Wait for the Promise: Acts 1:4-5
“4) And 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; 5) for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭4‬-‭5‬
The promise of the indwelling Holy Spirit marks a new age not experienced in the Old Testament. It was foretold in texts like Joel 2:28-29, but remained a mystery.
The Father promised the ministry of the Holy Spirit in John 14:16-18: 14:25-27 15:26-27 and 16:7-15. This would mark the beginning of a new age. Some call it the church age and others refer to it as the age of the indwelling Spirit of God.
Jesus did not want His disciples to leave Jerusalem and embark on the Great Commission without the Baptism and power of the Holy Spirit. He was not raising up a new religious sect, rather He was about to pour out an entirely new kind of relationship with God through the indwelling Holy Spirit. He commanded them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise from the Father.
In Acts 1:5, Jesus quotes from John the Baptist. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was promised by John the Baptist in each of the four gospels. It is recorded in Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:7-8; Luke 3:16 and John 1:33. These are the verses Jesus was referring to in Acts 1:5: “For John Baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
The stage was being set for something profound and unprecedented. It is tragic that there is so much controversy and confusion over the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Let me share briefly some of my story related to my deepening understanding and walk in the Spirit.
I came from a theological background that was very timid and inhibited about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It took me years to embrace the full meaning of Scriptures like John 4:22-25 and John 7:37-39. (Sorry, you need to look them up for yourself!)
Theological bias blinded me to the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12-14 and Galatians 5:22-26) I believed in Jesus but lived in fleshly bondage and trusted man made doctrines and human reason to guide me. The full meaning of Romans 6-8 escaped me. I shunned the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Memorizing many chapters in the Bible from books like John, 1 Corinthians, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Hebrews and 1 & 2 Peter began to chip away at the at numerous false notions about the Holy Spirit commonly held in evangelical churches. However, solid hermeneutics preventing me from embracing much of the emotionalism and extra biblical phenomenon in other groups. The Bible became my guide.
As my understanding about the walk in the Spirit deepened, so did my exposure to the international body of Christ and the persecuted church. I have been privileged to rub shoulders with many obscure saints of whom the world is not worthy. Over time, God graciously led me into deep and overflowing communion with Jesus Christ through His Spirit and His Word.
Now I fully enjoy and embrace the anointing, unction and power of the Holy Spirit. My walk with God through His Spirit has become like rivers of living water in my innermost being. I no longer stuff God or the Holy Spirit in the small box of any denominational bias. I long to experience the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, the fellowship of His suffering, the full mysteries of His Word and sweet communion with His Spirit.
Be prepared to be challenged as we study the book of Acts. This book will expose your theological bias no matter your background.
Many believers and segments of the body of Christ around the world today are still experiencing God working in ways like the book of Acts. I am no longer an agnostic about the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit in this present age. God is sovereign, powerful and in control, but He will not force His Spirit or glory on any person. Many have not because they believe not. My advice to the skeptic about the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit is the same as Jesus to His disciples; “wait for what God promised!”
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global