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The Doctrine of Christ

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    LESSON SIXTY-FIVE The Coming of the Comforter

    1. Just before his ascension, Christ instructed his disciples to remain in Jerusalem until the promised Comforter should come to them. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4.TDOC 183.7

    2. On the day of Pentecost, Christ’s promise that he would send the Comforter was fulfilled. Acts 2:1-4, 32, 33.TDOC 183.8

    3. That the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, remained with the church is shown by the experiences which followed Pentecost. Acts 4:8, 31; 3-5; 9:17; 13:9, 52; 11:15-17.TDOC 183.9

    4. The Spirit of God was in the world from the beginning, but after the resurrection of Christ that same Spirit assumed so new an office as the Comforter, that in this sense the Spirit was not given until Christ was glorified by his death and resurrection. Genesis 1:2; John 14:26; 7:38, 39, ARV.TDOC 183.10

    5. The presence of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, is the presence of Christ the power of God for the work of witnessing for Christ. Luke 24:49; 1 Corinthians 1:23, 24; Acts 1:8.TDOC 183.11

    The token of the Redeemer’s inauguration

    “Christ’s ascension to heaven was the signal that his followers were to receive the promised blessing. For this they were to wait before they entered upon their work. When Christ passed within the heavenly gates, he was enthroned amidst the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which he had with the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven’s communication that the Redeemer’s inauguration was accomplished. According to his promise he had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven to his followers, as a token that he had, as priest and king, received all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over his people.”-The Acts of the Apostles, 38, 39.TDOC 184.1

    The power from on high

    “All human efficiency in the ministries of the gospel and the propagation of the truth of God in the world must needs be through the power of the Holy Spirit, which is the only real ‘power from on high.”TDOC 184.2

    “Truths which the Holy Ghost has taught us may be retained in the mind by the mere natural power of memory. Because they have the truth, they imagine they have the Spirit of truth. Perhaps the word of Christ to them is, ‘Tarry you in Jerusalem until endued with power from on high.”TDOC 184.3

    “Of theology, in every possible shape, we have no lack. But it is as if, with all our writing, and preaching, and working, there is some thing wanting. Is not the power from on high the one thing we lack? May it not be that, with all our love for Christ and labor for his cause, we have not made the chief object of our desire what was the chief object of his heart when he ascended the throne to have his disciples as a company of men waiting for the clothing with the power of the Holy Ghost, that in that power of the presence of their Lord they might testify of him?”TDOC 184.4

    A twofold revelation

    “Our Father has given us a twofold revelation of himself. In his Son he reveals his holy image, and setting him before men invites them to become like him by receiving him into their heart and life. In his Spirit he sends forth his divine power, to enter into us, and from within prepare us for receiving the Son and the Father.”TDOC 184.5

    The power supplied

    “In the presence of a perverse and rebellious race your hearts sink within you, and you ask yourselves, How shall we ever be able to bring men over to our views of Christ? You feel your need of some unknown power, by which the minds of men may be rendered obedient to the truth. You are ready to ask, Is there not something beyond miracles, even? Something beyond a holy life? Is there not in the resources of God some means of reaching the hearts of men, and subduing that hostility by which they are hindered from receiving the testimony of a holy life, of a blessed gospel? There is, I die, I ascend on high that the Comforter may come unto you. Then shall you be strengthened with a strength of which you have hitherto had no consciousness.”TDOC 184.6

    The heavenly current

    “In Christ the cry of humanity reached the Father of infinite pity. As a man he supplicated the throne of God, till his humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion he received life from God that he might impart life to the world. His experience is to be ours.”-The Desire of Ages, 424, 425.TDOC 185.1

    Christ enthroned

    “Self cannot cast out self. Christ must be enthroned for self to be denied. And Christ can only be enthroned when the Comforter is come.”TDOC 185.2

    The conquering power

    “Self is not powerful enough to conquer self, the human spirit to get the victory over the human flesh. That were like a drowning man with his right hand laying hold on his left hand, only that both may sink beneath the waves. ‘Old Adam is too strong for young Melanchthon,’ said the Reformer. It is the Spirit of God overcoming our fleshly nature by his indwelling life, on whom is our sole dependence. Our principal care therefore must be to ‘walk in the Spirit’ and ‘be filled with the Spirit,’ and all the rest will come spontaneously and inevitably. As the ascending sap in the tree crowds off the dead leaves which in spite of storm and frost cling to the branches all winter long, so does the Holy Ghost within us, when allowed full sway, subdue and expel the remnants of our sinful nature.”TDOC 185.3

    Filled with the Spirit

    “As the disciples, filled with the power of the Spirit, went forth to proclaim the gospel, so God’s servants are to go forth today. Filled with an unselfish desire to give the message of mercy to those who are in the darkness of error and unbelief, we are to take up the Lord’s work. He gives us our part to do in co-operation with him, and he will also move on the hearts of unbelievers to carry forward his work in the regions beyond. Already many are receiving the Holy Spirit, and no longer will the way be blocked by listless indifference.”-Testimonies for the Church 7:32, 33.TDOC 185.4

    “O that we might take these perishing sinners, who compass us about in such countless numbers, to the very sea of glass before the throne where Jesus sits in glory, and give them just one view of the majesty and grace of him whom all the heavenly hosts adore, that they might hasten to believe upon him and submit themselves to Him! Well, Jesus has appointed you to something like this very office you so much desire. Be filled with the Spirit, and let the mighty Spirit in you testify to Jesus and convince the multitude around of the glory and unspeakable beauty of him whose promises they have so long disdained.”TDOC 185.5

    A revelation in power

    “On the day of Pentecost the Infinite One revealed himself in power to the church. By his Holy Spirit he descended from the heights of heaven as a rushing, mighty wind, to the room in which the, disciples were assembled. It was as if for ages this influence had been held in restraint, and now Heaven rejoiced in being able to pour upon the church the riches of the Spirit’s power.”-Testimonies for the Church 7:31.TDOC 186.1

    “It plainly appears that the dispensation of the Spirit is the dispensation of the mighty power of Christ, and that there is no form, or measure of opposition which Christ on his throne in heaven is not competent, by the omnipotent Spirit acting through his church, to overcome.”TDOC 186.2

    “He that is surrounded by the seraphim with veiled faces, who looks and the earth melts, before whom the nations are less than nothing, and vanity, he draws near to the believer and takes up his abode with him.”TDOC 186.3

    To whom the Spirit is given

    “Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to his church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord’s promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in his people ‘to will and to do of his good pleasure.’ But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch f or his guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and he is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.”-The Desire of Ages, 804.TDOC 186.4

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