What Is the Promise and What Is the Gift of the Holy Spirit? (66)

Purpose: Para sa karagdagang pagpapahalaga sa gawain ng Banal na Espiritu.  

Introduction: One friend reader (his initial is J.L.) made comments in our vlog. Because I wanted to know their views  on some issues on the Holy Spirit, I asked the following questions:  

  1. What is the Fathers’ promise in Luke 24:49? 
  2. What is the gift in Acts 2:38? 
  3. What is the gift in Acts 10:45?  
  4. Are the cases in Acts 2:1-4 & Acts 10:44-48 the complete fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 “unto all flesh. . ”? 

The following is JL’s answer printed in italics. After each paragraph, I submit my observation. 

(Brother J.L.’s first paragraph):  

“First of all, thank you brother for giving me this opportunity to be a part of the group dealing with the deep study about the Holy Spirit. Here are my answers to your questions as follows:  

“(1). What is the Father’s promise in Luke 24:49? My answer is the sending of the Holy Spirit to the apostles fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4). The purpose is to comfort them, to teach them unto all truth and to put in remembrance to them all what Lord has said unto them ( Jno.14:26), to guide the apostles into all truth (John. 16:13). This promise was prophesied in Joel 2:28-32 for Peter mentioned this when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17-21).

(ET’s Observation: Our reader, brother JL, including many Bible readers, thinks that Luke 24:49 is limited to the 11  apostles. That is a partial truth. Please review the whole Luke 24:1-49. Note that this is the resurrection Sunday itself.  There were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary mother of James, other women and the 10 apostles (Thomas is absent),  Cleopas & company of Emmaus (v.17). Christ walks with the two disciples going to Emmaus. When the three reached  Emmaus, Christ had a meal with the two and disappeared (vs. 30-32). Cleopas and companion rush back to Jerusalem at evening time and go to the 11 (actually 10 apostles, Thomas being absent). The apostles in the boarding house in Jerusalem, are “others with them.” (v.33). Now, let us make a total of the group: the Women, 2 from  Emmaus, the 10 apostles, and the OTHERS. Christ eats with the group explaining the scriptures (vs.42-47). Then Christ makes the announcement in 24:49 that the Father’s promise, the Holy Spirit, is coming.

Conclusion: Citing Luke  24:49 and say only the eleven apostles are recipients of the Holy Spirit is WRONG. Let us reason together.  

“(2). What is the gift in Acts 2:38? My answer is referred to the parallel passage Act 3:19. The gift here is the times of refreshing coming from the presence of the Lord equated with and referred to as the gift of the Holy Spirit. And the gift here has a reference to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 22, 23); that a Christian will have after obedience to baptism and continuance to be a child of God. 

(ET’s Observation: What is the gift in Acts 2:38? Our brother J.L.’s answer is vague. I understand that Acts 3:19-20 is  “times of refreshing” is the gift of the Holy Spirit or coming from the Holy Spirit. And he identifies this gift as the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22, 23. Again this is wrong. Many commentators, on the other hand, identify the gift in Acts  2:38 as the person of the Holy Spirit.) 

“(3). What is the gift in Acts 10:45? My answer is in verse 46, speaking in tongues for the reason that speaking in tongue is one of the spiritual and miraculous gifts given by the Holy Spirit as given to the apostles and some members of the church in the first century (Acts 2:1-4; 10:46; 1 Cor.12,13,14). 

(ET’s observation: According to brother J.L, the gift mentioned in Acts 10:45, 46 is the speaking in tongues. Explain dorea and charismata.

Conclusion, our brother J.L. is wrong again. 

“(4). Are the cases in Acts 2:1-4 & Acts 10:44-48, the complete fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 unto all flesh……….?  Concerning the “all flesh” yes, because all flesh is referred to the Jews and Gentiles. When the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they represented the Jews. Likewise, when Cornelius and his household were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they represented the Gentiles. Thus, the “all flesh” does not refer to all men but referred to the  Jews and Gentiles as already been said above. Now, the mentioning of the other entities as mentioned in the other verses has been included as the gifts given to the apostles are still existing or binding. Meaning, from the baptism of the Holy Spirit that happened in two instances, the complete fulfillment includes the incidents while the miraculous is still existing at that time. Regarding those who call on the name of the Lord will be continually in effect until these times as the results of the giving of the Holy Spirit’s sword, the inspired word of the gospel that calls all people to salvation ( 2 Thes.2:14)…These are my humble answers to your question brother. Thank you for the opportunity to be in study with you on this matter. God bless!” 

(ET’s observation: Our brother says that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit was completely fulfilled in Acts 2: 1-4 for all the Jews and future children represented by the 12 apostles. And the second fulfillment is in Acts 10:44-48 for all  Gentiles believers, including Filipinos of the 21st century, of all generations who are represented by the Gentile group of Cornelius in the town of Caesarea in the year 41 A.D.. Do you like that only the group of Cornelius represents us  Filipino believers in receiving the Holy Spirit?  

Pouring Out of the Holy Spirit in Two Occasions Only?  

 It is claimed that there are only two occasions when the Holy Spirit was poured out. It is claimed that in Acts 2,  only 12 Apostles received the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. That the 12 Apostles represents the Jews from 33 A.D.  up to the end of the world. Also claimed that the group of Cornelius represents all the Gentiles from 33 A.D. up to the end of the world. 

My Comments 

(1) This “representative argument” has no basis in the scriptures. It is a dangerous interpretation. It can be used to argue that the repentance and baptism of the 3,000 in Acts 2 represent all the repentance and baptism of all believers from 33 A.D. to the end of the world. Some would argue that today we don’t need to be baptized because we are represented in the baptism of Cornelius. If not, why not?  

(2) The Samaritans are another category of people being the descendants of Jews and pagans. Apostle Peter and Apostle John were especially sent to open the door of the gospel to them in Acts chapter 8. So the two representative groups’ argument is wrong. 

(3) If this representative argument is correct, then we can argue that the fellowshipping and prayer life of the disciples in Acts 2 represents our fellowshipping and prayer life today.  

(4) If this representative argument is correct, then we could invoke that the appointment of Deacons in Acts 6  represents all congregations today. 

(5) If this representative argument is correct, then we do not need to preach because the Apostles have preached in Acts 2 and they represent our preaching. So you see the folly of this line of reasoning.  (6) Titus 3:4-6 has the declaration of the Apostle Paul that he and Titus and the Cretans also received the abundant pouring out of the Holy Spirit, would this mean they didn’t actually receive it?  

(7) Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:16-21 say “all flesh” and then enumerate different age categories and social strata that do not agree with the composition of Acts 2 and Acts 10. 

(8) The duration of the phrases “in the last days” and “in those days” demand that it should be the whole duration of the Christian dispensation. A continuing action.  

The clause “all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” means that all those who obey receive the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Christ does the act of baptizing and the Holy Spirit determines what gift He wants to grant to each disciple.

(If you have any questions, please direct them to eusebio.tanicala@yahoo.com)