REV. TIMOTHY L. MELTON, PASTOR
CHEROKEE PENTECOSTAL HOLINESS CHURCH
Read and Study Acts 9:1-22 (KJV)
“Josephus, a Roman historian of that era, chronicled Saul as a lost man, a secular man, and many agreed with him. Saul, who later was called Paul, was described as short (about 4-foot), bow-legged, cross-eyed, a unified brow, (caveman-like). It really does not matter what one looks like or one’s background, especially when the Holy Spirit is on the scene.
“On the day of Pentecost, Peter and the other disciples, after the Holy Spirit had come upon them, went out into the streets of Jerusalem, their ‘threshing floor.’ Sharing their testimony, at least 3,000 heard and were baptized—the beginning of the Church. As Jesus had promised them and all believers, and stated in Acts 1:8, ‘You shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, you shall be witnesses…’ —‘commensurate’—in direct proportion to the amount of time spent with the Lord. They had been told to ‘tarry—remain there’ until they’d been empowered.
“As stated in Acts 9, Paul began to ‘exercise’ the giving of his testimony, for he knew he had not been empowered just ‘to do nothing’. Paul spent his time also learning more about Jesus from the other believers in Damascus before he was to begin his worldwide ministry. He no longer waited to begin giving his own witness to others. Although no one should rush into a ministry unprepared, no one needs to wait before telling others what’s happened to them. Who can really argue with someone’s testimony? The church can’t be lazy in doing the same.”
“Paul’s most powerful witness was always in them seeing his changed life for themselves. People knew what Paul taught was genuine and real because they could see the evidence in the way he lived. It’s important to know what the Bible teaches and how to defend the faith, but a life should also back up their words as a regular experience, not a performance to just amaze others.” (From NLT Study Bible.)
“He was saying, ‘Jesus—He’s a free gift—just ask for Him. He started telling everyone—and he’s never stopped—even to this day.”
“He began getting stronger every day. His prayers were bold. There were healings and raisings from the dead. He ‘exercised’ and there was increase! Love is God’s Plan to bring Himself into our earthly realm and into His Kingdom!”
(In remembering an earlier historical event given to us from the Old Testament, of three kings who were facing their enemies, the Assyrians, and how thirsty they were as they sought help from God. They were told by Him to dig ditches, ‘bunches of them,’ all over that particular dry valley. They were to dig deep for the ditches were to hold much water. Overnight, after they had obeyed God in carrying out His commandment, and without even a storm having been heard, God filled all of the water ditches they had dug. Their previous lack of water was quietly and abundantly being filled to overflowing, turning into the ‘much water’ they’d needed to show up in that valley. (This should prove, ‘God is the same, yesterday, today and forever.’)
What added to the whole picture was God’s ‘red dawn’, with the rising of the sun. To the Assyrians looking towards the direction of the sunrise, they saw what looked like a valley full of bloody water—as if there had been a great slaughter. The Assyrians coming down to that valley weren’t prepared for what they saw and so they actually fled! Praise God for His faithfulness and wisdom in their time of need for water. He ‘fought their battle’ and won it without a fight!
“If you love me, obey my commandments. And, I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it is not looking for him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.”
John 14:15-17 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit is the very presence of God within us as believers, helping us live as God wants and building Christ’s church on earth. By faith, we can appropriate the Spirit’s power each day.
The Holy Spirit has been, since the Acts’ Pentecost, coming to live in all believers. Many are unaware of the Holy Spirit’s activities, but to those who hear Christ’s words and understand the Spirit’s power, the Spirit gives a new way to look at life.