Receiving the Holy Spirit

Studies in Acts
What Came on the Day of Pentecost?

Living Abundantly 
According to God's Word Series

Read Time:  5 Minutes

The book of Acts is a chronicle of the acts of the Holy Spirit in the first century church. It begins with the ascension of Jesus Christ 40 days after he was raised from the dead. These studies in Acts will focus on records concerning the receiving of the holy spirit.

There is a principle we use when studying the Word of God called scripture build up. That is the gathering together of scripture regarding an entire event or subject in order to get a full perspective. In many instances in the Word of God not all details are given in one place, but we can learn more by consulting other areas of the Bible where the same event or subject is mentioned to ascertain more details.

We will start in Acts:

Acts 1:
:4 And, being assembled together with them,
    commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem,
        but wait for the promise of the Father,
        which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
:5     For John truly baptized with water;
        but ye shall be baptized with [en - in] the Holy Ghost [pneuma hagion] not many days hence.

Here Jesus Christ commands the apostles, which he had still been teaching for the last 40 days, to wait at Jerusalem for the promise of the Father which is being baptized with holy spirit.

The Gospel of Luke (written by the same person who also was inspired by God to write Acts) also records instructions from Jesus Christ on the day of ascension.

Luke 24
:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you:
    but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,
    until ye be endued with power from on high.

This is a corresponding record to Acts 1: 4 & 5.  In Acts the apostles were instructed to wait in Jerusalem until the promise of the Father. In Luke Jesus tells them to tarry in Jerusalem until they are endued with power from on high. Endued is "to be clothed with" and power is the word dunamis inherent, potential power. The phrase "from on high" is a figure of speech metonymy, the exchange of one noun for another, emphasizing the Giver, God. Literally the power that the apostles were to be clothed with is from God. The apostles were to wait in Jerusalem until they were clothed with inherent power from God.

There is an axiom (an established rule or principle, or self-evident truth) that "things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other" which pertains to these truths. God, by revelation to Luke, tells us that what came on the day of Pentecost, the promise of the Father, is to be baptized in the holy spirit, and to be clothed with power from on high.

In the Gospel of John, at the last supper, Jesus Christ explains to the apostles what God has in store for them after he ascends. They don't fully comprehend that Jesus must be crucified, raised from the dead, and ascend yet, but they are being told what to expect.

John 14
:16 And I will pray the Father,
    and he shall give you another Comforter, [deliverer]
        that he may abide with you for ever;
:17 Even the Spirit of truth;
        whom the world cannot receive,
        because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:
        but ye know him;
            for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

:25 These things have I spoken unto you,
    being yet present with you.
:26 But the Comforter, [deliverer]
        which is
the Holy Ghost,
        whom the Father will send in my name,
    he shall teach you all things,
    and bring all things to your remembrance,
        whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 15
:26 But when the Comforter [deliverer] is come,
        whom I will send unto you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father,
    he shall testify of me:

John 16
:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth;
    It is expedient for you that I go away:
        for if I go not away, the Comforter [deliverer] will not come unto you;
        but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

In the Aramaic the root words used for "comforter" is paraq, deliver, and leyta, curse, meaning "one who ends the curse" or "curse breaker."1 More appropriately the word "comforter" should be translated "deliverer." The holy spirit that we receive is the deliverer from the curse of Adam and forward.

After Jesus Christ ascends, the Father will send the deliverer, the pneuma the hagion, the spirit of truth, and he shall teach us all things, testify of Jesus Christ, be in us, and abide with us forever.

I encourage you to read John chapters 14 - 16, Jesus Christ is elaborating on the holy spirit that the apostles will receive and the relationship that we need to maintain with God and Jesus Christ.

What came on the day of Pentecost?

  • The promise of the Father
  • Baptism in the holy spirit
  • Power from on high
  • The deliverer
  • The spirit of truth

Since God, the Giver, has given His gift, the holy spirit, to those that believe, we no longer need to wait, we can now receive the promise of the Father, power from on high, the deliverer, that spirit of truth.

1 Magiera, Janet M. Aramaic Peshitta New Testament Translation. Light of the Word Ministry: Truth or Consequences, NM, 2006.