One of the biggest highlights of the church calendar is our Annual Family Camp. It’s probably the one event that we look forward to more than any other each year. We had an overwhelming response with more than 1,000 campers travelling up to Melaka for a 4-day convocation. In my opinion, this year’s camp is probably one of the best we’ve ever had as we grow from glory to glory.
Through the speakers, there was a deeper revelation of the spiritual realm and the things of God (1 Cor 2:9). Incidentally, the camp was held between Pentecost Sunday and Father’s Day Weekend. During the week, I was intrigued by the occurrence of a particular phrase that may not be altogether inappropriate for our consideration since it’s Father’s Day this weekend. It’s the phrase ‘The Promise of the Father.’
So the question is – What is the Promise of the Father?
The phrase occurred in Luke’s preface to the Book of Acts: ‘And while eating with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me, for John baptised with water, but before many days now, you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’ Luke regards the prophecy of Joel 2:28-29, as Peter quoted this passage in Acts 2, immediately following the Spirit-baptism. “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” It’s obvious that the Promise of the Father is the gift of His own Spirit. He has given Himself to us and will not leave us alone, as Jesus promised in John 14:16-18.
This was also a promise made by the Father to a father – Abraham. God promised that ‘the seed of Abraham’ would bless the entire world. “By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My voice.” (Gen 22:16-18)
The Apostle Paul declares that Abraham’s seed is, in fact, Jesus Christ (Gal 3:16). We’ve already seen the Promise of the Father given in Acts 2 and this was the very same promise given to Abraham, and now to us: ‘That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the PROMISE of the Spirit through faith.’ (Gal 3:14)
Acts 2 is a partial fulfilment of Joel 2, but there’s so much more!
On Father’s Day, 18 June 1995, a revival was sparked off at Brownsville Assembly of God. The service on Father’s Day lasted through the afternoon and ran into the evening. All day long, the sanctuary was filled with the sounds of hundreds of worshippers laughing and singing along with cries of intercessors groaning and weeping. This continued for five amazing years.
As word of the revival spread, more and more people began to arrive from all across the nation and then the world. In all, 3.5 million people came through the doors of the church, and over 150,000 souls received Jesus as their Saviour.
As one who loves revival history, this has been my prayer every Father’s Day – ‘More, Lord!’ Luke 11:13 says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
May we receive a fresh encounter and outpouring of the Holy Spirit this Father’s Day.
Ps. Timothy Chong