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Acts 1:4-9 "And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."

Acts 2:3 "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them."

Many people believe the Holy Spirit first started coming to earth and upon men here, in Acts. But this is not the case. We see quite a few instances in the Old Testament when the Spirit of the Lord fell on people. Godís spirit moved upon the face of the waters even as early as the creation. (Gen. 1:2)

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Judges 3:5-11"And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years. And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died."

The Spirit of the Lord was on several of the Judges of Israel, the first being Othniel. Judges 3:5-11 tells how the children of Israel had forgotten the Lord. They were so evil they had made them groves and were serving Baalim. Baalim is the plural of Baal, the most worshipped god of the Canaanite, and symbolized strength and fertility. He was usually cast in the form of a bull and was considered the god of the harvest. God was angry with the Israelites because they had forsaken Him and turned to Baal and He sold them into the hand of the king of Mesopotamia. Eight years later, Israel cried out to God for deliverance. God gave them Othniel, Calebís nephew, to deliver them from bondage. Verse 10 says, ďAnd the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim, and the land had rest 40 years.Ē The Spirit of God came on one man and he delivered a nation from bondage and it stayed free for 40 years. Thatís what the Holy Spirit can do for the faithful!

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1 Chronicles 12:16-18 "And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David. And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it. Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band."

The Spirit falls on who He will, when He wills. Amasai, who was chief of the captains, came to David to join him and his men. When David questioned him of his intentions, the Spirit fell on Amasai as he assured David that his intentions were good. He wasnít a priest or a prophet, just a warrior intent on helping turn the kingdom from Saul to David but evidently the Spirit of God had sent this man to help David. I'm so glad we don't have to be a prophet, priest or king for the Holy Spirit to do a work in our lives. All we need to be is a willing warrior! We donít understand how the Spirit works but I have seen Him at work and I have felt Him working in my own life many times. When there was an important job to be done in Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit came on individuals to help them accomplish certain tasks. But at Pentecost, the Spirit came on all believers and continually empowers them and dwells in them now. (Acts 2:14-21)

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Matthew 4:1 "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."

Sometimes the Spirit might even lead us into the wilderness and the Spirit could allow us to be tempted of the devil as Jesus was. Jesus fasted for forty days and nights and afterward the devil tempted him three different times. The Holy Spirit had taken him to this place in the wilderness and the bible says specifically that it was so He would be tempted of the devil. We know we are going to be tempted, we know the Holy Spirit is going to allow this to happen, we know what our weaknesses are: we should be prepared!

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Matthew 10:19-20 "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you."

In the above scripture Jesus told the disciples that when they were brought before governors and kings to explain their testimonies for His sake, not to worry about what they would say for the Holy Spirit would speak for them. He would be in them and give them the words to say. The same is true for us today. We need to be diligent in our study of the word and memorization of the scriptures so we have it in our memories for the Spirit to use. The Spirit is not going to put things in your mind that you have never heard. Prepare yourself for a testimony. Then, when the time is right, the Spirit will bring to your remembrance the words you are supposed to say. Iíve heard people say, ďI should have said,Ē or ďI should have told them.Ē But Iíve thought, maybe and maybe not. Maybe it wasnít the right time to tell them and the Holy Spirit knew that and held that personís testimony back. Perhaps someone else was supposed the share the gospel with that person another day. We canít possibly know how the Holy Spirit works so donít beat yourself up every time you fail to share your testimony with someone Ö perhaps it just wasnít meant to be that time. But if you feel you need to speak to someone about Christ, you need to do it right then, thatís probably the Holy Spirit leading you.

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Acts 4:8 "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,"

Acts 6:5, 8-10 "5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, 8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake."

Peter and Stephen were both filled with the Spirit and the Spirit gave them wisdom with which to speak. Acts 6:10 says the people who were disputing with Stephen were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. Some of them so resented him that they began to stir up the people against him and even paid some men to accuse him of blaspheming against Moses, God, the synagogue and the law. Of course, you know the rest of the story, how Stephen was stoned to death. Carrying the Holy Spirit inside us is an awesome responsibility and can even put us in danger. But notice what Acts 6:15 says about Stephen.

    Ē And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.Ē
Thatís what the Holy Spirit can do for the living. Now, look at what Stephen said as he was being stoned:
    Acts 7: "56†And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 59†And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60†And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."
Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit as he was dying, he saw where he was going, he saw heaven, Jesus and God and he was even able to ask God to forgive the men who were stoning him. Thatís what the Holy Spirit can do for the dying!

There is so much more that could be written about the Holy Spirit, one page can not contain it all. I am so glad He is real in my life and I hope He is also leading and directing your steps each day. If not, you can find out how to turn your life over to God and find peace with your spirit at: The Roman's Road.

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