Messiah's First Advent and the New Priestly Body

Galatians 4:4 tells us that when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son. The sending forth of the Son as the promised Messiah reaches out not only to the nation of Israel, but also to the whole world just as Simeon proclaimed shortly after the birth of Jesus (LK. 2:29-32).

Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart In peace,
according to Thy word; For my eyes have seen Thy salvation,
Which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
And the glory of Thy people Israel.

It is thus God's plan, through the work of the Messiah, not only to

provide redemption for the human race, but also to create from Jew and Gentile, one new body, reconciled to each other and to God, as the agent to promote His truth in the world until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Ephesians 2:13-19; Romans 11:25-27).

In order to accomplish an orderly change from the old priestly body (Israel) to the new priestly body (the church) there existed a transition period between 30 and 70 AD; the time between God's spiritual rejection of the nation and His physical rejection of the nation. During this transition period there will occur on numerous occasions the sign of the gift of languages, that will announce to Israel that not only has she been temporarily rejected by God, but that she will also be physically destroyed as a nation, and that God will replace her with a new nation that will produce the fruit of His kingdom.

During this transition period, the new body (nation) will be under construction, being built with the JUSTICE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS of Christ as the corner stone (Isaiah 28:17), and upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:4-10). The mechanics for building this new body is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which takes the believer and so uniquely "identifies" (baptizes) him with Christ that he is actually positionally placed into union with Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:13

"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free,
and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

Ephesians 2:18,

"For through Him (Christ) we both (Jew and Gentile)
have our access in (or by) one Spirit to the Father."

Gal. 3:26-28,

"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free,
there is neither male nor female;
for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Because of this, it was necessary to have a "formal" manifestation of the Spirit for the four groups of people involved. And it was necessary that the sign of the new priestly body be given in each context in order to clearly demonstrate to Israel that God was making a change. The sign is not directly "tied in" with the giving of the Spirit, but occurs only to make the connection between the rejection of the old priestly body (Israel) and the establishment of the new priestly body (the church).

The FIRST GROUP is comprised of those of Israel, who had personally and collectively identified with Jesus as the Messiah Savior. This occurred at the feast of Pentecost in 30 AD as the direct fulfillment of the many prophecies that had been given by John the Baptizer and by Jesus. In association with this fulfillment of the promise, there occurred the sign of tongues for the nation to demonstrate that God was now making some changes in how He would administer His Truth throughout the world (ie, a new priestly body).

We find therefore, at Acts 2:1-21, the initial fulfillment of the sign of the gift of tongues. That is, the proclamation of Divine blessing and cursing to the Jewish nation by the use of REAL Gentile languages.


1. Verses 2:1-21, The initial baptism of the Holy Spirit.
2. Verses 2:22-41, Peter's first message
3. Verses 2:42-47 Local church activity on a daily basis

Verses 2:1-21 The Jewish Pentecost

Verse one

1. Day of Pentecost: ten days after the ascension of Christ

A. Sunday: day of resurrection during the feast of firstfruits
Leviticus 23:11, 1st day after the sabbath

B. Pentecost: 50 days after the feast of firstfruits. Leviticus 23:15-16

C. Resurrection ministry is 40 days long (Acts 1:3), therefore,
Pentecost is 10 days after the ascension.

2. See Topic: Jewish feasts

3. all together in one place: the group of Acts 1:14-15 = 120 people.

A. probably a house near the temple. Luke 24:53; cf. Acts 2:5-6

B. Verse 2 indicates the whole house, so not the upper room.
But possibly the same house.

4. This fulfills the instructions of Christ at Acts 1:4.

Verse 2

1. and suddenly: aphnō (adverb) means, unexpectedly, without warning.

2. there came: aorist active indicative indicates a specific point of time when something occurred.

3. out from heaven: (ek ouranos) Probably best to interpret this as out from the sky.

4. a noise: āchos, here indicates an audible manifestation of His presence

A. violent: biaios means very strong and powerful.
B. Rushing: phero is a present middle participle used as an adjective.
C. pnoā: wind

5. filled the whole house: plāroo (aorist active indicative)

A. everyone in the house was aware of the sound
B. Verse 6, the sound (probably from the āchos rather than the languages)
C. When the people arrive on the scene, then they hear the languages.

Verse 3

1. and there appeared: horao (aorist passive indicative) indicates a visible manifestation

2. tongues as of fire: a flame-like appearance

Fire speaks of Divine justice in two areas, blessing and cursing, which is what was prophesied by Isaiah at Isaiah 28:12-13.

3. Being distributed to them: diameridzomai (present passive participle, plural to refer to the tongues of fire). The passive voice indicates that this was a personal administration by the Holy Spirit.

4. and it rested on each one of them: kathidzo (aorist active indicative) as a 3rd person singular indicates one flame manifestation per believer (upon each one of them).

Verse 4

1. and they were all filled: pleroo (aorist passive indicative) indicates the same point of time and refers to the initial filling/control of the Spirit which results from His indwelling.

2. pas - all of them: pas = the "all" of verse 1 and the 120 of V. 1:15.

3. and they began to speak:

A. archomai as an aorist middle indicative, indicates they probably spoke one at a time which would be reasonable in view of 1 Cor. 14:27.

B. to speak: laleo as a present active infinitive = and they began to be speaking.

C. They, refers to the group not EVERYONE in the group. If each one of the 120 possessed this gift, it would SEEM to violate 1 Corinthians 12:30.

4. just as the Spirit was giving them utterance:

A. didomi as an imperfect active indicative indicates that the Holy Spirit was doing this over a period of time and not all in one point of time. It was enough of course, so that each member of the Jewish nation who was present, heard what it was necessary for him to hear.

B. ability: apophteggomai (present middle infinitive) = ability to speak.

C. not everyone was speaking in a tongue but only those who received that spiritual gift at this time. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
It included the apostles as the apostleship gift included that function as 1 Corinthians 14:18 indicates.

5. The noise of the coming of the Holy Spirit attracted a large crowd who gathered outside the house. These are the ones who heard the message of tongues as a fulfillment of Isaiah 28.

Verse 5

1. Jews living in Jerusalem: katoikeo (present active participle) is used to indicate dwelling both permanent and temporary for the feast day.

2. devout men: eulabes is a word of religious devotion. it indicates they are dedicated to their faith or religion, which in this case is the apostate Judaistic system which for decades had distorted the doctrine of the Messianic promise while still giving lip service to the Messianic scriptures, and which Jesus so thoroughly condemned (Matthew 23:1-38).

These are not believers at this time.

3. from every nation under heaven: many different languages represented.

Verse 6 The sound attracts the people

1. The sound occurred: this is not the languages being spoken, but the noise from the arrival of the Spirit described at verse 2.

2. The people gathered to the area.

3. And then they were bewildered when they heard the specific languages being spoken: sugcheo (aorist passive indicative) means confused. This is the initial reaction, then follows amazement (verse 7).

4. Because: explains the confusion.

5. They were hearing, akouo (imperfect active indicative).
They were hearing in the same way that the languages were being spoken - off and on during the time period, as the Spirit was controlling the speakers.

6. own language: dialektos refers to a dialect and the ones spoken are listed in verses 9-11.

Verses 7-8

1. amazed: exzistemi (imperfect middle indicative) means to stand out from ones senses or logic. (they were BEING amazed).

This is the mental attitude of amazement based on two things:

A. The ones who were speaking were uneducated Galileans.
B. The content of the message: The wonderful deeds of God.

2. and marveled: verbal expression of the attitude - thaumadzo (imperfect middle indicative).

3. saying: ouk idou indicates a rhetorical question - Check this out - aren't these guys all Galileans?
The Galileans were generally uneducated who speak a course and unrefined Aramaic.

4. our own language: A very clear indication that we are talking about REAL Gentile languages. How can this be from uneducated men?

This and verses 9-11 represent the basic reaction, not what each person was saying.
Also, it is important to note the identification of the dialects as languages (tongues) in verse 11.
The languages represented may not be a complete list, but are clearly referring to the GENTILE languages used in the geographical areas mentioned.

Verse 11

1. The megaleion of God: plural neuter refers to magnificent things. The basic message of Isaiah 28:12-13 which is peace and rest through trust in Divine design.

2. There is no mention of interpretation. It is probably not an issue OR Peter's message may well serve as the official interpretation given in Aramaic or more likely, the Koinae Greek.

3. Since so many languages were being spoken one right after the other, it gave the impression to ones who were not listening to the information in their own language that the people were drunk.


Verse 12, Positive response

1. And they were all being amazed: existemi (imperfect active indicative). The word means to stand outside of your senses. It indicates that what was going on "shocked" their senses and defied the logic of their own standards and frame of reference.

2. And greatly confused: diaporeo (imperfect active indicative).

The content of the message they heard was information that did not correlate with their frame of reference. They do not know what it means.

3. What does this mean? They recognized it as unusual and unique but did not see the significance. However, they were "positive" to the content they heard and wanted answers as to what it all meant.

Peter's message will correlate it with the Messianic promises of the Old Testament and with Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of those promises.

Verse 13, Negative response

1. But others, continually mocking: The present active participle of diachleuadzo, indicates that they were continually mocking while it was all going on.

They ignore the information revealed in their languages and rationalize the rest as drunkenness.

2. Were saying: lego as an imperfect active indicative indicates that they just kept on mocking and accusing them of being drunk. The point is, that they did not say this just one time, but continued to badger and accuse the participants.

Verses 14-21 Peter's explanation

Verse 14

1. Taking his stand: authority is demonstrated by standing in front of everyone.
2. Raised his voice and declared: continues the air of authority.
3. Let this be known to you: gnōstos- the characteristic of understanding. This is a plea to volition in perception. If they do not "listen" they will not perceive.

4. And give heed: enōtidzomai (only here) indicates volition in acceptance. Once the information is perceived, it requires a volitional response.

5. my words: hrāma emphasizes the spoken word and refers to the content of his message.

Verse 15 the logical answer to the claim of drunkenness.

Verses 16-21 Comparison to the kingdom promise of the old testament

Verse 16 But this is:

1. Is: present indicative of eimi. Eimi is the verb of "being" or "status." Sometimes it is used to dramatically indicate similarity.

2. An example of this is found at 1 Corinthians 11:24-25. In reference to the bread, "this IS my body, which is broken for you." In spite of the claim of Romanists to the contrary, the bread of the communion is NOT the literal body of Jesus, but simply "represents" or symbolizes His body which is sacrificed for the sin of the world. Similarly with the wine, which "IS the new covenant in My blood." However, the wine is not "literally" His blood, but simply symbolizes the spiritual sacrifice of His soul "as a guilt offering," (Isaiah 53:10).

And of course, Jesus used the "is" in the same way when He instituted the communion service at Mat. 26:26-28.

3. With this in view, we should allow the context to determine whether the Joel passage IS what happens on this historical occasion, or if it is simply symbolized, portrayed or exemplified by the phenomenon that occurred here.

4. The passage quoted is from Joel 2:28-32 and does not refer to the period of time in question, but looks to the 2nd advent and the beginning of the Millennium.

4. But this is like what was spoken by the prophet Joel.

5. The key to Joel's passage is at verse 28, "after this" which refers to the events of verses 18ff.

Verses 17-18

1. and it shall be: future indicative of eimi

2. In the last days: technical term referring to the time period known as Daniel's 70th week, but with special focus here, on AFTER the Day of the Lord arrives. It corresponds to "after this" in Joel.

3. That I will pour forth my Spirit: special indwelling of the Holy Spirit on believers of the kingdom.

4. on all flesh: suggested from this passage that this is universal on all believers in the kingdom.

A. cf. all OT passages on the same subject: only 8 times all together.
Isaiah 32.15; 44.3; 59.21; Ezekiel 36.27; 37.14; 39.29; Joel 2.28-29; Zechariah 12.10

B. All of these passages indicate two primary things.

1. The Holy Spirit is given at the 2nd advent of Christ.

2. The ones who receive the Spirit are Jewish believers in the Kingdom only.

3. Possible exception at Joel: "upon all flesh, "but the context even here indicates restriction to Israel. All flesh then would mean all of Israel now dwelling in the land as believers in the Messiah.

C. The coming of the Spirit on this Day of Pentecost in 30 AD, is not on "all flesh" or even on "all Israel," but restricted only to the 120 believers in Jerusalem.

D. Later, it is extended to all believers based on Romans 8:9 and 1 Corinthians 12:13, but never on "all flesh," as Joel indicates will happen in the Kingdom.

5. Your sons and daughters: prophateuō, future active indicative

A. young men:
B. old men:
C. verse 18 - bondslaves: doulos
D. female servants - doulā
E. This all refers to the universal proclamation of Divine wisdom throughout the entire land of Israel so that everyone will be taught of God in Palestine and all Israel will be instrumental in teaching the world.
Isaiah 2.2-3;11.9-10; 56:6-8; 60:3, 11-14; Jeremiah 3:17; 31:31-34; Zechariah 8:22-23

6. In those days: the days after the arrival of the Day of the LORD.
Specifically, after Jesus sets up His kingdom on the earth.

Verses 19-21

1. Now the quote backs up to the period of time just before the arrival of the Messiah.
The signs of Christ's coming - Joel 2:30-31

A. wonders in the sky: teras - supernatural (unusual) activity.
Luke 21:11, 25; Revelation 6:12-13;

B. signs on the earth: sāmeion - prophesied signs that point to a specific thing. Luke 21:25; Romans 16:21;

C. blood, fire, columns of smoke: Revelation 6:12-17; 8:6-13; 9:1-11; 9:12-18
Seems to be describing the results of meteorites landing on the earth. Could also be describing activity during the tribulation period

2. sun turned into darkness: Mt. 24:29;

3. Moon into blood: color effect from the sun's light being blotted.
But this is not "total" darkness as will occur after Jesus descends to the Mount of Olives just before Armageddon. Zechariah 14:6-7

4. before: before Christ returns.

5. the great and glorious day of the Lord:

In this context, the Day of the Lord refers to the arrival of Christ in the clouds to pour out His just wrath upon the unbelieving world.

6. and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord:

A. all: pas, invitation given to all. But the all in the context of Joel, refers to the members of the nation.

B. who shall call: epikaleo - aorist middle subjunctive call upon for assistance. This is an attitude of total dependence on the object of faith. In this context it is spiritual assistance.

C. name: character, reputation and work - in other words, The Plan of God for salvation.

D. However, in application, ANYONE who trusts in Christ at that time will be delivered.

7. Shall be saved: sodzō - future passive indicative

The issue in Joel is physical deliverance from the tribulation judgments at Christ's return. Joel 2:32; Is. 59:20

There are two perspectives to this deliverance.

A. Those who "call upon the Lord" prior to His return at the Day of the
LORD, will be delivered from God's wrath by being raptured out from the earth at that time.

B. Those who "call upon the Lord" after Jesus arrives, will be delivered from God's wrath, while still living on the earth.

C. But the basis for that deliverance is faith in Christ. That is, total dependence on Jesus as the promised Messiah/Savior. This is the force of Peter's quotation at this point in Acts, as well as Paul's quotation in Romans 10:13.

8. Now, having quoted from the Old testament and reminding them that only through trust in the Messiah will one be saved, Peter makes personal application to the nation and proclaims Jesus as that Messiah who must be trusted (Verses 22-40).

The SECOND GROUP to whom God decreed to manifest a formal arrival of the Holy Spirit, is comprised of the Samaritans who chose to identify with the new priestly body through faith in Jesus as the Messiah after His resurrection. Although many Samaritans trusted in Christ during His ministry (John 4:39-42), there needed to be a formal administration of the Spirit to them and the sign of tongues to the nation of Israel in connection with the Samaritans being included in the new priestly body. This is recorded at 8:14-17.

The situation with the Samaritans required a "formal" administration of the Spirit because of their Jewish heritage.

Verse 12, we have a group of people who become believers and then undergo water baptism.

Verses 14-17 - a formal administration of the baptism of the Spirit BY the apostles.

1. This was only administrated by the apostles as they were the foundation layers of the church.

2. The laying on of hands for this was only a temporary policy and was only administrated by the apostles.

3. Simon just misunderstood the significance of the ritual and was more interested in power and attention anyway.

Tongues is not mentioned in this context but it probably occurred as a necessary sign to the nation that God was indeed in the process of replacing it with "all" who would receive the Messiah.
As a "formal" transitional administration of the Spirit, it was necessary for the apostles to be the human administrators. There is never an occurrence of such a "formal" administration of the baptism of the Spirit by any one other than an apostle of Christ.

The THIRD GROUP is comprised of the Gentiles who chose to identify with the new priestly body through faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Although Gentiles trusted in Christ at various times throughout Christ's ministry (Matthew 8:1-10) and after His resurrection (Acts 8:26-38), there needed to be a formal administration of the Spirit and the sign of tongues to the nation in connection with the inclusion of Gentiles into the new body. This is recorded at Acts 10:34-48 and at this time the pattern for the rest of the church age is established.

A very significant difference here is that the Holy Spirit indwells them immediately when they make a decision to trust in Jesus, verses 43-44.

"Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name
everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.
WHILE PETER WAS STILL SPEAKING these words, the Holy Spirit
fell upon all those who were listening to the message."

1. He was still giving his evangelistic message when the people who were listening - trusted Christ in the privacy of their own souls, ie, believed and were saved.

2. At the very moment that they believed, God the Holy Spirit indwelled them and baptized them into the body of Christ.

3. This was evidenced by the gift of tongues in this instance because of the presence of many Jewish nationalists who needed to hear the message according to the prophesied sign.

4. The pattern that was established, was that at the moment that one believes, he is indwelled by the Spirit and baptized BY the Spirit into union with Christ,
and at that instant becomes a part of the new priestly body.

5. That is why there was no formal administration of the baptism in this situation and why there is no other recorded incident of it happening in the entire NT - - - except - -

Paul's letters which were all written after c.56 AD, reflect this PATTERN, as we read that by one Spirit have we "all" been baptized into one body (1 Corinthians 12:13) and that if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he is none of His (Romans 8:9). That is also why, about 10 years later (in c. 56 AD), when Paul encountered some believers in Jesus who were not associated with the formal "church" organization, he inquired whether they had received the Spirit WHEN they had believed. And it is these who are an example of the fourth group.

The FOURTH GROUP involved includes those who became believers in Christ as the Messiah, before the crucifixion, resurrection and arrival of the Spirit at Pentecost. These had not made identification with Christ's disciples and were therefore not present at Pentecost in 30 AD. Such a group, Paul encounters at Ephesus and inquires whether they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. Acts 19:1-7

It was obvious that these men were disciples of Jesus. What Paul did not know, was whether they had received the Spirit and therefore been identified (baptized) into the body of Christ. Their answer clears up the matter and Paul as an apostle (foundation layer), had the authority to administrate a formal baptism of the Spirit (v.6). And again, tongues occurred as a sign to any of the nation who were present. I believe that there were present, members of the nation (though not mentioned) to observe the "sign" in the same way that I believe that the sign occurred (though not mentioned) with the Samaritans recorded at Acts 8:14-17. It is probable that many such groups were encountered by the apostles, and in each case would have been "initiated" into the body of Christ through the formality that occurred here in Acts 19.

This incident at Acts 19:1-7, occurred in c. 56 AD, before any of Paul's letters were written. All of what Paul wrote views the baptism and presence of the Holy Spirit as a completed fact for all believers. It should be clear that the standard pattern for the church age had been established prior to any of Paul's writings. It is to be understood that anyone who becomes a believer after the initial "formal" administration of the "promise" of the Spirit, possesses completely the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 1:22) and has been baptized by the Spirit into union with Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). At no place in his letters does Paul even hint that there is a need to "ask" for the Holy Spirit or to seek the Spirit. The command that is found at Galatians 5:25, "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit," deals with the control of the Spirit in the believer's life.

This assumes (using the 1st class condition "if" in the Greek) that the believer has the Holy Spirit (that is, LIVING in the Spirit) and is indeed so stated at Galatians 3:2-3.

The issue then, is to utilize the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit by allowing Him to fill and lead (Ephesians 5:18). This is called walking in the Spirit (Gal.5:16) or being "spiritual" (Gal. 6:1) and is realized by keeping personal sin out of the life (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thes. 5:19).

A crucial question that needs to be answered relates to identification of the indwelling presence of the Spirit with the baptism of the Spirit and a further identification of the baptism mentioned at Matthew 3:11 with the baptism mentioned at 1 Corinthians 12:13.

The reason for this is because of the serious error of the "tongues movement" that designates the baptism of the spirit as an EXPERIENCE subsequent to salvation and one that will ALWAYS be accompanied by the speaking in tongues, and which is required for all believers.

The simple answer is the fact that all the prophecies concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit speak of one idea and all the prophecies are fulfilled in one idea. That idea is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the heart of everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ and the act of the Spirit by which He takes that believer and baptizes, that is, places him into a positional union with Christ. As already pointed out, the initial arrival of the Holy Spirit required specific and formal administration of His indwelling presence because of the transition from the old priestly body to the new one. And it provided the opportunity to give the sign of replacement to the nation being replaced (Israel).


The first promise of the coming of the Spirit is given by John the Baptizer as recorded at Matthew 3:11-12.

It is very important to recognize that there is a difference between the ministry of the Spirit in the Old Testament and the promised indwelling of the Spirit taught by John the Baptizer and by Jesus.

Throughout the Old Testament period the Holy Spirit came upon various believers for specific jobs. This is not an indwelling presence of the Spirit, but an empowering in order that those certain individuals might accomplish the specific tasks that God had for them to do. This was not a universal empowering for every believer, but restricted only to those whom God chose to use for certain tasks. Furthermore, this empowering of the Spirit was not a permanent endowment, but often times came and went at the discretion of God. This included the early leaders of the nation (Moses and Joshua, Numbers 27:15-23), all the prophets (even Balaam, Numbers 24:2), some of the judges (Judges 3:9-10, Othniel; Judges 6:33-35, Gideon; Judges 11:29, Jephthah; Judges 14:5-6, 19; 15:14-15, Samson) and some of the kings (1 Samuel 10:6-11, King Saul; 1 Samuel 16:13, David). It also included certain specialized groups of men who had a special function in the nation of Israel (Exodus 35:30-35, the builders; Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29, the 70 elders)

Even during the events of Messiah's birth which occurred in what we call, an Old Testament context, we see some believers who were "empowered" by the Spirit (Mary, Luke 1:35; Elizabeth, Luke 1:41; Zacharias, Luke 1:67; Simeon, Luke 2:25-27; John the baptizer, Luke 1:15)

The Holy Spirit came and went according to His own sovereignty.
The Spirit came and went on Samson: Judges 14:5-6, 19; 15;14-15
The Spirit left Saul: 1 Samuel 16:14
David asked that the Spirit not be taken away: Psalm 51:11
One could ask for the Spirit: 2 Kings 2:9-14

At Luke 11:13, Jesus stated this truth and encouraged the disciples to ask for the presence of the Spirit. It is important to recognize that this occurred in an Old Testament context, prior to the resurrection of Jesus and prior to the fulfillment of the promise for indwelling. The disciples never did ask for the empowering of the Spirit, and finally, just before His ascension to the Father, Jesus simply breathed upon them the Spirit's presence (John 20:22) to assist them until the promise of indwelling would be fulfilled several days later at the feast of Pentecost. This giving of the Spirit was not the fulfillment of the promises made by either John the Baptizer or by Jesus.



John's message was that Jesus would baptize with the Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11-12). John was seeing both advents of the Messiah and describing two different events. The coming of the Spirit would be fulfilled after Messiah's resurrection. The word, baptize, simply means to identify something with something else through either an actual or a symbolic immersion into it. John originated the term in connection with the Spirit, and meant by it that the Spirit would be uniquely identified with believers through His indwelling presence.

The preposition used here is EN, which can mean IN or BY MEANS OF.
It is true that the people were baptized IN water, but also BY MEANS OF water. Also, in the future, unbelievers will be baptized both IN and BY MEANS OF fire. However, when the Holy Spirit is provided by Jesus, believers are NOT baptized IN the Spirit, but the Spirit comes INTO the believers. At 1 Corinthians 12:13, we find, "BY MEANS OF one Spirit have we all been baptized into one body." The idea of IN, is the positional identification of the believer IN CHRIST and not in the Spirit. At John 7:38, when Jesus teaches that the Spirit's presence will be like "springs of water" that flow OUT OF his innermost being, it is clear that the Spirit will be INSIDE. At John 14:16-17, Jesus says of this future indwelling of the Spirit, "but you know Him because He abides WITH you, and will be IN you."

Accordingly, it is best that we see John's message NOT as a baptism IN the Spirit, but a baptism BY MEANS OF the Spirit.

Jesus will also baptize (immerse with; identify with) with fire when He returns in judgment, verse 12. The fire refers to an administration of divine justice poured out on those who do not know the Lord, that is, who have not believed in Christ as Savior (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10). Their ultimate destiny will be the lake of fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:11-15).

There is a chain of events that leads to the ultimate delivery up to the lake of fire. It begins at the Day of the Lord return of Jesus, when he raptures all believers out from the earth and leaves the rest to either trust in Him or undergo the Day of the Lord judgments. It will continue through the administration of those Day of the Lord judgments via the trumpets and bowls until Armageddon, after which all unbelievers will be removed from the earth as the kingdom begins with believers only. Finally, it will culminate at the end of the Messiah's thousand year reign, when all unbelievers of all history will be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. This application to judgment is clarified by the explanation in verse 12, "but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

There are some who want to make FIRE refer to the tongues of fire that occur at Acts 2. However, the comparison is invalid and the only similarity is the fact that FIRE is used consistently throughout Scripture as a symbol of divine justice. At Acts 2, the presence of the flames (tongues) of fire is to represent the judgment aspect of the baptism of the Spirit and the message of tongues. The coming of the Spirit initiates the formal rejection of Israel as a failure before God and speaks of judgment on all who reject Jesus as the Messiah.


Jesus taught about a unique coming of the Spirit which would be different from the Spirit's ministry in the Old Testament.
John 7:38-39

"He who believes in me, as the scripture said,
from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water."
"But this he spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed
in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was NOT YET GIVEN
because Jesus was not yet GLORIFIED (resurrected)."

We see from this prophecy that there will be a "special" giving or coming of the Spirit which must be viewed as different from what we have seen in the Old Testament. Notice the important factor that this promise would not be fulfilled until AFTER the resurrection of Jesus.

John 14:16-17

"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you
another helper, that He may with you FOREVER."
that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive
because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know
Him because He abides WITH YOU, & WILL BE IN YOU."

The WITH YOU factor does not refer to the Old Testament empowering because they did not have it. It refers to the universal presence of the Spirit as omnipresent (Ps. 139:7).

The IN YOU factor refers to what will happen after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
John 16:7

"But I tell you the truth,
it is to your advantage that I go away;
for if I do not go away,
the Helper shall not come to you;
but if I go, I will send Him to you."

Once again, it should be clear that this promise of the Spirit would not be fulfilled until AFTER Jesus leaves. At this point I repeat that the incident recorded at John 20:22, when Jesus breathed on them and they received the Spirit, does not fulfill this promise, but instead complies with the provision of the Spirit as an empowering presence which was His ministry throughout the Old Testament period.

Throughout the Old Testament we see prophecies of a coming of the Spirit upon God's people. Isaiah 32:15; 44:3; 59:21; Ezekiel 36:27; 37:14; 39:29; Zechariah 12:10; Joel 2:21-29.

But these prophecies do not refer to what Jesus promised and what happened on the day of Pentecost. These will not be fulfilled until the Messiah sets up His kingdom on the earth after the great tribulation.

This includes Joel 2:28-29, which Peter quotes at Acts 2, after the Holy Spirit had come upon the believers at Pentecost.
Peter quoted it as an example of what had just happened.

If one studies the context of Joel carefully, it will be seen that this mention of the Spirit's coming takes place after the Day of the Lord, which is Messiah's 2nd coming.

Before that Day of the Lord there will be the signs in the sun and moon, etc, which Peter also quoted, but those signs did not occur at Pentecost did they? They are yet future, as is the coming of the Spirit mentioned by Joel and quoted by Peter.

Peter only quotes it to show the onlookers that what they had mistaken to be drunkenness was indeed a spiritual phenomenon which could easily be understood from the Old Testament scriptures.

And the reason he quotes it "in context," that is, mentioning the signs, is to make certain that the objective "hearer" will understand that he is not claiming fulfillment of Joel, but using it as an example.

Now what is it that happened at Pentecost in AD 30?
It was the fulfillment of the promise.

1. the Holy Spirit came to be IN THEM. John 14:17

2. The Holy Spirit would from that time forward, forever be with the church. John 14:15

3. They were baptized with, that is, BY MEANS OF the Spirit. And once the transitional needs are met, it can be said of all believers, that (1 Corinthians 12:13),

"BY one Spirit we were all baptized INTO one body - - -
and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."

There are two things mentioned at 1 Corinthians 12:13 that describe the work of the Spirit.
FIRST, we see that all have been baptized BY MEANS of the Spirit INTO the ONE body of Christ. This refers to our positional union with Christ where there is no Jew or Gentile; bond or free; male or female

At Galatians 3:27-28, Paul can only be referring to the same baptism BY the Spirit that is described at 1 Corinthians.

"For all of you who were baptized INTO Christ,
have clothed yourselves with Christ.
there is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile),
there is neither slave nor free man,
there is neither male nor female;
for you are all one IN Christ Jesus."


SECOND, it involves the indwelling presence of the Spirit with the result that we all drink of (as in receive) one Spirit. This refers to the actual indwelling of God the Spirit inside the heart (2 Corinthians 1:22) and body (1 Corinthians 6:19) of each and every believer. Accordingly, it can now be said of all believers, "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His," (Romans 8:9).

Not directly related to our subject, but important to understanding the ministry of the Spirit, is the difference between the baptism and the filling of the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit is when he comes to dwell in the believer at the moment of salvation. The filling of the Spirit is when the Spirit fills and controls the believer in his walk here on earth.

The modern tongues movement not only confuses the terms baptism and filling in reference to the Holy Spirit, but it also, as previously mentioned teaches that the baptism of the Spirit is an experience subsequent to salvation, is evidenced by the speaking in tongues, and is required for every believer as a sign of genuine salvation. Accordingly, it is necessary to understand these terms and I refer the reader to the topic - Baptism and Filling of the Holy Spirit.





İRon Wallace, Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.


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