Vol.V No.XI Pg.7
January 1969

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Will you please comment on "this is that" of ACT.2:16.


The obvious point, of course, is the contrast of Peter's truth, with the Jewish mocking. This (miraculous speaking, so that all understood in his native language) is not the result of alcohol-befuddled minds, but is the result of an out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, as promised by Joel.

But the extended quotation from JOE.2:28-32 and the use which Peter made of this language in his address, convinces me that there is something more than the single out-pouring of the Holy Spirit (per se) in this.

First, consider "that" which Joel spoke. (1) It is Jewish redemption or restoration prophecy, one among many scattered throughout the works of Old Testament prophets. It calls the time of vindication (enemy overthrown, and Israel triumphant) the "day of the Lord" and depicts this as a heaven-shaking event. (See JOE.2:10-11; ZEP.1:14f) (2) A "remnant" of Israel, (who will "call on the Lord") will be saved. (ISA.1:9, 4:2f, 10:20f) and (3) With the "remnant" the Gentiles shall also be saved. (ISA.49:5f) See AMO.9:8-12, which James clearly relates to salvation in Christ, to all nations. (ACT.15:13-18)

The "that" spoken by Joel was a prophecy of the coming of the Christian dispensation; and it was signaled by the out-pouring of the Spirit. (see ISA.32:14-15, 44:1-5 for other prophecies that make this same relation of Spirit to new dispensation.)

Peter connects all these points of Joel's prophecy to salvation in Jesus Christ. He says Christ is on David's Throne; the promise is to "all that are afar off" or "whosoever" will. I conclude, therefore, that Peter's "this" has a wider reference than to the single out-pouring is but the beginning of a dispensation in which "daughters" and "handmaiden" will also prophesy (See ACT.21:9) and the Spirit shall be poured upon Gentiles. (ACT.10:44f)

The out-pouring of the Holy Spirit signaled the beginning of the Christian dispensation, and "accompanied" the believers. (MAR.16:17) This does not mean that every believer would work miracles. But every believer was blessed by the fact that the Spirit of God was manifested among them. The confirming signs wrought by the Apostles and New Testament Prophets, are our proof as well as theirs. (JOH.20:29-31)

Although this goes somewhat afield from the original question, I suggest that "he that believeth" in JOH.7:38f has the same limited application as I have indicated above for MAR.16:17. These passages refer to the Apostles, (inspired men) from whom the truth would go forth (rivers of living water) to the whole world. All "believers" (the "church") would benefit by such blessings — great "power" would be in the church — although this does not mean that every member would have some miraculous measure of the Spirit. (1CO. 12:1f) The Christian age is the age of the Spirit.