Special Insights No. 5
Second Quarter 2006
The Holy Spirit
(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)
The Promise Fulfilled
In Lukes first recorded letter to Theophilus (Luke 1:3), he wrote the words of Jesus concerning Gods Promise of power. This was just before Christ ascended to heaven 40 days after His crucifixion (Luke 24:49). In Lukes follow-up letter to Theophilus (Acts 1:1) he continued with this same thought. The promise of power was to come with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which happened on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4).
Ten days had elapsed between the ascension of Jesus into heaven and the outpouring to the Spirit on Pentecost. During that ten-day period the disciples repented and made things right between themselves. The sacrifice of Christ, the great center of attraction, reconciled His disciples to each other. While this was occurring on earth, the inauguration of Christ was proceeding in heaven according to Gods everlasting plan.
The inauguration of Christ as Priest, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the unity of the disciples was foreshadowed in the typical ceremony of Aaron as he was inaugurated into the priesthood. This is recorded in Psalm 133:1, 2 (see also Wednesdays note from The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 38, 39).
On the Day of Pentecost, Sivan 6, 31 A.D., the power of the Holy Spirit was first exhibited in the gift of languages. There were at least 16 different language and dialect groups of Jews at the Feast of Pentecost, who lived in various countries of the world. These Jews attending the Feast of Pentecost heard the gospel spoken with power in their own language (Acts 2:3-11). Those who heard were moved by what they heard. Some believed, but some accused the apostles of drunkenness (vss. 12-13). Peter denied this and said this was a manifestation of Gods power and that it was a fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 concerning the outpouring of the Holy Spirit under the figure of the former rain.
This promise of power was to reside with Gods people until the second advent of Jesus. For most of the intervening time between Pentecost and the return of the Lord the Holy Spirit was shut out of the Christian church as history records. There were times, however, when He broke through to those who hungered for righteousness. These times are also recorded in sacred history. We have read of the work of the Holy Spirit among the Wandensians, in the various Reformers, and in the Millerite Movement when that message went to every missionary station in the world (see The Great Controversy [GC], p. 611).
Joel also spoke of the promise of the power of God under the figure of the latter rain. A.T. Jones, in comparing the power of 1844 with the latter rain message, cited Ellen White as follows: ... this will come as suddenly as it did in '44, and with ten times the power (1893 General Conference Bulletin, The Third Angels Message, No. 7, Feb. 5, 1893).
In September of 1852, Ellen White wrote, I saw the latter rain was coming as the cry, and with ten times the power (Spaulding and Magan Collection, p. 4).
Just as the former rain announced the beginning of the gospel under the mediatorial work of Jesus in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, so the latter rain will announce His closing cleansing work in the second apartment. This message will prepare those who believe it to face and to live through the time of trouble, and to stand in the presence of Christ when He returns.
Gods fulfilled promise will be fulfilled again. Both the former rain and the latter rain will be poured out upon earth in superhuman streams of mercy from the springs of heaven. A worldwide work of proclaiming the everlasting gospel is presented in Revelation 14:6-12; 18:1-4. This gospel will go to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people. (14:6). For this to be accomplished, the gift of tongues or languages will again be manifested among Gods people for the express purpose of proclaiming with power the everlasting gospel to the various language groups of the world.
The angel who unites in the proclamation of the third angels message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory. A work of world-wide extent and unwonted power is here foretold (GC 611).
In this illumination [of Revelation 18:1], the light of all the three messages is combined (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 804).
John saw Another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the whole earth was lightened with his glory. Rev. 19:1 [18:1]. That work is the voice of the people of God proclaiming a message of warning to the world. Has God, through John, given us light relating to the things which are to transpire in the remnant of time just at the end? Then with pen and voice we are to proclaim that very message to the world, not in a tame, indistinct whisper (Ibid., pp., 926, 927).
All this would have been fulfilled within a few short years after the
Gerald L. Finneman
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