The final paragraph of the second chapter of Acts summarizes the results of the Spirit’s outpouring. It describes the basic practices of the young congregation that resulted from the Spirit’s presence – Teaching, shared meals, fellowship, prayers, unity, and material support for individuals in need. The one unique feature is the holding of possessions “in common” under the administration of the Apostles.Continue reading
Tarrying for the Spirit?
Prior to his ascension, Jesus told his disciples to “tarry” or wait in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. In some churches, this command has become a doctrine applicable to all or most Christians – that the believer must “tarry” before the Lord for extended periods in prayer and even fasting until his or her mind or spirit enters a stage more conducive to God’s Spirit before receiving the gift of the Spirit.Continue reading
The Ends of the Ages
The Apostle links the start of the “last days” with the death and resurrection of the Son of God. The time of fulfillment has arrived, and all God’s promises now find their “yea and amen” in him. “In these last days,” God has “spoken” His definitive “word” in His Son.
And Paul declares that the church consists of those men and women upon whom the “ends of the ages have come.” While the term “last days” is not frequent in his letters, the Apostle does demonstrate his understanding that History’s final era has commenced with the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth; therefore, nothing will ever be the same again.Continue reading
In the Last Days
The application of Joel’s prophecy by Peter on the Day of Pentecost links the gift of the Spirit to the onset of the messianic age following Christ’s ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the latter signals the arrival of the “last days” and the inevitability if not imminence of the “Day of the Lord.”
The gift of the Spirit is the “promise of Father” based on the covenant of Abraham, and an integral part of the New Covenant prophesied in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Thus, the arrival of the Spirit among God’s covenant community marks a fundamental change in eras. The age of fulfillment has arrived.Continue reading
PENTECOST AND THE LAST DAYS
The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost signaled the arrival of the “last days” – Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17-21.
The application of the prophecy from Joel in Acts links the outpouring of the Spirit to the commencement of the “last days.” For the book, the Spirit’s activity and presence in the church are programmatic and foundational for its existence, from the Day of Pentecost until the return of Jesus.Continue reading