The Pouring Out of The Spirit – Acts 2 (2)

Its Prophetical Anticipation

The pouring out of the Spirit is anticipated by figure in the Feast of Weeks in Leviticus 23:15-21 and by forecast in Joel 2:28-29. Luke has in mind the former as he records in Acts 1:1, “When the day of Pentecost was fully come.” Peter has the latter in view when quoting from Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:17-21) he identifies the occasion and its striking events. The Feast of Weeks provides all the necessary factors including the timing as well as the significant composition of the loaves; whereas Joel presents the specific features of the event concerning: The Experience of it as to Promise, The Extent of it as to People and the Evidence of it as to Power. Contributory to the prophetical forecast are Isaiah 32:15 and Ezekiel 39:39.

Its Historical Implementation

Luke has been used by the Spirit of God to present us with an excellent account of that memorable day Acts 2 can sustain a simple division in order to bring together the valuable material regarding this significant event:

vs. 1 -13 A New Manifestation of the Person of the Spirit,
vs.14 – 42 A New Ministration in the Power of the Spirit.

The in-coming of the Holy Spirit in this new manifestation had a threefold impact upon the disciples gathered as they were, we firmly believe, on the first day of the week, in the place of the Name. Note with interest, the action of the Spirit upon the disciples. First, their ear was addressed, “and suddenly there came a sound from heaven.” Then the Spirit attracted their eye, “and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire.” None of us should ever miss the commanding power of the Spirit’s word nor the cleansing effect of the Spirit’s work. This is followed by an action of the Spirit in the disciples, “they were all filled with the Spirit.” The next action of the Spirit is throughthem, “they. began to speak with other tongues.” This offers any company of the Lord’s people, exercised about their testimony today, the opportunity to know experimentally the Commanding Word of the Spirit, the Cleansing Work of the Spirit, the Controlling Presence of the Spirit and the Communicating Power of the Spirit.

The effect upon the listening and representative audience was remarkable, and as varied as the company gathered. Some were “confounded” and “amazed,” others “marveled,” while many, if not all, were “perplexed,” for they too had heard the “sound” (V. 6). Some however viewed the events with restraint and asked, ” What meaneth this?” Others reviled, feeling that they had a ready answer, for in their opinion, these men were filled with new wine. When the incredulity of men surfaces, God always has an answer. His resources, essentially divine in Himself, are, however, resident oft times in those He has filled with His Spirit. Such was the case as Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, stood up with the eleven and proclaimed the Gospel.

Peter’s address calls for more than the limit this article permits, so allow a brief outline to suffice.

His Explanation (vs. 14 –21)
a. What it was not (vs. 14 – 15)
b. What it was (vs. 16 – 21)

His Exposition (vs. 22 – 28)
a. The Fact – Christ in Life, death and resurrection (vs. 22 – 24)
b. The Forecast, David’s Psalm (vs. 25 – 28)

His Exposition (vs. 29 – 36)
a. The Witness – Apostolic Testimony (vs.29-33)
b. The Word – David’s Psalm ( vs.34-35)

His Expectation (vs. 37)
a. Enquiry, “What shall we do?”
b. Exercise, “Repent” (vs. 38 – 40)
c. Effect, “Received His Word” (vs. 41 – 42)

Its Doctrinal Explanation

What eventuated at Pentecost is explained in the doctrinal statement of 1 Corinthians 12:13. If anything requires clear exposition, it is this passage which clearly establishes the baptism in the Spirit to be a once and for all act, accomplished at Pentecost when the church, the body of Christ was immersed in the Spirit, thus fulfilling the promise of the Lord and the preaching of John. A personal baptism in the Spirit at conversion is as much an affront to the truth of God as is the spurious claim for it after conversion. Baptized into one body is an unrepeatable act that brings the body of Christ into the same Person as is in me. In discounting this ability of God to do in time what He has done by another singular act in eternity, reveals the inconsistency of many minds. Even more serious doctrinal error abounds by an insinuation that the body of Christ did not come into existence at Pentecost, but rather after Acts 28. This creates incredible doctrinal as well as dispensational distortion. May the reader be advised to keep completely clear of material that advances this unfounded and insupportable premise. If the Truth of God is to be handed inviolate to an oncoming generation, it is vital then that we subscribe to the teaching that avers that the church which is His body began at Pentecost when the Spirit of God was poured out.

Its Practical Implication

Fish taken out of the element in which they live, will die. They survive in an element, because that element is in them. We do the same in respect of air. Take the air out of me or me out of the air, and I will die. Therefore, the very nature of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, so markedly characteristic of the present dispensation, subsists on this vital fact that we, as members of the one body, are in the Spirit. Seeing this is so, then I am obligated in a very practical way to accept without reservation the implications of this glorious fact. Are we not all obligated then to obey every exhortation given to us that expresses our responsibility? Two such passages will suffice namely, Ephesians 4:3, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” and 5:18 “…be filled with the Spirit.”