And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:45-49)
The Holy Spirit And The Apostles
The work of the Holy Spirit began at creation when Moses described Him hovering over the face of the waters. Through the agency of God’s design, the Holy Spirit formed a world of beauty, majesty, and the hallmark of the Father’s eternal design. There is order to creation established by the purpose of God, by the authority of the Son of God, and the hand of the Holy Spirit. From the beginning of time, the Holy Spirit was an active participant in the history of God’s people. In the days of Noah, the Godhead determined the end of the world, bringing a flood and killing all but eight souls in the ark. The Holy Spirit was that agency. When Moses combated the Egyptian magicians and challenged the authority of the Pharaoh, it was the Holy Spirit that manifested the power of God through miracles and signs. Mount Sinai burned with the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Finger of God wrote the commandments for the Hebrews upon stone. During the time of miracles in the wilderness, the Holy Spirit was active in carrying out the will of the Father with blessings and curses.
When Jesus came to earth, He acknowledged His power was by the Finger of God, the Holy Spirit. Twelve men were chosen to be His apostles, and He gave them the power to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Like Jesus, the twelve had been given the power of the Holy Spirit. Their greatest work was yet to come. Jesus knew His life was short, and the fulfillment of the Father’s plan was determined. On the night of His betrayal, Jesus spoke to the eleven remaining apostles with words of assurance and hope on a dark night when the world would change as never before. Judas was preparing a mob to arrest Jesus, and the Son of God was preparing His beloved disciples to go into all the world to preach the gospel. He knew He must return to the Father. The eleven were unaware of what Jesus was about to bear.
Jesus makes a promise to the eleven that after He is gone, a Helper or Comforter would come to guide them, instruct them, bring to their remembrance things said and done, and manifest the will of the Father to them. The apostles (later including Matthias and Paul) would be the ambassadors of Christ to the world, showing the power of the word through the power of the Holy Spirit. While Jesus was on earth, the apostles could perform miracles tempered by the authority of Jesus. When Jesus died and returned to the Father, the Holy Spirit would take the role of authority to manifest His power through the apostles. During the forty days Jesus spent with the eleven after His resurrection, He gave them the Holy Spirit to forgive sins. The full outpouring of the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost when the twelve apostles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the twelve could dispense the power of God to men. Before returning to the Father, Jesus explained the purpose of miracles was to confirm the word.
The day of Pentecost was when the gospel of Jesus Christ was preached to the world. Without a divine manifestation of God’s approval, men would not accept the gospel of Christ. A miracle or miracles often confirmed the preaching of the word. This would show to all men the word spoken by men was not human wisdom but divine law. The Holy Spirit worked through the apostles and those given the power of God to establish the word of God for all ages. Through the working of the Holy Spirit, the apostles were guided into all truth and declared things to come, such as coming apostasies, persecution, and the promise of the second coming of Christ. The Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He would bear witness and testify to the glory of the Father. The fingerprints of the Holy Spirit cover the New Testament as He worked among the saints of the first century to establish the church.
Jesus came to earth for a specific reason and for a short time. When His work was completed, He returned to the Father. The Holy Spirit came to earth for a specific reason and a short time. His work revealed the plan of redemption to all men, and when that work was complete, He also returned to the Father. The work of the Holy Spirit and the apostles was short-lived. When the word of God was established through the writings of men like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, and Jude, the work of the Holy Spirit was finished. The work of the Holy Spirit was only the parts coming together to form that which was perfect and what would become known as the Bible. There is no longer a need for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner. All that man needs to know about salvation is found in the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. He authored the Bible by the authority of the Father and the sacrifice of the Son. The Bible is the grace of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.