Importance of the Holy Spirit in Acts and the NT

The Significance of The Outpouring of The New Testament

Don K. Preston
“This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel…”
Acts 2:15f
John the Immerser came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near”, and then immediately promised that the coming one “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:2-11). Much of the time, in commentaries the focus of discussion is on John’s declaration of the imminence of the kingdom. Our dispensational friends admit that John and Jesus did indeed offer the Davidic kingdom to Israel, but due to Israel’s unbelief that kingdom offer was withdrawn until sometime in the distant, from them, future. However, what is too often ignored is that the offer of the kingdom was given in conjunction with the promise of the Holy Spirit. This promise is ever bit as eschatological as the promise of the kingdom. Furthermore, John’s promise that the Spirit would be poured out by Messiah was fulfilled! This has incredible eschatological implications for then, and for now. We want to establish several key points.
☛There was in Israel of the first century the acknowledgment that the gift of prophecy, the presence of the Holy Spirit, had ceased in Israel.
It is a well documented fact that the Jews believed that the prophetic office had ceased to exist with the prophet Malachi. Sommer effectively shows that while some scholars have denied this, the evidence is conclusively against them. The prophetic office was believed to have ceased in Israel. D. S. Russell says the Jews believed that the spirit of prophecy had ceased during the inter-testamental period. Ladd, likewise adds that Israel had a sense that the Spirit had departed after Malachi. There were no prophets from that time. Even Aune, who claims that there was a belief that the Spirit was somehow present at times for interpretation of the scriptures, nonetheless admits that the Rabbis believed that, “when the last prophets died,–(Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)–the holy spirit ceased in Israel”
So, the evidence is that Continue reading “Importance of the Holy Spirit in Acts and the NT”