The Holy Ghost
Hundreds of years ago God made a promise that excited the hearts of the prophets. His promise was that He, the eternal God, would dwell among men and even dwell in them. The prophets could not understand how this could be, but they believed it. They considered it a great mystery.
The first part of God's mystery was fulfilled when God robed Himself in the flesh and blood body of a human son and lived as God with men. Jesus Christ was as much human as any man who lives and breathes, yet the Spirit of the living God was the power source which gave His body life. Men knew what God was like because they could see, touch and hear Him in the person of Jesus Christ.
John said, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . .declare we unto you" I John 1:1, 3. Jesus was God with men. But what of God's promise to dwell in men? It is one thing for God to dwell in His Son, but how could ordinary people like us have God dwelling in us?
Jesus unveiled the final step of God's plan. God would make sons to Himself by the power of the life (or spirit) of Jesus Christ. Jesus was going to pour out His Spirit, His Life, upon His church. Common people of earth would be filled by the life of God. His eternal life, uniting with our human life, gives birth to a new creature, an eternal son of God. This is the mystery that was hidden from ages past; Christ in us, our hope of glory.
How does God do this today? He does it just as He did in the days of the apostles. Isaiah prophesied, "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people" Isaiah 28:11.
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" Acts 2:1-4.
It may seem peculiar and unnecessary that people would speak in an unknown tongue when they are filled with God's Holy Spirit, but God has His own ways. It may be that He knows how hard it is for us to control our tongue. We know He wants to rule that unruly member of our body, and we know that this is the sign He has chosen. (See Jakobus 3:1-12. More information in reference to this subject: "The evidence of the Holy Ghost.") When men received the Holy Ghost it is noted that they spoke in tongues:
• Jews on the day of Pentecost - Acts 2:4
• Gentiles in Caesarea - Acts 10: 46
• The Ephesians - Acts 19:6
• The Corinthians - I Corinthians 12,13,14
• The Apostle Paul - I Corinthians 14:18
Speaking in tongues is the Bible evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He that seeks for the Spirit of God should not pray for tongues, but for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The evidence is manifested when the Holy Spirit enters the heart. You, too, can become a son of God by the life of His Spirit. The citizens of Jerusalem saw the Holy Ghost manifest in the believers and listened to the preaching of Peter. They were stirred in their hearts and cried out, "What shall we do?" "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call" Acts 2:38, 39.
God's sons, like Him, are destined to live eternally. Our bodies which are of this earth must be left here, but He has promised us new bodies, like His own glorious body. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" Romans 8:11.
Jesus told His disciples, "I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given
you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every
one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh
it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father,
will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a
serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then,
being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall
your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:9-13.