Vol.XVII No.X Pg.4
December 1980

Proof On Earth —

Robert F. Turner

In Acts 2:32-f, Peter concludes an argument for Christ's resurrection and exaltation by saying, "This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses. Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear". It is our intention to discuss the meaning of the phrase, "the promise of the Holy Spirit" in this context.

Many students, reading hurriedly, relate this to Acts 1:4 ("wait for the promise of the Father") and to Lu. 24:49 ("I send forth the promise of my Father upon you"), and conclude that the phrase under consideration refers to the apostles "having received of the Father." But that is not what the text says. JESUS is the emphasized subject; and it is JESUS whom God has raised up, who was exalted, and who received from the Father whatever the "promise of the Spirit" means. Then, it was JESUS who "poured forth this which ye see..."

Did the Father promise to give the Holy Spirit to Jesus? Isaiah wrote of "the Spirit of Jehovah" resting upon a branch out of Jesse (11:2), upon the "chosen servant" (42:1), and the "anointed" (61:1), but this seems to refer to God's approval, manifested in the personal life of Jesus (Matt. 12:17-f., Lu. 4:17-f). A contextual exegesis of Jn. 3:34 indicates Jesus had the Spirit without measure. God did promise the pouring forth of His Spirit upon "all flesh" (Joel 2:28-f) but that was a general promise, to be fulfilled through Christ (Matt. 3:11), not to Christ. Notice that it was the Lord (Jesus) who promised the Spirit to his disciples (Lu. 24:49; Acts 1:4), although he acknow- ledged the Father to be the source of the Spirit. When he promised "another Comforter" he said, "I will pray the Father and he shall give..." (Jn. 14:16); "the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name" (v. 26); "whom I will send unto you from the Father" (15:26). These passages point to something the disciples would receive; but the text we are studying has to do with something that Jesus received.

Some may say, "Yes, the Father had to first give Him the Spirit, so He could pass it on." This seems a rather simplistic view of God's Spirit; and a failure to recognize the Deity of the resurrected Christ. We would like to suggest that "the promise of the Holy Spirit" which Christ received was a more basic promise made by the Father (through the Holy Spirit) and which had to be fulfilled before Christ could "pour forth this, which ye see and hear." We refer to the promise of the Father and the Spirit that Jesus would become King.

The heavenly Father is the source of all spiritual blessings, but He has expressed His grace in Christ Jesus, and "all spiritual blessings are in Him" (Jas. 1:17; Eph. 1:3). The foundation promise of the Bible is that given through Abraham ("in thy seed shall all nations be blessed") and in the larger sense it is the fulfillment of that promise of which Peter spoke on Pentecost. He must convince the hearers that Jesus is Messiah, and to do that he must convince them that the crucified Jesus had been (continued next page)