Final Instructions Before Leaving Earth

Posted in: Holy Spirit, 0603
By Dr. Larry Ollison

“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father... But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:4,8).

As Jesus appeared to the disciples and they shared the good news, the word spread that Jesus had been raised from the dead, and the church grew in number. For forty days Jesus taught His followers about the kingdom of God (v.3). On the fortieth day He assembled them together on the Mount of Olives.

I have been at the Mount of Olives several times and it is just a short walk across the Kidron Valley to Old Jerusalem. It was there on the Mount of Olives that He commanded His disciples to remain in Jerusalem and to wait for the Promise of the Father which, He said, “you have heard from Me” (v.4). Obviously, Jesus had explained to them in much greater detail what was going to happen in Jerusalem. Then He went on to say that although John baptized people with water, they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit in just a few days.

His disciples then asked Him when He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. Although the restoration of Israel is important and much of the Bible is given to the end time prophecies concerning the nation of Israel, Jesus sidestepped that question by telling them that it wasn’t for them to know the times or the seasons. Then He refocused them onto the subject of the Holy Spirit and said they would receive power when the Holy Spirit had come upon them. When He spoke these words, and while they watched, He started ascending into the sky until He eventually went into a cloud and they couldn’t see Him any longer. (Acts 1:3-9.)

My children are adults, but when they were younger and living at home, there would be times that I needed to leave them alone at the house for a while. As I was leaving, I usually gave them instructions, but the final instructions I gave them were always the most important. After reviewing what they could do and what they couldn’t do, my final instruction would be the thing that I felt was most important for them to not forget.

Likewise, there were forty days of instructions given to the disciples and I’m sure that many subjects were discussed. But when it came time for Jesus to ascend and leave these young Christians alone, He focused and refocused their attention to the Holy Spirit. He ascended and took His place seated at the right hand of the Father and these who had believed in their heart and confessed with their mouth that He was Lord, waited in Jerusalem for the Promise.

The Promise was a Gift. The Promise was a Counselor. The Promise was a Helper. The Promise they were waiting for was the Holy Spirit.

Devotion 0603