When God gives us a task, not only does He expect us to fulfil the task but He empowers the obedient to achieve the task. After Christ’s resurrection a small group of believers were left with a huge task to evangelise not only Jerusalem their home town, the gospel message was to reach even the hostile Samaria and was to be preached in unknown lands in all the world. A perfect gift was given to make the task possible. To those who surrendered to Him, the Spirit used them to achieve great works. Scripture is littered with examples of man and women who received power and achieved great missions which were impossible to perform in the eyes of men. The difference between them and us today maybe the simple willingness to accept the invitation to go ye therefore. Solomon tasked to lead the nation of Israel and to build the Lord’s Temple, the Bible say…“And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom…” 1 Kings 5:12. All are called to ask of the empowering Spirit, all are called to receive of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation from the Father who gives generously to all without finding fault.
The Holy Spirit has ever been active among God’s people as they do His mission. Before His ascension to Heaven, Christ promised the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit to all believers. “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth” Joh 16:13. The office of the Holy Spirit takes the truth from the sacred pages, where God has placed it for the benefit of every soul whom He has created, and stamps that truth upon the mind. Believers may rejoice in this assurance as they share the good news from the Bible. As would-be believers hear the word of God and make decisions to change their way of life, the Spirit is there to convict and transform. “And when He comes, He will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” John 16:8 It is by the Spirit that their hearts are made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of divine nature. Hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil are overcome and Christ’s character is formed in them. A new birth experience is as a result of the working of the Holy Spirit.
The Early Disciples
When Christ’s disciples received of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they went out fearlessly to proclaim the name of Jesus. The word of God spread mightily. The number of disciples grew rapidly. The gospel was taken beyond Jerusalem to heathen lands and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, the whole multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one mind. Such was the impact of the “rain”, the early rains brought the gospel seed to germination and nurtured the earlychurch growth as it ‘went forth conquering, and to conquer’. Paul’s testimony says “do not be …moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye have heard, and which was preached …to every creature which is under heaven” Colossians 1:23
Just as the early rains of the Spirit were poured upon the disciples as they begun the work of building the early church, Christ has promised showers of blessing again for His disciples as they round up the work and prepare the harvest. Christ will pour out again the ‘rain’, the latter rains to bring the ripening fields ready to harvest. The latter rain will be poured out on God’s church at these end of times. A special endowment of God’s Holy Spirit will be given to Christ’s church just before the coming of Jesus. Believers shall receive power to complete the Master’s mission and to make ready the harvest. The pen of inspiration says “But near the close of earth’s harvest, a special bestowal of spiritual grace is promised to prepare the church for the coming of the Son of man. This outpouring of the Spirit is likened to the falling of the latter rain; and it is for this added power that Christians are to send their petitions to the Lord of the harvest ‘in the time of the latter rain.’” Acts of the Apostles, pp. 54, 55.Christ’s disciples today should ask themselves, “Am I ready to receive the latter rain? Have I been collaborating with the early rain? Am I working in the field of God? Is there a godly harvest to expect out of my work? Am I praying for the latter rain to prepare the harvest? To all who have been faithful witnesses, who have put their hands on the plough and are not looking back, God has promised the showers of blessing and as it was said of the early disciples it shall be said of us “…These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” Act 17:6
Watching and Working
Because we know not the exact time of His coming, we are commanded to watch. “Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching.” Luke 12:37. Those who watch for the Lord’s coming are not waiting in idle expectancy. The expectation of Christ’s coming is to make men fear the Lord, and fear His judgments upon transgression. It is to awaken them to the great sin of rejecting His offers of mercy. Those who are watching for the Lord are purifying their souls by obedience to the truth. With vigilant watching they combine earnest working. Because they know that the Lord is at the door, their zeal is quickened to co-operate with the divine intelligences in working for the salvation of souls. These are the faithful and wise servants who give to the Lord’s household “their portion of meat in due season.” Luke 12:42. They are declaring the truth that is now specially applicable. As Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses each declared the truth for his time, so will Christ’s servants now give the special warning for their generation.