Persistent Quest

Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Acts 1:4 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.

5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7 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.

8 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.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

MEMORY VERSE: Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. —Hosea 10:12

CENTRAL THOUGHT: Jesus told His disciples to remain in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon them before they went out preaching and teaching the good news and commands of the Lord Jesus; likewise, we who believe are to immediately seek God and not stop until He fills us with His Spirit, that we might have His power within us for witnessing, serving, and overcoming.


Luke 24:46 “Behoved”: a word that is omitted by some authorities; the phrase should read: “Thus Christ should suffer,” meaning that it was proper or necessary for Christ to suffer.

Luke 24:47 “Repentance”: reversal; a change of mind resulting from a deep sorrow for sin. “Remission of sins”: to send away; to dismiss or release; complete forgiveness.

Luke 24:49 “Promise”: an announcement; officially sanctioned promise. “Endued”: put on; clothed, in the sense of sinking into a garment.

John 14:16 “Comforter”: called to one’s aid; advocate; advisor; helper; intercessor. John 14:18 “Comfortless”: orphans; bereaved; parentless; desolate.

Acts 1:5 “Baptized”: immerse; dip under; submerge.

Acts 1:8 “Power”: miraculous power; strength; ability. “Witnesses”: one who avers, or can aver, what he himself has seen or heard or knows by any other means. (Aver, according to Webster’s, means “to affirm with confidence.”) The word witness also came to mean “martyr.”

Hosea 10:12 “Fallow ground”: unplowed; uncultivated; unsown; neglected.


Jesus the Messiah had come fulfilling the many prophecies and promises of the Old Testament. As the time came for His death and resurrection, He prepared His disciples for what would take place. He promised that although He would “go away,” He would “come again”—He would send His Spirit as a Comforter and Guide. The Spirit would teach them and abide with them. He promised to baptize them with the Holy Spirit, give them power, and make them witnesses both at home and abroad.

The disciples gathered in the upper room; possibly, as some scholars maintain, the same room in which Jesus had eaten the Passover with them. Not just the eleven remaining apostles, but other close followers and the women who had ministered to Jesus—his mother, Salome, Joanna and Mary Magdalene—also gathered. There were 120 who prayed and waited, as Jesus had commanded them, for seven days. They would not leave to go about any business, pleasure or distraction. Jesus had said He would come and dwell in them and guide them. There was nothing going to stand between them and their realization of that promise!

Then, it happened. On the day usually set apart by the Jews for consecrating the harvest to God—to those who were gathered together praying, consecrating, setting themselves apart for Him, dying with Him and denying themselves for Him—on that day, Pentecost, suddenly He “came to His temple.” The promise of the Father was poured out upon them, immersing them, filling them; refining them, purifying them; dwelling among, beside and within them. They began to pour out of the building, preaching the wonderful works of God to the seventeen different nationalities of people gathered in Jerusalem. As the people began to hear the Gospel message in their own languages, they were very stirred and cried out,

“What shall we do?”

“Repent and be baptized and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!” Peter proclaimed.

Just as Jesus had said that the world could not receive the Holy Spirit, so Peter was letting the people know they must be believers who had repented and were baptized—a description of someone who has “turned around” from following and belonging to the world and is now following Jesus alone—in order to receive the “promise from heaven,” the Holy Spirit.

The prophet Hosea had also shown the people that their hearts must be prepared for the Messiah and His kingdom of righteousness. They needed to plow up their neglected, hardened ground and sow Christ’s seed into their hearts, and then they were to seek God until He rained His righteousness down upon them.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. From the account given in Luke 24, describe the setting of Jesus’ message.
  2. The promise about the Comforter comes from which three chapters of John?
  3. Give the background of Peter’s message of repentance, baptism and the Holy Ghost.
  4. What key does Hosea give us in our quest for the Holy Spirit?


The two words from Jesus, “wait” and “tarry” and Hosea’s words, “Seek…till He come” let us know there is a special waiting very connected with our personal quest for God to come to us individually and fill us with His Spirit. Pentecost was fifty days after Passover. Jesus was crucified on Passover, resurrected the third day, and seen for forty days. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples had been waiting and tarrying in the upper room, not one, nor two, but seven days from the day they saw him lift off the ground and rise until the clouds enveloped him. He said to wait. How they waited! And prayed! And would not go anywhere or do anything else until He had come!

With that same focus, with that same passion, and with that same desire, we also should seek Him until we are sure He has rained His righteousness down into our hearts. We should also realize that we cannot be a witness, or have power, or be guided, or comforted, until we have been filled with His Spirit. Even after His initial coming into our hearts by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we should seek Him every day of our lives with the same intensity for fresh and new outpourings of His presence, knowing He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


Below is an excerpt from the book, Why God Used D. L. Moody by R. A. Torrey describing how Dwight Lyman Moody, an American evangelist ministering in the late 1800s, received the Holy Spirit:

“The seventh thing that was the secret of why God used D. L. Moody was that, he had a very definite enduement with power from on high, a very clear and definite baptism with the Holy Ghost. Mr. Moody knew he had the ‘baptism with the Holy Ghost;’ he had no doubt about it. In his early days he was a great hustler, he had a tremendous desire to do something, but he had no real power. He worked very largely in the energy of the flesh. But there were two humble Free Methodist women who used to come over to his meetings in the Y.M.C.A… These two women would come to Mr. Moody at the close of his meetings and say: ‘We are praying for you.’ Finally, Mr. Moody became somewhat nettled and said to them one night: ‘Why are you praying for me? Why don’t you pray for the unsaved?’ They replied: ‘We are praying that you may get the power.’ Mr. Moody did not know what that meant, but he got to thinking about it, and then went to these women and said: ‘I wish you would tell me what you mean,’ and they told him about the definite baptism with the Holy Ghost. Then he asked that he might pray with them and not that they merely pray for him.

“…And he not only prayed with them, but he also prayed alone. Not long after, one day on his way to England, he was walking up Wall Street in New York (Mr. Moody very seldom told this and I almost hesitate to tell it) and in the midst of the bustle and hurry of that city his prayer was answered; the power of God fell upon him as he walked up the street and he had to hurry off to the house of a friend and ask that he might have a room by himself, and in that room he stayed alone for hours; and the Holy Ghost came upon him filling his soul with such joy that at last he had to ask God to withhold His hand, lest he die on the spot from very joy. He went out from that place with the power of the Holy Ghost upon him, and when he got to London (partly through the prayers of a bedridden saint in Mr. Lessey’s church) the power of God wrought through him mightily in North London and hundreds were added to the churches, and that was what led to his being invited over to the wonderful campaign that followed in later years…”

—Bro. Fari Matthews