An Expectant Fellowship

KEY VERSE: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” —Acts 1:8


THE Lord, in his several appearances to his disciples during the forty days after his resurrection, had endeavored to comfort and to reassure them as to their hope of the kingdom, and of his continuing watchcare over them. One of the promises that Jesus made regarding this is found in John 14:26-29: “The Comforter [or Advocate], which is the Holy … [Spirit], … [that] the Father will send in my name, … [it] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. … And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” In the sixteenth verse of this chapter, the Lord expresses his relationship to the disciples as that of a comforter, for he says, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that … [it] may abide with you forever.”

The word comforter is a translation of the Greek word parakletos, which has the meaning of ‘intercessor, consoler, or advocate’. The Apostle Paul tells us in Hebrews 9:24-26 that Jesus appeared in the presence of God for us. Jesus, then, fulfilled the function of an advocate when he appeared before God with the value of his sacrificed life—the ransom price—and applied it on behalf of the church. By this he provided the means of reconciliation to God of the footstep followers of the Master. The Holy Spirit of God has since also served as an intercessor for the prospective members of the church down through the Gospel Age, because they have been begotten, counseled, guided, sealed, and through its power made acceptable for joint-heirship with Christ.

It was in anticipation of the fulfillment of this wonderful promise that Jesus admonished that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but were to “wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” (Acts 1:4,5) This event had not yet occurred, however, and so they were without the benefit of the enlightenment of mind that results from the Holy Spirit. This was evident from the question they asked of the Lord, “Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” And Jesus said unto them, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [Spirit] is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”—Acts 1:6-8

They had apparently accepted and understood the fact that Jesus had to suffer and then come into his glory. (Luke 24:25-27) And since he had been crucified and resurrected, they could see no reason why the kingdom should not be established. But the mystery hidden for ages was not as yet revealed to them—that is, the Christ is not one, but many members. The Apostle Paul tells us that “as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body … and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.” (I Cor. 12:13,14) They did not yet understand that they were to be associated with Jesus as part of the Christ (or anointed) and that others were to be called and developed during the approximately two thousand years of the Gospel Age—that all of the members of the Christ had to first suffer and die as did Jesus before they could come into their glory, and the kingdom could be established. This did not mean that they would all be crucified, but rather that they would yield themselves in full and unreserved consecration to do the Lord’s will, spending their strength, time, vitality, and worldly possessions in serving him. The Apostle Paul, in Romans 6:3-5, calls this being baptized into Christ’s death.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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