14.4.1. The Coming of the Spirit

  1. The Holy Spirit has always been present and ministering upon the earth (Gen. Gen. 1:2).
  2. Prior to the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon and filled believers (Num. Num. 24:2; Jdg. Jdg. 3:10; Jdg. 6:34; 1S. 1S. 10:6; 1S. 19:20; 2Chr. 2Chr. 15:2; 2Chr. 20:14; Luke Luke 1:67), but His presence was not permanent (1S. 1S. 16:13-14; Ps. Ps. 51:11).
  3. Prior to the Day of Pentecost, John explains that the Holy Spirit “had not yet been given because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John John 7:39). Notice that the Holy Spirit has always been omnipresent and ministering upon the earth, but John clearly says at that time that He “had not yet been given” (John John 14:16).
  4. The Holy Spirit came to the earth to begin a new ministry on the Day of Pentecost (Acts Acts 1:4-8; Acts 2:1-4, Acts 2:17; Acts 11:15).
  5. The new ministry of the Holy Spirit during this, the church age, is baptizing believers into the Body of Christ (1Cor. 1Cor. 12:5, 1Cor. 12:12-13) wherein believers are permanently indwelt and sealed with the Spirit (2Cor. 2Cor. 1:22; Eph. Eph. 1:13; Eph. 4:30).
It is important to grasp two aspects regarding this important transition which took place on the Day of Pentecost:
  • The Holy Spirit ministered on earth before the formation of the Church and He will continue to minister on the earth after the departure of the Church at the Rapture.
  • The Holy Spirit never permanently indwelt believers prior to the Day of Pentecost. The Church is a unique spiritual organism which began on the Day of Pentecost and which has a unique relationship to the Spirit.
As you can see, there are elements of continuity and discontinuity which attend the Day of Pentecost. This is important to grasp because these same elements of continuity and discontinuity attend the Rapture of the Church when the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth in the sense He came at Pentecost but continues to minister upon the earth in the Tribulation period in the same sense He did prior to the Day of Pentecost. His “coming” on the Day of Pentecost and subsequent “removal” at the Rapture of the Church has no effect upon His role in salvation. Salvation has always been by grace through faith alone and by spiritual regeneration in which the Holy Spirit plays a key role (John John 3:5-8; Gal. Gal. 4:29). For a more detailed discussion of the significance of the Day of Pentecost in relation to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, see [Tony Garland, “Does Dispensationalism Teach Two Ways of Salvation?,” in The Conservative Theological Journal, vol. 7 no. 20 (Fort Worth, TX: Tyndale Theological Seminary, March 2003), 58-59].

Notes

1 Tony Garland, “Does Dispensationalism Teach Two Ways of Salvation?,” in The Conservative Theological Journal, vol. 7 no. 20 (Fort Worth, TX: Tyndale Theological Seminary, March 2003), 58-59.