THE FOUR GREATEST MIRACLES OF HISTORY, #4
By: Frank G. Tunstall, D. Min.
In four sovereign acts of divine power, God massively intervened in Israel in the first thirty years of the first century, and changed the course of human history. These interrelated interventions were so compelling they required a New Covenant; they could not be fitted into the Old Covenant. These four demonstrate the unfathomable love of God and became the launching pad for Jesus’ vision for an international spiritual kingdom. His kingdom-of-the-heart has the church as its visible expression. Without these four, there would be no church or New Testament.
The first was the incarnation of Jesus. The second was Jesus’ death and resurrection. The third was the Lord’s ascension.
The fourth miraculous and historic act of God surrounded the gift of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, who is equal in essence with the Father and the Son in the Godhead. This great event birthed the church. It occurred on the fiftieth day after Jesus’ crucifixion.
“Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:2-4 NKJV).
The Apostle Paul said the Holy Spirit was actively involved in raising Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11). The Apostle Peter said God raised Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:21). Jesus said His life belonged to Him; He would lay it down and take it up again. That authority was a gift to Him, He said, from His Father (John 10:17-18). Obviously, the Trinity was actively involved in the resurrection of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit’s role in the Godhead is multi-faceted, and I offer here a very limited list of the Spirit’s service. The Holy Spirit birthed the church and remains its administrator to this day. His role in the Trinity includes comforting in sorrow, convicting of sin, and bringing people to the New Birth. He is the power of God for miracles. He reveals wisdom and teaches all things about Jesus. He endows Christ’s followers with spiritual gifts, and empowers them for service. The bodies of the Lord’s followers are the temples the Holy Spirit fills and indwells with His Presence ((1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The world would be a very different place today, if these four miracles had not happened: the incarnation of Jesus, His death and resurrection, and His ascension, climaxing with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
A dimension of the Spirit’s ministry that is often taken for granted and overlooked now follows.
For Jesus to grow His church worldwide and build his international kingdom-of-the-heart, He had to launch a new communication system to stay in intimate relationship with His followers. Requiring them to go to Jerusalem for seven annual feast days would be a hopeless effort for a worldwide church. The Holy Spirit is the divine genius of this incredibly powerful plan that all modern computers combined-and-linked-together worldwide, cannot even approach. Facebook, with all its complexity and its more than a billion subscribers, is like children playing in the marketplace when compared to the Holy Spirit’s system of communication.
The Holy Spirit has the marvelous capability to be in a warm, personal relationship around the clock, simultaneously with each of the Lord’s multiplied millions of followers. Each and all at the same time have His full and undivided attention. This is true wherever believers are, anywhere in the world. He knows their names and addresses, and never makes a mistake with a name or a location. He fluently speaks the language of each of Jesus’ followers, and does it with words that fit each person’s vocabulary. Even the hairs on their heads are numbered. As the Holy Spirit ministers to Jesus’ followers, He shows Himself time after time to be the greatest counselor of all history. He knows exactly what to say to give perfect guidance in the moment of need, and no situation is ever too small or too big for His focused attention.
We live in a world in which communication moves at the speed of light. But no electronic system has ever been built that can match the capability of the Holy Spirit to make Jesus Christ known. Billions of people, all at the same time, can be very aware of the Lord’s personal, one-on-one presence to bless them day and night, even the lonely hours after midnight. The Spirit does it day-after-day-after-day. Jesus “never slumbers nor sleeps” (Psalm 121:4), and needs no computer powered by electricity to communicate. The Holy Spirit makes it possible for Jesus to be present and perceived in each-and-every worship service anywhere in the world, even if they are all meeting at the same hour. People routinely walk away from their places of worship knowing Jesus was there with them. The Lord also goes with His followers into the streets of life, and lives with them around the clock. This divine genius of Jesus’ presence 24/7 continues to this day. This indescribably wonderful reality guarantees loyalty so strong between Jesus and His followers that persecution unto death cannot break it.
It is a dangerous choice indeed for so many in our generation to treat the Holy Spirit as a mere Force, pushing Him into the background as the stepchild of the Trinity. Not to fully acknowledge and appreciate His presence and power in the earth is nothing short of foolhardy.
This kind of understanding of the marvelous grace of our Lord that has provided such an infinitely unlimited communication system, should be enough to call us all back to our Jerusalem to wait again for the Holy Spirit, the promise of our Heavenly Father.
As we do so, we must never forget that the God who is love has also “set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising [Jesus] from the dead” (Acts 17:31; 1 John 4:8, 16 NIV).
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
The moral man came to the judgment
But self-righteous rags would not do.
The men who had crucified Jesus,
Had passed off as moral men, too.
The soul that had put off salvation,
“Not tonight; I’ll get saved by and by,
No time now to think of religion!
At last he found time to die.
And oh, what a weeping and wailing
When the lost are told their fate.
They’ll cry for the rocks and the mountains,
They’ll pray but their prayers are too late.
“The Great Judgment Morning,” by Bertrand Shadduck