Sunday School Today: The Holy Spirit and Pentecost

The Holy Spirit was in existence before Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Scriptures that support this: Genesis 1:2; Nehemiah 9:20; Psalm 51:11; Isaiah 63:10; 2 Peter 1:21. We have seen that the Holy Spirit, as a member of the Trinity, is coeternal with the Father and Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit had access to the earth and operated in man before Pentecost, and He came on the day of Pentecost in special capacity. This explains the meaning of Christ’s promise to send the Spirit. This special capacity was:
a. Perhaps as the contrasting symbol of the Shekinah (Numbers 9:15-22; 2 Chronicles 7:1-3). The Shekinah, in the case of the tabernacle, was for leadership, and in the case of the temple it was a symbol of ownership and possession. The coming of the Holy Spirit meant both of these to the church.
b. In fulfillment of prophecy and promise (Joel 2:28; Matthew 3:11).  We do not conclude, however, that the day of Pentecost marked the complete and ultimate fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.  This day saw only a partial and spiritual fulfillment of this prophecy.  Peter’s words need be understood as meaning no more than that what was witnessed on that day was the same as what Joel had foretold.  The literal, ultimate, and complete fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 will come in the conversion of the Jewish nation at the second coming of Christ.  See Zechariah 12:9-11, 13:8-9; Romans 11:26.

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