Intro. Intro. Jesus had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father that He had been talking to them about. God had promised to pour out His Spirit on all flesh, even their sons and daughters would prophesy. Jesus said, "John baptized you with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a view days." Jesus for forty days after His resurrection had been appearing to them in different situations and in different places, He had been talking to them about the Kingdom of God. It was His desire that they be sustained in this hostile wicked world by the hope of the coming kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy. So the disciples asked Him if He would at this time restore the kingdom to Israel. Basically will it be just a few days until you set up the kingdom? Jesus passed off the question as irrelevant to the subject of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. What Jesus was talking about was the power they would receive after they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.
I. "BUT YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER AFTER THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS COME UPON YOU."
A. This power of God given to the believers is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions.
1. Sidhartha Gautama who was named Buddha by his followers, lived some five hundred years before Jesus, he espoused a very good way of life, which was known as the Eightfold path.
a. Knowledge of truth.
b. The intention to resist evil.
c. Saying nothing to hurt others.
d. Respecting life, morality and property.
e. Holding a job that does not injure others.
f. Striving to free one's mind of evil.
g. Controlling one's feelings and thoughts.
h. Practicing proper forms of concentration.
e. Buddha said, "Don't do to others what you would not want them to do to you."
f. He taught that Nirvana could only be attained when you broke all attachment with worldly things.
2. Less than 100 years before Buddha their was a Chinese philosopher known as Confucius who taught high moral character which he called the gentleman. Confucius taught "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others."
3. Both of these men pointed to a good path of life. They basically taught that the spiritual life is superior to the physical life. That our problems largely stemmed from our overwhelming desire for material things.
4. These are similar to the teachings of Jesus who said, "It is the Spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing." Jesus took the negative sayings of Confucius and Buddha and put it in a positive form. "Do unto others what you desire to be done unto you."
B. Though there are many similarities between the philosophy of Confucius and the religions established by Buddha and Jesus, the vast difference between them is, though they all pointed to a spiritual path, Confucius nor Buddha could offer power or ability to walk that path.
1. When Buddha died they cremated his body and sent his bones to his followers which were kept as sacred relics, and it was felt that through his bones and his statues powers were imparted.
2. When you see the path, and even desire to walk the path, unless some power is imparted to do so, we find as Jesus said to Peter, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
3. Or as Paul declared, "To will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. Oh wretched man that I am."
4. To know the right path and to desire to walk that path, but yet not have the capacity or power to do so can be extremely frustrating.
C. Jesus not only pointed to the right path, He promised that He, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would give us power to walk that path. "You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me."
1. That is our lives would become a witness of Him.
2. People would see Him in us as we became,
a. Loving as He is loving.
b. Forgiving as He is forgiving.
c. Tenderhearted as He is tenderhearted.
d. Kind as He is kind.
e. Pure as He is pure.
3. The scriptures tell us that Jesus was a true and faithful witness of God.
a. He was able to say, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."
b. He said, "He that seeth Me, seeth the Father who sent Me.
c. Paul said of Him that He was the image of the invisible God.
d. In Hebrews He is called the express image of His person.
II. THE DISCIPLES WHEN THEY RECEIVED THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WOULD BE WITNESSES UNTO HIM BOTH IN JERUSLEM AND JUDEA, AND SAMARIA, AND UNTO THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE WORLD.
A. So was it always to be, the power of the Holy Spirit upon our lives gives us, His church, the power to walk the path and the ability to be what God wants us to be.
1. Witnesses of Him in our community, spreading from there to the surrounding communities, going from there to the surrounding territories, and ultimately to the whole world.
2. The book of Acts tells us of the witness of the church first in Jerusalem, then to Judea, Acts 8
, then to Samaria as Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ unto them. Then to the uttermost parts of the earth, chapter 13.
B. Thirty years ago God called us to Calvary Chapel to begin to minister to a group of twenty-five people in attendance on our first Sunday morning service, which was the first Sunday in December 1965. Most of us went to lunch together after church at the local Sizzler's restaurant on 17th Street in Costa Mesa.
1. God began a work of His Holy Spirit in our hearts and lives
2. We started studying through the Bible on Sundays, and we began home Bible studies almost every night of the week in various books of the Bible. On Saturday nights the men gathered in the little sanctuary on Church street for prayer meetings, and the women started intercessory prayer groups in various homes during the week.
D. After about two years we outgrew the little chapel in Costa Mesa, and began to look for a site to build a larger facility.
E. We finally moved to the Newport Harbor Lutheran church where we had Sunday afternoon services while we waited for the Lutherans to build their new facilities, they also allowed us to use the church on Thursday nights for our week night Bible study. It was at this time that we began to reach out to the Hippies.
F. After a year in the Lutheran Church they had not even begun work on their new sanctuary, and we had begun to outgrow that facility, it was then that we purchased from the Santa Ana school district the old Greenville country school, that last of the one-room schoolhouses in Orange County. It was out in the country at the corner of Greenville and Sunflower Streets in Santa Ana. The school was torn down, and the materials including the tile roof were largely used to build a new little chapel seating 300 people. As we built the Sunday School annex, we used the former floor joists of the old school building for the roof joists for the classes. As we were finishing the roof joists we were one short and I said to Jim Diemer our builder, it looks like the Lord miscounted we only have 127 rafters and we needed 128. He said, I think I know where there might be one more. Last Sunday when it was raining, I took one of the 2x12s to cover a mud hole, and he went over and dug it out of the mud, and we discovered
that we had exactly enough planks for the roof joists.
1. During this time I started a home Bible study for young people in a home in Mesa Verde that soon outgrew the home so we brought lamps to the concrete slab that we had poured for the chapel and held the Monday night classes there on the concrete slab.
2. During this period of time the church continued to grow so by the time the chapel was completed and we moved in for the the first Sunday's service, the chapel was overflowing and we had people sitting on the floor.
a. My impression was grand opening, everyone loves a grand opening, next Sunday we will be down to where all can be seated comfortably.
b. Contrary to my expectations the church was overflowing the following Sunday and we had to bring in extra chairs and seat people in the foyer and the aisles.
c. We then went to double services that were soon over crowded, then to triple services, then we moved out the walls doubling the seating capacity, next we set up 500 chairs in the patio each Sunday to accommodate the people. In two years the chapel was totally inadequate to accommodate the crowds so we began again to look for property.
d. God by a miracle provided for us to purchase this property on the corner of Fairview and Sunflower just one block away, and we put in the parking lot, and put up an old circus tent. After the Saturday night prayer meeting of the men we went over to the tent where they were securing the last of the 1600 chairs. As I stood on the platform and looked over the sea of chairs, I said to one of the church elders, "How long do you suppose it will take the Lord to fill these seats? He looked at his watch and said, "I guess about 12 hours." 12 hours later every seat was filled and people were standing around the edges of the tent. My impression was, this is very interesting, we go from three to two services, and everyone comes to the first service. There will surely be no one here for the second service this morning. To my amazement, when the second service began at 10:30, again every seat was filled and we had people standing around the edges. We had to add an addition onto the tent and
placed 400 more chairs in the tent. We started to build the present sanctuary and the first unit of Sunday School classes.
G. It was about this time that we started outreach Bible studies in our Judea. Jeff Johnson started a Bible study in Downey. He had been one of the biggest drug dealers in Downey but had found the Lord here at Calvary. Some of the students from San Diego State who were driving up each week started a Bible study in San Diego and requested that we send someone down to minister to them so we commissioned Mike MacIntosh to go down.
H. Chuck Jr. had been teaching a Bible study for young people in Riverside in an Episcopal church, and he felt called of God to start a church in Yucca Valley, so we sent Greg Laurie to take the Riverside study.
I. Raul Reis had found Christ and started a Bible study in his Kung Fu studio in West Covina and we began in earnest to reach our Judea.
J. About this time Wayne Taylor started his fellowship in Seattle. Chuck Jr. had moved on to Yuba City, and Lewis Neely started the work in Sacramento, as we began to reach our Samaria. Jon Courson left the Jr. High ministry to move up to San Jose and then on up to Applegate, Oregon. Bil Galatin had moved back to Victor, New York, Joe Focht to Philadelphia, Skip Heitzig to Albuquerque and Tom Stipe to Denver, as we reached further into Samaria. Today in the listings of the 25 largest churches in the United States, 9 of them are Calvary Chapels.
K. Frank Robles moved to Alamos, Mexico to start a Bible College to train future missionaries for Spanish speaking countries and started a fellowship there.
I. Many of our young people felt called of God to go to other parts of the world so that today we have missionaries in Africa, China, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Guam, Australia, Singapore, India, South and Central America, England, Europe, and Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Ukraine.
J. This past summer hundreds of young people committed their lives to serve the Lord at our beautiful youth camp at Green Valley Lake. Our Bible school is at capacity for the facility at Twin Peaks, and we have over 1500 students in training in the extension campuses around the world.
III. WHAT CAN YOU SAY? JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME, YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER.
A. In our study of John 21
last week we remember how the disciples went fishing at the suggestion of Peter on the Sea of Galilee, and they fished all night and caught nothing. In the morning when Jesus stood on the shore and called out to them asking if they had caught anything, when they responded "no," He commanded them to cast their nets on the right side of the ship and they would find fish. They obeyed His command and immediately the net was so full of fish, they could not draw it into the ship. When John saw that the net could not be drawn because of the multitude of fish, he said, "It is the Lord."
B. After you have been fishing for many years and pulling in empty nets, when once your net becomes so full you cannot pull it into the ship, you know that there can be only one reason for it, "It is the Lord." To God be the glory great things He has done.
C. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, this church has become a witness of Jesus Christ, both in our Jerusalem, and Judea, then into Samaria, and now to the uttermost parts of the earth.