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Pouring Forth of the Spirit


And it shall come to pass in the last says, God says, that I will pour forth of Mt Spirit upon all mankind.  (Acts 2: 17)


Did God promise to pour out His Spirit on all mankind? 

Yes He did  (Joel 2: 28; Acts 2: 17, 18; Isaiah 44: 3) We understand however, that not every living person received the Spirit, but that it was available to all.


How does the Old Testament economy differ from the New Testament in this regard?

Under the Old Testament only a very select few received the Holy Spirit, but under the New Testament all of God’s children will receive the Spirit.  In fact this would be one of the identifying marks of a child of God.  (Romans 8: 9; Ephesians 1: 13)


Who is excepted?

The world cannot receive the Spirit of God. (John 14: 17) The Spirit is given to those that believe and obey.  (John 7: 37- 39; Acts 5: 32)  Some have read John 7: 37- 39 and concluded that one must only believe to receive the Spirit.  But the Scriptures say that one must believe and obey.  The Scriptures are not a smorgasbord in which one chooses those things he likes and discards the other.  Obedience as a factor is confirmed by Acts 2: 38, which states that those who repent and are baptized will receive the promise.


Is the pouring forth of the Spirit a one-time event?

Yes, the verb is in the aorist tense (Robertson’s New Testament Word Pictures), seemingly indicating a one-time event in the past.  (Acts 2: 33)  We must hasten to add that this one time event remains available to all whom in the future will believe and obey.


To what event is this analogous in reference to time?

Jesus shed or poured out His blood once for all and performed other services once for all.  (Romans 6: 10; Hebrews 7: 27; 9: 12, 26; 10: 2, 10; 1 Peter 3: 18; Jude 1: 3, 5)

Jesus shed his blood once, but it is effective for all who are called by the gospel.

Jesus poured out the Spirit one time, but it is effective for all who are called by the gospel.


How do we know that this one time pouring out is effective for all?

The Gentiles, Cornelius, some eight to ten years later had the Spirit poured out upon them (Acts 10 45) Later still, Paul wrote to Titus, stating that the Spirit had been poured out on both of them, and presumably on all men.  (Titus 3: 5, 6)


What is the relationship between pouring out the Spirit and baptized with the Spirit?

They are not synonymous but they are different aspects of the same event.  From Jesus’ perspective the Spirit is poured out richly and abundantly, from the recipient’s perspective, he is baptized or immersed with the Spirit because the Spirit was given richly and abundantly, without measure.  (Titus 3: 5, 6; John 3: 34)


How is this idea confirmed?

The baptism with the Spirit is inextricably linked with the pouring forth by Peter when he said, “but this (the baptism with the Holy Spirit) is what (the pouring forth) was spoken of through the prophet Joel.  (Acts 2: 16)


How do we know that the baptism in the Spirit is given for all believers?

We know this because Jesus pours out the Spirit on all who believe and obey.  After we repent and when we are baptized in water for the remission of sin Jesus pours out the Spirit richly and abundantly so that we are immersed in the Spirit.  We were (by, with or in) one Spirit all baptized into one body.  (1 Corinthians 12:13)  When we come forth from this experience, we are born again, born of water and the Spirit. (John 3: 3, 5)

We were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12: 13)  The Spirit remains with us as a gift to indwell us.  (Acts 2: 38)  At Pentecost 3,000 were baptized in water and the Spirit, born again and saved all at the same time.  We don’t have to wait for the Spirit like the Samaritans, a special case conversion.  (Acts 8)


Did God promise to put his Spirit within mankind?

Yes, He did.  (Ezekiel 11: 19; 36: 26, 27; 37: 14; Isaiah 63: 11; 1 Corinthians 6: 19)


Did Christ give the Spirit?

Yes.  (Acts 2: 33; John 3: 34; Matthew 3: 11; Mark 1: 8; Luke 3: 16; John 1: 33

Acts 5: 32; Romans 5: 5; 2 Corinthians 5: 5; Ephesians 1: 14; 1 Thessalonians 4: 8; 1 John 3: 24; 4: 13)


Did believers receive the Spirit?

Yes they did.  (John 7: 39; Acts 8: 15, 17; Acts 10: 47; 19:2; Galatians 3: 2, 14; 6: 1)

Unfortunately, the Restoration Movement has bought into the idea that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is some kind of special measure of the Holy Spirit, given to a very select few; even though the Scriptures say He does not give the Spirit by measure.  A candid reading of Luke 3: 16 tells us that this concept is incorrect as the baptism with Spirit was promised to all the Jews that came out to John the Baptist.  Knowing that God is impartial, we would expect that the Gentiles would receive the baptism with the Spirit also.  They did, beginning with Cornelius.  I like this explanation because now I do not have to go into our ignorant mode.  “Well, we don’t really know who John was speaking to in Luke 3: 16.”  Have you ever heard that?  Of course we know, a fourth grader could tell us if we will listen.  “Well, it doesn’t say that the Jews were baptized with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost” Neither do the Scriptures say that the apostles were baptized with the Spirit on Pentecost on that day, but they were.

 I was recently corresponding with an eighty-year-old brother about the baptism with the Spirit.  This man is articulate, intelligent, zealous, well read, college educated, but he went dumb at Luke 3: 16.  Unbelievable!!  Like writing to a stump...

May God bless us all with better understanding,


God bless,

Arland Pafford,


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Last Update   09/26/12