The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
By Ron Clouzet
On the Day of Pentecost of the year AD 31, the Holy Spirit was poured out in great measure upon the emerging New Testament church. The results? Jesus’ 120 disciples who were praying in the Upper Room were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1, 4), people who once avoided witnessing for Jesus (Matt. 26:69-75) became bold (Acts 2:14-21; 4:7-13), and 3,000 Jewish pilgrims to Jerusalem became the first group of Christians in history—all in one day (Acts 2:38-41).
That story is found in Acts 2, but Acts 2 would have never happened without Acts 1. Two things we should notice from Acts 1. The disciples were united, praying for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:13-14), and they were reviewing the self-sacrificing ministry of Jesus on their behalf (see The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 35-38). It only took 10 days to see what they had been too blind to see before: the overwhelming love of God.
Two premises without which the church cannot expect the outpouring of God’s Spirit with power to finish the work in the world are Calvary and Community.These are basic conditions for the outpouring of God’s love in our hearts (Rom. 5:5).
When a church determines to focus on the love and ministry of Jesus on their behalf (Calvary) and when they press together to seek the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Community) that church will experience the mighty power of God on their behalf.
“After the descent of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were so filled with love for Him and for those for whom He died, that hearts were melted by the words they spoke and the prayers they offered. They spoke in the power of the Spirit; and under the influence of that power, thousands were converted” (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 22).
How can we melt hearts? We can’t. But Jesus can. And when we are full of Jesus (see Eph. 3:14-19), His love melts hearts through us. This powerful work of the Spirit will happen again in the church. “These scenes are to be repeated, and with greater power. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the former rain, but the latter rain will be more abundant. The Spirit awaits our demand and reception. Christ is again to be revealed in His fulness by the Holy Spirit's power” (Christ’s Object Lessons, 121).
Note that the power of God is not sheer or mere power, it is the profound and all-encompassing love of Christ for you and me. Understanding that and receiving that in the heart turns into the mighty power of the Spirit for the finishing of the work. It happened two thousand years ago. It will happen again. Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Ron E. M. Clouzet, DMin, is a former division ministerial secretary and currently pastors the East Ridge Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tennessee.
Is it your desire to have an Acts 1 experience of community and Calvary in order to be ready for the Acts 2 experience of the Latter Rain? Do you long for a heart filled with the love of God, and for a life that can be used as channel of God’s love to those around you?
The good news is, that Jesus is more than happy to lead you, your family, and your church community into such a reality. Why not spend some time in prayer right now, asking Jesus for a fresh and clearer revelation of Calvary, so that the way can be paved for the outpouring of the Spirit upon you and the church?
- Ask God to clear your heart from distracting thoughts and intrusive emotions.
- Pray for Jesus to reveal Himself to you through the study of the cross.
- Ask for the Holy Spirit to fill you every day, to prepare you to be a vessel ready for the outpouring of the latter rain.
- Pray that God would help us as a people know what it means to be a community in prayer, and how to create a chain of prayer around the world.
- Pray for the online virtual prayer room happening during this 40 Days of Prayer, as well as during the General Conference session: https://247unitedprayer.org
Resources to Take you Deeper:
Join 24/7 United in Prayer
Join other believers from around the world praying together on Zoom during the 40 Days of Prayer: https://247unitedprayer.org