Summary: We will see the desire of God and the design of God in anointing a prophetic people for His glory. (1) Spoken through Moses in Numbers 11 (2) Exemplified in Jesus.
A Prophetic Heritage
Series: Book of Acts #2
Acts 1:1-2 “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.” Last week we learned that the book of Acts is the second volume in a two volume work by Luke. There is a flow of thought that runs through both volumes that helps us understand the message of Acts.
Today we go back to the Gospel of Luke at a pivotal point in God’s plan—Jesus’ baptism and anointing for public ministry. In the clip you are about to see, John the Baptist is ministering under a powerful unction of the Holy Spirit. He prophesies the ministry of Jesus and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Pay close attention to his words at the end of this clip. Show “The Jesus Film”: Begin ch. 7 (0:06:27) to (0:09:05).
John was the last of the great prophets before the coming of Jesus. His statement in Luke 3:16 links the old with the new—“John answered them all, ‘I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.’” The baptism of John was a powerful call to repentance for the nation of Israel. But it was only a preparation for greater things. John baptized with water; but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. As a foundation for interpreting Acts we will look at the flow of prophetic anointing in the Old Testament and then in the Gospel of Luke. We will see the desire of God and the design of God in anointing a prophetic people for His glory.
I. God’s Desire Spoken by Moses
One of the clearest revelations of God’s heart toward His people is found in Numbers 11. Turn there with me. Moses has hit a wall of discouragement. In verse 11 he asks God this question, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant?” (NIV) He is complaining about the burden of his ministry. In verses 16 and 17 God answers Moses. He tells him to gather seventy elders (people already recognized as leaders) at the Tent of Meeting—the place God had chosen to meet with them. Then God promises to distribute the anointing of the Holy Spirit that is on Moses to those seventy leaders as well. What does that foreshadow? It foreshadows the Day of Pentecost. Acts 2:3-4 “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” On the Day of Pentecost the anointing of the Anointed One, Jesus, was distributed upon one hundred and twenty of His followers.
What was the purpose of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you...” Now look at Numbers 11:17 and you will see that same purpose in Moses’ situation. Num 11:17 “I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.” The principle in both texts that we must not miss is the purpose for the outpouring of the Spirit. That purpose is empowerment for service—empowerment for service. That is an essential key for understanding the Holy Spirit in Acts.