And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
It seems a strange thing that our Lord, when preparing his disciples for the coming of the Spirit, should set a higher value on that Spirit's work than on the continuance of his own (John 16:7-11). The only satisfactory explanation is this - that the Spirit's work was the continuance of his own. It continued that Divine presence which was essential to the stability and culture of the disciples; for both while he lived among men and when he passed beyond human vision, our Savior's words were true, "Without me ye can do nothing. No longer is Christ outside us, only to be seen by the eye, heard by the ear, and touched by the hand; we are now the "temples of the Holy Ghost;" he dwelleth with us, and is in us. We do not rightly apprehend the scene of Pentecost if we regard it only as the first of a series of separate gifts of the Spirit, which may be made in answer to prayer. We take a much more comprehensive and truthful view when we regard it as the entrance of God the Holy Ghost upon his special mission in relation to the full redemption of mankind. It was, as it were, the opening of the heavens, and the sending forth of the Divine Spirit, to brood forever over the waters, quickening life. It was his reception in the hearts prepared for him, that he might begin a work which, ever spreading and widening, seeks to enthrone God the Father in every heart and every life. As God the Son entered and won first a mother's heart, that he might get a standing-ground from which to enter the heart of the whole world; so God the Spirit came into the souls of a few disciples first, only that he might extend his sway, spreading from heart to heart, entering, subduing, teaching, and sanctifying, ever working for that glorious day when the "people shall be all holy." We fix attention on this one point: The disciples gained, and kept from that day, a deep sense of their entire dependence on God, and on God as the indwelling, in working Spirit. They could never recall that "day of Pentecost" without contrasting what they were before it came, and what they were after it had passed. There was contrast in their measure of spiritual vision, and contrast in the energy and joy of their work. And so they learned, in a most effective way, that their sufficiency was of God. The secret of all moral strength is dependence on God - open-heartedness to receive, and simple readiness to obey and work out, all the inward impulses and leadings of his Holy Spirit. Because the disciples learnt this lesson of Pentecost so well, therefore it can be thus reported concerning them, "They went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following." Application of this lesson may be made to the Christian.
1. We have a Christian life to maintain, culture and growth to watch over, higher truth to reach, clusters of graces to ripen, and the power of a holy example to wield. But we "are not sufficient of ourselves even to think anything as of ourselves." "Our sufficiency is of God." We too need the Quickener, Comforter, and Teacher.
2. We too have a conflict to wage, and sufferings to bear for our Master. And who "dares to do the warfare at his own charges"? We are only strong in God either to fight or to bear.
3. We too have a work to do for Christ, and a witness to render. And we must learn to say after the great apostle, "I can do all things through him who strengtheneth me." What we need is spiritual power, Spirit-power, the Pentecostal power. When shall we fully grasp the inspiring truth - the Holy Ghost is with us? - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.