The Holy Spirit authorises and empowers each of us personally to minister on behalf of Jesus and His Kingdom.
Act 1:8 but you will receive power, the Holy Spirit coming upon you, and you will be witnesses of Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
If He was not a personal Holy Spirit He would not be able to do this. It would also be wrong of God to say that each of us would receive The Holy Spirit individually and He would work with each of us individually. It also means that if we are not listening to Him we are not being empowered by Him to do the work of Jesus. Then who is helping us? It can only be man or the devil or a combination of both.
If we do not have the empowerment, guidance and gifts of The Holy Spirit it means God is asking us to do His work without the tools He and the apostles had available. He cannot be a God of Love then if He asks this of us.
The Holy Spirit shows us what God wants us to pray, do or command. This guidance is especially important in intercession, spiritual warfare, deliverance and prayer. Which will only be successful if they are done in accordance with The Will of God.
Pentecost - The Anointing for Ministry
While a person can serve Jesus without the empowerment of The Holy Spirit they will not be able to minister as Jesus desires them too for two reasons:
They are not usually anointed (authorised) by Jesus for the ministry they are carrying out.
They must use reason and the Bible to guide them in ministering as they cannot hear the Holy Spirit's guidance in the way they need too for the ministry they are doing.
If they are ministering out of Love for Jesus and the person being ministered too Jesus will honour it and may even give the gifting necessary to minister to that person. But if it is done as denominational/church duty it may before the wrong reasons and Jesus may not be able to honour the person ministering. Jesus may still help the person being ministered to though.
Without the anointing (empowerment) of The Holy Spirit you cannot demonstrate the Kingdom of God with signs and wonders. This is why the apostles had to wait in Jerusalem until they were empowered for ministry. This is why Jesus began His ministry only after John The Baptist baptised Him and The Holy Spirit descended onto Jesus. This is why we need to wait for the anointing by The Holy Spirit.
The church that denies the Baptism/Anointing (authorisation and empowerment) of The Holy Spirit is powerless in the spiritual realm. Which is why many church groups are weak and dying and must turn to man's methods to try and survive.
Too many people go out and minister in the wrong area as they have a piece of paper that authorises them to minister in that area. But they are not where God wants them to minister and so do not have the empowerment (anointing) of The Holy Spirit and the blessing of God on that ministry. They have not sought wholeheartedly God's Will as to where they are to serve Him and thus are not where God wants them to be and they wonder why they are ineffective in ministry or struggle so much. They are ineffective because God cannot fully Bless or guide their ministry as it is not in His perfect Will for them.
Why do some of these ministries prosper? Because they use man's methods and at times the devil helps them prosper and keep the incorrect ministry going so the minister believes God is blessing that ministry and is encouraged to keep going in it. God can possibly still use this ministry but not as He would like too (Rom 8:28 still applies).
Before you minister ensure you know where God wants you to minister and seek His empowerment (anointing) for that ministry.
To illustrate what happens when man uses reason and is not guided by The Holy Spirit an example is given in Acts.
Acts 1:23-26 records the selection of the apostle to replace Judas. Note the apostles had narrowed the field to two people through reasonings that these two were the most suitable. Then they prayed to get God's guidance and of course picked Matthias. If they had waited for The Holy Spirit to fall on they would have waited until He told them who to select and there would not have been a choice but they did not do so. Matthias is not heard from again in the New Testament in any capacity. The question arises then as to who actually guided them as The Holy Spirit would not have condoned the choice of Matthias and would not have approved of him. So Satan must have pretended to be God so they would pick Matthias and not Paul.
Using reasoning (that Judas needed to be replaced) resulted in wrong choices and gave Satan a chance to sidetrack the work of God. They expected The Holy Spirit to guide them so Satan steps in and gives them guidance. They cannot hear The Holy Spirit as they have made up their mind what the answer should be (one or t he other of the two men).
The Holy Spirit does not give a choice as God knows whom He needs, where He needs them and when He needs them. In fact He waited over three years to replace Judas with Paul. He had to wait for Paul to convert to Christianity and be trained by Him for three years before Paul was ready for the ministry God had called Him too.
Just because you are trained in an area does not mean you are the replacement for the leader of that area when they leave. God may want you to develop skills in other disciplines through involvement in other types of ministry work.
Just because a denomination authorises you to preach and places you to fill a vacancy in a church does not mean God wants you to go there.
Now to the passage itself. But first a comment
In the upper room at Pentecost there were men and women gathered there (Acts 1:14). All received The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and anointed for ministry ant not just the men. Why were women anointed for ministry if God was not going to use them to minister His Love and truths to people both in and out of the church?
In the early church before Paul came on t he scene, men and women ministered as equals, so why not now?
God has a special place for women in His heart which is why he appeared to them first after the resurrection. They can love others in a way men can't which makes them more fragile and easier to be emotionally bruised and damaged than men. Also, each partner has complimentary gifts and it is only as they work in unison will ministry be truly in unity with God.
The only criteria for women to minister are:
A single woman does not minister to a single man
They are anointed to minister in the ministry they are working in
Their house and marriage is in order if they are in a leadership position. This does not stop the ministering under the leadership of another if their household is not in order.
Pentecost and its aftermath (Acts Ch 2)
Notice in v1 of acts 2 that they were all in unity waiting on God. This is the first requirement for God to work, a oneness of spirit with Him and each other. There was no wind, only the sound of a wind so those that "breathe" The Holy Spirit on people based on this wind are in error as there was no wind in the room. The Holy Spirit made His presence known through using cloven tongues that were like a fire. Note: Like a fire and not an actual fire as there was nothing to burn (which a fire requires).
There is no statement He actually entered them. He did not need too as He was already in them or they would not have been followers of Jesus and marked as such by The Holy Spirit being in them. To Baptise is to immerse. So there was not entry of The Spirit in them or it would have been called something else and it would have been noted that the Spirit has entered them. His presence was in that room and they were immersed (Baptised) in His presence.
The anointing does not enter you. You may feel the presence of The Holy Ghost working through you affecting your body as He works the Will of God. But He does not enter you to anoint you. It is not necessary, as the empowerment is from Him as you declare the Will of God and He is already in you marking you as belonging to Jesus.
I note that Jesus did breathe on the disciples before He Ascended into heaven but it was symbolic to mark the coming of The Holy Spirit and to show them as belonging to Him and not to authorise and empower them for ministry. Any person breathing on people to impart a gift or anointing is doing so incorrectly as they cannot give the spirit to mark them as belonging to Jesus because that occurs at Salvation and they cannot give what is not theirs to give anyway.
The gift of tongues came forth from those in the upper room because The Holy Spirit descended on them. This was not angelic tongues but tongues of other people's languages so that they could understand the message when they were preached to by the apostles (Acts 2:4-12). Remember they were being commissioned to spread the good news of Jesus throughout the world and it was necessary for people in other cultures and of other languages to be able to understand them. So the disciples were given this gift of speaking in their own language but being understood in the language of the person they were speaking too. I have heard of this actually happening in the 20th Century but it is rare.
Demons can do a similar thing. Note that there is a demon called a scrambler demon who can make a person hear the opposite of what is actually being said. This is to start division between people.
Anyone teaching that tongues other than this type were present at Pentecost is in error.
These 'tongues' grasped the attention of peoples from different races and cultures who could not understand how these Jews could speak in their language. Some thought they were drunk with wine so Peter got up and preached in his own tongue to all that were there and all the different nationalities understood what was said in their native tongue. So another mark of the tongues that occurred at Pentecost is that it was not incomprehensible to the speaker as it was hearing what was said in His own native language which he spoke every day.
Note that the gift of tongues was given to promote the Gospel not to prophesy or edify people. It was to show forth the marvellous works of the Lord Jesus.
The Gift of Tongues at Pentecost was one of the manifestations of The Holy Spirit but there were other manifestations all designed to encourage people to believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour (v21). Signs and wonders are for the promotion of Jesus, His Gospel and The Kingdom of God not to give the church or any of its members prestige or importance. In fact being used to express these in your life should drive you to greater humility.
In v22 Peter declares that these signs and wonders were a continuation of what Jesus did in the midst of them in spite of which He was put to death. Peter then declares Jesus was raised from the dead and that the signs and wonders He did continues in the followers of Jesus. In v23-36 Peter explained whom Jesus was in terms of the Messiah in the Old Testament and people responded and wanted to know what to do to follow Jesus.
His response was that they should be baptized in the Name of Jesus (so they would identify with Him and repent of any baptism to and worship of other gods they had worshipped before) and accept what Jesus had done at Calvary (the remission of sins, redemption etc.), and that they would also receive The Holy Ghost.
3000!! I repeat 3000!! Of all different nationalities believed what was preached, were baptized and became followers of Jesus from that one demonstration of signs and wonders and that one sermon (v41).
The unity continued as did the Miracles and daily worship (v42-47) and would do so as long as they followed the teachings of Jesus. So why do we not see the same thing happening today? The answer is simple. We are not following Jesus as we should.
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