The Holy Spirit is our Prayer-Helper. Romans, chapter 8, says we are to pray, "We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." He knows what God wants and the blessed Holy Spirit comes and prays for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. Oh, when the Spirit prays for you, then that is real help, isn't it! The Scripture says, "He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Isn't that good! I have the Holy Spirit within me when I come to pray, taking my part in prayer if I let the Spirit guide me. And up in Heaven I have Jesus on the right hand of the Father interceding for me as my High Priest. Blessed Spirit of God within, and blessed Christ in Heaven, both taking the part of Christians here. - John R. Rice
Now, the first thing to remember is the connection of the Holy Spirit with the Great Commission. Jesus said - and He put it here together and no one has a right to separate it - you are to preach the Gospel to the whole world but wait for power. And in Acts 1:8 He said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me. . . ." So God put together a command and then He told us about power for that command. Any interpretation of Pentecost that doesn't mean this connection that Jesus put there, is not a good interpretation. It is a false kind of teaching. - John R. Rice
What is the real meaning of Pentecost? The meaning is here. Three thousand people heard the Gospel and wonderfully repented of their sins and were saved. Three thousand people saved in a day - that is a marvelous thing! I someway don't have much patience with people who talk about Pentecost, but don't care about those thousands of people who turned to Jesus and were kept out of Hell forever. You don't know what God is talking about. You are not thinking about what the Bible is talking about. unless you think of Pentecost this way: they had power to go and witness and win souls. They wanted what God said He would give and did give. - John R. Rice
Soul winning is the main thing for Christians. We are to go preach the Gospel to every creature, as commanded in Mark 16:15. "Ye shall be witnesses unto me," Jesus said in Acts 1:8. Revelation 22:17, " . . . Let him that heareth say, Come." People are to be converted and then get baptized, and then we are to teach them 'to observe all things I commanded you apostles to do.' So the one main business for Christians is to get people saved. And the coming of the Holy Spirit with the enduement of power is the equipment we need to win souls. - John R. Rice
I ought to say this also. It is not just one time, for in Acts 2:4 they were filled with the Spirit and won souls. In Acts 4:31 they prayed again and were filled again and won souls. Ephesians 5:18 commands us, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." And in the Greek form, it is in the present tense. What it is really saying is, "Keep on being filled - filled and filled and filled with the Spirit."
I am not talking about one event that happened way back yonder. I am talking about the enduement of power from on High for us today, and tomorrow, and the next day. If I am going to preach, I am going to need power. If I am going to witness again, I need power. If I go to a new place and a new situation, I need power. - John R. Rice
I believe that Jesus was not crucified on Friday, but on Wednesday. Preachers have usually accepted the Roman Catholic teaching that He was crucified on Friday and have never investigated what the Bible teaches on that subject. All Bible evidence proves that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, buried that night, and arose from the dead some time Saturday night, before sunrise Sunday morning. Remember that the Jewish day began at sundown and the night was counted a part of the following day.
Matthew 12:40 plainly says that Jesus would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, or the grave, like Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly. If Jesus were crucified Friday and raised Saturday night, or before sunrise Sunday morning, He would have been in the grave one day and part of two nights. Certainly that would not fulfill His plain promise.
Many people have supposed that John 19:31 was evidence that Jesus was crucified on Friday since the Jews wished to take His body down before the Sabbath. Notice, however, that "that Sabbath day was an high day." It was not an ordinary weekly Sabbath, but an annual Sabbath, the one mentioned in Exodus 12:16. It was a day of rest, the first of seven days of eating of unleavened bread, the day on which the Passover lamb was eaten.
So Jesus was crucified on Wednesday, was taken down from the cross before sunset Wednesday (John 19:31)... Jesus stayed in the grave fully seventy-two hours, three days and three nights, and arose then some time Saturday night, that is, part of Sunday, the first day of the week which began at sundown. - John R. Rice
Now there is some false teaching about Pentecost. One of those teachings is about the origin of the church. Dr. Scofield and the great Scofield Reference Bible, the best reference Bible in the world in many, many ways, has the Plymouth Brethren teaching. That is a mistake based on a misinterpretation of one verse of Scripture. They say the church began at Pentecost. They base that on I Corinthians 12:13, ". . . we are all baptized into one body" by one Spirit. Now Paul is writing to the heathen people at Corinth. They had never even heard of the Gospel at the time of Pentecost. They were not there. They were not even then saved. They didn't hear it before. No, no! That was now what happened.
What happened at Pentecost was, the Christians who waited were filled with the Spirit, covered with the Spirit, immersed in the Spirit, baptized in the Spirit, an enduement of power. There was nothing said in the Scriptures about the origin of the church. Somebody says, "But so many people believe that; and I believe that, too." But the Bible never mentions that the church began at Pentecost. The trouble is, people don't even know what the church is. They are thinking about a combination of all the denominations or something like that. No. - John R. Rice
Sometimes people say, "Well, Pentecost meant sanctification. Oh, you need to get sanctified." Or sometimes they say "the second blessing" and so on. Sometimes they say "a second work of grace," by which they mean that when you are converted, born again, there is a miraculous change. You become regenerated. But in so-called sanctification they say there is another miraculous action by which the carnal nature is burned out and destroyed. That is wrong, or course. In the first place, that does not happen to anybody this side of the rapture or this side of the resurrection, but there is certainly nothing said about that at Pentecost. No. They were endued with power from on High at Pentecost, and they witnessed for Jesus and saw three thousand people saved. Nobody has a right to make that mean something else. - John R. Rice