The Coming of Jesus
As many of us see the words of this title, we will think of Jesus’ second coming. Let there be no doubt, there is a final, awesome, triumphant coming of Jesus. That in particular is not the subject of this writing. I want to call your attention to His present comings, His presence with us. Jesus wants us to meet with Him every day. When He was with the disciples who were closest to Him, and the time of His departure was drawing near, He spoke to them kindly and told them He would be going away. These were a group of people who had grown very close in three years. They were together pretty much every day for that time. Think of a school class where the teacher took them on an extreme, three year class trip that turned into a rather wild and challenging adventure. Then, although He had told them, He, their teacher is taken away and they are distraught. He also told them He would not leave them alone.
Jesus has been coming all the time since His resurrection. For 40 days, He appeared to the twelve and others. After His ascension, He gave that which His Father gave Him and His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, has been poured out upon all flesh. However, like the dove Noah sent out from the ark, He is looking for a place to land. The eyes of the Lord search to and fro, throughout the whole earth to find a heart that is open to Him. And He lands there, and immediately the hungry heart will receive Him. This is not just about an initial revelation of Jesus to any one of us. This is about His continual coming to us. Yes, when we receive Jesus, we receive His Spirit. But we see through the history of the building of His church, He is always ready to give us more of Himself. He has no limit, and He is at work to stretch us to receive more. This is about His repeated comings, and His callings, His knocking at our individual doors.
This is the wealth of Christ. All that He would give us through the Holy Spirit are the true riches. He Himself is our great reward. So what does this look like? We are on uncertain ground when we try to define it. But, like Peter said on that day called Pentecost, this is that. When He comes we will know it. The 120 in that upper room knew it was the promised gift. And the display that took place could not be missed. Read Acts chapter two if you don’t know what happened. So how does it take place today? I appreciate how our brother, Watchman Nee, addresses this in a message captured in the book, The Normal Christian Life. He said it is not for us to legislate to the Holy Spirit how He should reveal Himself and the One who sent Him. He has first come to some hearing the Bible declared, to some through a dream, to some in the Hebrides as they sat in a bar, and to some, like me, as they sat in an office cubicle. Read the preface to this blog sometime.
Now we know that the Spirit Himself gives gifts to men for their personal growth and the growth of others. He does so with a spiritual power that transforms lives and often results in dramatic displays. At the initial outpouring a great sound like a mighty rushing wind was followed by visible tongues of fire, and speaking with heavenly tongues understood by many in their own language. Why is it that some deny this happens today by the same Spirit?
Millions of believers and disciples across the globe today speak and pray with heavenly and angelic languages. Denial of its existence today is foolish and even absurd. Read that first letter to God’s own at Corinth, chapters 12-14 together. Remember, these three thoughts. In 12, Paul asks, “Do all speak with tongues?” In 13, he directs us to faith, hope, and love. We ought to know by now what the greatest is. And in 14, he urges us to desire spirituals (the Greek is one word). He closes the discussion including this, that we not forbid speaking in tongues. Yes, it is not the end of the Holy Spirit’s work but it is where He began! And men from every nation, every ethnic heritage, had interpretation in their own language. May His Spirit surge within us with holy, refining fire and renew and transform our minds to know His.