as to individuals.
First, before the exaltation, Jesus promised that the Father would send the Paraclete (John 14:16). Then, He spoke of the Paraclete "'whom I will send you from the Father'" (John 15:26). In John 16:7 He says "'I will send Him to you.'" Thus, Jesus becomes along with the Father the Sender of the Spirit. In part Jesus sends the Spirit through His words. He said (John 6:63), "'the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.'"
Second, under the inspiration of the Spirit (Acts 1:2), Christ gave orders to the apostles. Concerning this passage, Swete says (p. 65), "the Messianic inspiration was upon the Risen Christ as it had been upon the Christ of the Ministry, and was perhaps enhanced by the spiritual conditions of the Resurrection life." Boer is more definite about the power conferred at the resurrection. He (p. 146) states, "Central in the period between resurrection and ascension stands the promulgation of the Great Commission. It is not one act among many of the risen Lord, it is the essential expression of the Lordship that was conferred on Him at His resurrection."
Third, let us observe Peter's comment in Acts 2:32-36. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He was seated at the right hand of the Father. Jesus received (verse 33) "from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit." Peter then says (verse 36), God "'made Him both Lord and Christ.'" Jesus was not without power before, but at this time full power and authority were given to Jesus. He would now bestow the Spirit in power.
Fourth, the work of Christ as the last Adam begins at the resurrection. Walvoord (Jesus Christ, p. 227) writes: Although some "believe Christ began His work as the last Adam on becoming incarnate and others have suggested that His work began with His baptism and the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, probably the best view is that Christ entered His work as the last Adam in His resurrection from the dead. This is the inference of the mention of this doctrine in I Corinthians 15:45 (ASV)."
Head of the Church
The power of Christ extends to the church. The church is the body of Christ. He has promised that He will build it, and it will never be defeated. Several passages strike our attention.
First, at the resurrection and seating of Christ (Ephesians 1:20-23) , He became (verse 22) "head over all things to the church." We know that He is the head (Colossians 1:18) of the church. Although the disciples had life before (John 15:1-3), Christ becomes a life-giving Spirit in the new covenant sense and the ruling head of the church at the exaltation (compare Ephesians 4:15-16). We are now seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:6) in the heavenly places.
Second, the point of Ephesians 4:7-11 is that Christ is the giver of gifts to the church. In verse eight Paul cites Psalm 68:18 with regard to the ascension. At the ascension, says the Psalmist, "Thou hast received gifts among men." In comparison Paul says, "'And He gave gifts to men.'" Lenski (Ephesians, p. 519) says, "The reception for men includes the giving to men." The gifts He gave include apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
The cooperation between the Spirit and Christ continues after the exaltation. A very intimate personal relationship prevails. Christ and the Spirit work together in all aspects of the plan of God for man.
First, the post exaltation names of the Spirit reveal the close relationship. Although the meaning of these names overlap, we find some uniqueness in usage. Luke uses the title Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7). Against the background of Acts, we think of Jesus in action through the Spirit. In John's Gospel, Jesus uses the title Paraclete (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7), which means Helper. For Paul the term Spirit of Christ stands out (Rom. 8:9). There is a strong emphasis in Paul is the sanctifying work of the Spirit.
Second, the relationship between Christ and the Spirit is evident in II Corinthians 3:17-18. Paul uses the phrase "just as from the Lord, the Spirit." This indicates a close relationship between Christ and the Spirit. Christ is the divine human mediator (Heb. 4:15). His work was not finished until His glorification. Following His glorification, He sent the Spirit. The Spirit could not represent His work until He finished it. Upon the completion of His work, Christ and the Spirit work closely in redemptive work.
In I Corinthians. 15:45 Paul says, "The last Adam became a life-giving spirit." This raises the issue how closely Christ and the Spirit are identified. Thomas (p. 144) states, "It is essential to preserve with care both sides of this truth. Christ and the Spirit are different yet the same, the same yet different. Perhaps the best expression we can give is that while their Personalities are never identical, their presence always is."
Third, When Jesus appeared to the disciples in Galilee, He said, "'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.'" (Mt. 28:18). In part this power and authority derives from the empowerment of the Spirit. Having received all authority, Jesus later pours out the Spirit. The Spirit then implements His plans in building up the kingdom.
The Spirit continues, even now, to empower Jesus. Acts 1:2 does not mean that the Spirit ceased to endue the humanity of Jesus. Jesus was visibly present to give orders to the disciples "by the Spirit" until the day that He was taken up. He remains the divine human mediator, endued by the Spirit even now.
We turn our attention now to the disciples and the Spirit between Calvary and Pentecost. During this time, the presence, activity, and teaching of Jesus remain central.
On resurrection day (Luke 24:13-32; Mark 16:12-13) two disciples were walking to Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. Jesus approached, traveled with them, and explained the Scriptures. When He left them (Luke 24:32), they said: "'Were not our hearts burning within us?'"
The Holy Spirit is not mentioned. However, His words are imbued with the Spirit (compare John 6:63). The fire that He said He would kindle (Luke 12:) would divide between believers and unbelievers. It would warm the hearts of the believers and ultimately judge the unbelievers. Even now, before Pentecost, His words warm like fire.
The two men returned to Jerusalem (Luke 24:33), found the eleven and those with them, and heard them say that the Lord had appeared to Simon (v. 34). The two began to tell their experience. Then, Jesus (verse 36) stood in their midst and began talking with them.
Most scholars hold that Luke 24:36-43, Mark 16:14, and John 20:19-23 are parallel passages. They describe the meeting behind locked doors on resurrection Sunday night. Jesus talked with the disciples, breathed on them, and said, (John 20:22), "'Receive the "Holy Spirit.'" In my view the parallel passage is Luke 24: where Jesus said, "'I am sending forth the promise of my Father upon you.'" It is important to look at these passages.
First, we will examine John 20:19-23. When Jesus met with the disciples, they were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. With a common Hebrew greeting, Jesus said (verse 19): "'Peace be with you.'" Then, He began to strengthen their faith. After this, He again said "'Peace be with you.'" Wescott (p. 294) says, "The first ‘Peace' was the restoration of personal confidence: the second [v. 21] ‘Peace' was the preparation for work."
After bestowing peace, Jesus commissioned the disciples. He said (verse 21), "'as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.'" Upon saying this, Jesus breathed on them, and said (verse 22): "'Receive the Holy Spirit.'"
Some regard this as a symbolic heralding of the future outpouring of the Spirit. Others, as I do, find here an actual impartation of the Spirit. Under this view, the question becomes, "In what sense was the Spirit imparted?" A variety of views exist. The debate sometimes turns on whether the impartation of the Spirit was for regeneration or empowerment.
In a sense the disciples already were regenerated. However, they did need a post resurrection understanding and deepening of their experience. No doubt the Spirit enabled the disciples to understand the peace of God just bestowed. Anything lacking in their experience was supplied.
However, verse 22 is set primarily in the context of mission. Jesus was sending them on a mission; they would have a basis in knowledge to carry out the mission. They would know (verse 23) whom to forgive. All those who believed in Christ would be forgiven.
We can not exclude either regeneration or empowerment, but the focus in John's writings is on the Paraclete. Before His death, Jesus said He would send another Paraclete (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-13). The activities of the Paraclete are of special concern here.
The title Paraclete is broad. The best translation is simply "Helper." However, Jesus highlighted the Paraclete as the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit would help the disciples know, understand, and apply truth. Both directly and through the disciples, the Spirit would argue persuasively with the world. He would present truth to the world.
Second, Along with Lenski, it is my view that Luke 24:44- took place the same evening as John 20:19-23. Lenski (Luke, p. 1203) says, "Both deal with the commission of the apostles, both with forgiveness of sins." In my view Luke 24:47 explains how John 20:23 is to implemented. The disciples are to proclaim "repentance for forgiveness of sins." They will announce the terms of forgiveness. Thus, in a sense, they will forgive and retain sins. The sins of the repentant are forgiven.
In Luke 24: Jesus talks about the dimension of power. The disciples will be powerful witnesses (vv. 48-). "I am sending forth" is a present tense. Many think this is a future of imminence or certainty. However, as I view it, Jesus was saying that He was bestowing a measure of power then. Later, they would be clothed with power.
Just before His public ascension, the disciples asked (Acts 1:6), "'Lord is it at this time that You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?'" NAU Jesus did not deny that there would be a future restoration. However, they are not to know, He points out, the "times" or "epochs." These are fixed by the Father.
Then Jesus defines the nature of their mission and relates the Holy Spirit to it. The mission of the kingdom now is the worldwide witness (Acts 1:8) to Jesus. For this Jesus will endue His disciples with power. The kingdom creates the church; the church is the expression of the kingdom of God on earth.
Ten days after the public ascension, Jesus poured out the Spirit. This was in fulfillment of Acts 1:4-5, 8. It was "what the Father had promised;" it was the baptism with the Holy Spirit that John had predicted; it was the empowerment foretold by Jesus. Through this experience, the disciples would be powerful witnesses. We have a description of the event in Acts 2:1-4.
We are now in a position to describe the nature of the transition from the Old Testament to the New Testament. It is a transition rather than a sharp divide. Much of the Old Testament is carried over into the New Testament. The new is greater, deeper, and more abundant. As we have seen, Christ is central to the transition.
The Spirit relates to us in many dimensions. Various categorizations of these dimensions are possible. Because of our interest in how the Spirit affects us, we will use the categories of life, maturity, and ministry. Other dimensions, of course, could be highlighted.
We have to distinguish between what the Old Testament says about the Spirit in the lives of saints living at the time and its prophetic pronouncements about future saints. The main emphasis with regard to Old Testament saints is on prophetic empowerment. The prophecies concerning the future, however, are very comprehensive and include life, maturity, and ministry.
First, let us consider the life dimension. We see the evidence of spiritual life in the Old Testament, but the term regenerate is not used. It can be assumed that Old Testament saints were regenerate, but New Testament regeneration is greater. The completed work of Christ is now applied to our lives.
Second, the Old Testament saints matured in God, but not with the same understanding of Christ. We are now changed into the image of Christ. He lived among us. When we believe in Christ, we begin to become like Him. Christ is formed in us. The Spirit works within to make the transformation.
Third, the power of the Spirit was much in evidence in the Old Testament. National leaders were filled with the Spirit. They built the tabernacle and the nation. Now, the focus of ministry has changed. We are building the kingdom of God. This takes place through witness to Jesus. Within the body, of course, we serve in many ways.
With regard to individual believers, several ideas crop up in theological literature. Some of the ideas are sometimes held by both covenant and dispensationalist theologians.
First, it is held that in the Old Testament the Spirit came upon people for special purposes. This is in contrast with the New Testament. Various views are held concerning the ministry dimension in the New Testament, but all acknowledge the Spirit's work in life and maturity.
My view is that we have indirect evidence for life and maturity in the Old Testament. The New Testament experience, related to Christ, is greater. However, we still have the Spirit coming upon people for special purposes. All may be empowered, but the Spirit works with special purposes through various people.
Second, it is held that in the Old Testament the Spirit came upon special people. This harmonizes well with the special purpose idea. Also, it is held that in the New Testament the Spirit comes upon all.
My view is that the Spirit worked in all in the Old Testament saints. He did come upon chosen people in the sense of empowerment. That privilege is now extended to all. Nevertheless, through the gifts, we have variety of function.
Third, it is said that the Spirit came upon people temporarily in the Old Testament. In contrast, in the New Testament the Spirit abides permanently. This point is freighted with the issues of eternal security. Actually, eternal security was not the issue in the Old Testament. .
In my view, to the extent that the Old Testament saints were indwelt, the Spirit remained with them. Now, we are certain of His presence. However, the contrast that Jesus made was between His temporary dwelling on earth and the Spirit's abiding presence. He was not dealing with the issue of eternal security.
In summary, the ministry (or vocational) dimension found so prominently in the Old Testament is contrasted with the life and maturity dimensions in the New Testament. We should recognize both dimensions in both Testaments. The New Testament develops the life and maturity dimensions fully without diminishing the ministry dimension. Indeed, the ministry dimension is expanded to all.
Some writers will use the term "church" with regard to the Old Testament saints; others will not. Certainly, the antecedents of the New Testament church existed in the Old Testament. We might even use the term "church" of the (compare Acts 7:38) Mosaic congregation. Nevertheless, a definite transition takes place at the resurrection. Several points should be made.
First, the Old Testament saints experienced the presence of God. He dwelt among them. This suggests the presence of the Spirit. Certainly, the Spirit was present in the ministries of the prophets and charismatic leaders. Now, we are collectively a dwelling place (I Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:21-22) for the Spirit. All believers are members of the body of Christ.
Second, the entry of Christ into history made a difference. Some advance was made before Christ's death and resurrection, but the great transition came at the resurrection. As far as the New Testament church is concerned, it was "born" on resurrection day. When Christ was exalted, the church was born. Then, on the Day of Pentecost, it was inaugurated.
Third, many of the Old Testament prophecies had to do with Israel. Some maintain a strong distinction between Israel and the church. My view is that the new covenant is for the church. However, all is not yet fulfilled for Israel. A greater fulfillment is coming.
Jesus is central to the establishment of New Testament experience. His exaltation made possible New Testament experience in the Spirit. Jesus ascended the same day He was resurrected. Upon being resurrected, He was seated at the right hand of the Father and received the promise of the Holy Spirit. Upon receiving the promise, He had full authority to bestow the Spirit. Jesus was granted full authority as Lord and Christ. When Jesus was exalted, the New Testament church began, and it was inaugurated on the day of Pentecost.
Let us exalt Christ and receive the work of the Spirit in our lives! Our doctrine of the Spirit is Christ-centered. All that we are, as sons of God, we owe to Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God. The Spirit of God makes all of the benefits of salvation available to us and empowers us for service.
George M. Flattery
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