THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ACTS 2:38: #9
The Greek word translated in English as "power" (that came with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:8) is δυναμιςG1411, and is according to Strong's Dictionary a word derived from the Greek word "being able, ability" and means "force (literally or figuratively); specifically miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself)."
To determine Truth on any subject, one's attitude must be in harmony with the conveyor of that Truth. Jesus promised the apostles that “when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). We would understand that the Spirit guided the apostles and writers into all truth. The apostle Paul warned us in “not going beyond that which is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6, ASV). All holy Scripture is profitable for our study (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Hence, in studying a subject like “the gift of the Holy Spirit,” should we not ask, “What sayeth the Scriptures?”ii
I seek to answer these three questions with the following outline of the first of the book of Acts:
Question #1: Does the Bible say anything about anyone besides the twelve apostles being baptized by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost?
Question #2: Does the Bible say anything about anyone except the apostles receiving power to perform signs and wonders on the day of Pentecost?
Question #3: Does the Bible say that anyone besides the apostles perform signs or wonders during the first five chapters of Acts?Question #4: When does the Bible say that others beside the apostles were endued with power and wonders?
Jesus promised that the Kingdom's coming was eminent and it would come with power. “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with poweriii” (Mark 9:1). Just before His ascension, Jesus was speaking to the twelve of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. The apostles, He said, would receive power when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Jesus promises the apostles, “But ye shall receive power,iv after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me.”
A. THE KINGDOM BEGINS (2:1-11)
a. The Coming of the Holy Spirit: “Upon” the Twelve Apostles only (2:1-4a).
Jesus told the TWELVE that this would happen (Acts 1:5,8) and called it being “baptized by the Holy Spirit.” Was anyone else baptized by the Holy Spirit with the Apostles? If there was, the Bible doesn't say; and hence, the Bible does not prove it.
b. The Sign of power: Tongues --apostles only.(2:4b-11)
c. The Reaction to the power manifested: Mixed. Responding multitude (2:12-13). Was anyone else endowed with power? If so, the Bible doesn't prove it.
2. Peter's Explanation: the Spirit gives utterance (2:4): Stands with the eleven (2:14-36).
a. Pentecost: The fulfillment of Joel 2: Explanation of phenomenon (2:14-21). Power of prophecy (2:17, 18).
Was anyone else prophesying? If so, the Bible doesn't prove it.
b. Sermon (prophesying): Based upon Christ's Work: Explanation to audience gathered (2:22-36).
3. The Reaction to Peter's Prophecy: Audience's response and question (2:37-41).
a. People cut to the heart (2:37-40).
b. 3000 saved: received the Word and were baptized (2:41).
Does the audience receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? If so, then it isn't the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
c. No further mention of tongues through chapter 9. Just the “apostles teaching”.
B. SUMMARY OF THE YOUNG KINGDOM (“church,” 2:42-47).
1. Unity among the people: Subsequent actions (2:42-46).
a. Partnership. Lord's Supper. Prayers. Benevolence.
Is anyone besides the apostles teaching? If so, the Bible doesn't prove it.
Is anyone else in the church demonstrating tongues or power? If so, the Bible doesn't prove it.
b. Meeting daily at temple; From house to house eating (2:46).
2. Praise to God from the people: Reaction of community and disciples (2:47).
C. THE CHURCH MINISTERING IN JERUSALEM (3-8:3).
1. A Sign to Israel: A Lame Man Healed: Apostles and first healing mentioned (3:1-11).
2. A Warning to Israel: Peter's Sermon: Apostle full of Spirit (prophesied) (3:12-26).
3. The Reaction: Persecution: From Temple (4:1-37).
a. The animosity of the religious leaders (4:1-22).
b. The prayer for boldness: among the apostles' company (4:23-33).
“And when they had been made free, they came back to their friends, and gave an account of all the things which the chief priests and the authorities had said to them” (4:23). “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (4:31). “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (4:33).
Is there anyone besides the apostles manifesting power? If so, the Bible doesn't prove it.
c. The continuing unity of the church: Fellowship benevolence (4:34-37).
D. STRUGGLE FROM WITHIN AND WITHOUT.
1. The deceit of Ananias and Sapphira; To apostles (5:1-11).
Is there anyone in this context that manifests power besides the apostles?
2. The Sanhedrin and the apostles (5:12-42).
a. The apostles respected by people; apostles have power (5:12-16).
“And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people” (5:12).
Is there anyone else with such powers? If so, the Bible doesn't prove it.
b. The jealousy of the Sadducee leaders arrest the apostles (5:17-42)
“And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison” (5:18).
“Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people” (5:25).
Is there anyone else to be accused except the apostles? If so, the Bible doesn't prove it.
3. The first tension in the Church: Concerns Grecian widows (6:1-7).
a. The Problem: widows neglected in ministration of benevolence (6:1)?
b. The solution: Select 7 qualified men (6:2-6).
“Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them” (6:6).
c. The result: Subsequent events (6:7).
“And Stephen (one of seven), full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people” (6:8). According to the Bible record, this is the first time since Pentecost that someone is mentioned with power besides the apostles. Stephen is the first one mentioned prophesying with the Spirit. Later, Philip.
#1: Does the Bible say anything about anyone besides the apostles
being "baptized by the Holy Spirit"?
The answer is no. Jesus told the apostles they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days (1:5).
#2: Does the Bible say anything about anyone except the apostles
receiving power to perform signs and wonders on the day of Pentecost?
The answer is no. Only the twelve are mentioned as waiting in Acts 1:26; 2:1, 7, 14 ("numbered with the eleven apostles. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all ...[pronoun rule: closest antecedent is apostles]"; "Galileans"; "Peter standing with the eleven..." )
Question #3: Does the Bible say that anyone besides the apostles perform signs or wonders during the first five chapters of Acts? The answer is no.
#4: When does the Bible say that others beside the apostles were
endued with power?
The answer is chapter 6, when Stephen, one of the seven, demonstrates power and wonders but only after the apostles lay their hands upon him.
How important is this?
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book"
(Revelation 22:18). "That in us ye might learn not to go beyond the things which are written; that no one of you be puffed up for the one against the other" (1 Corinthians 4:6, ASV).
This has always been true; i.e., God has warned people from the time of Moses to not add to His precepts (Deuteronomy 4:2). An example of the
abuse of Scriptures is the Devil to Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:6). Jesus rebuked some of the devil's children, the Pharisees, who enjoyed giving glosses that changed
God's teachings (Matthew 15:6). "But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully" (2 Corinthians 4:2, EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT has "falsifying the word of God").
Is the “gift of the Holy Spirit,” the baptism of the Holy Spirit? No. Is it the powers from the Holy Spirit? No. If the promise to the Jerusalem audience was kept, and God is always faithful (Hebrews 10:23), “the gift of the Holy Spirit” was none of these.
iPower. Greek: dunamisG1411. Strong's definition: force (literally or figuratively); specifically miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself): - ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work. Vine's definition: "power, ability," physical or moral, as residing in a person or thing. "power in action," as, e.g., when put forth in performing miracles. It occurs 118 times in the NT. It is sometimes used of the miracle or sign itself, the effect being put for the cause, e.g.,Mark 6:5, frequently in the Gospels and Acts.
ii“Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it” (Deuteronomy 12:32; see also 4:2). “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written I n this book” (Revelation 22:18, 19).
iiiOp. Cit. Power.
ivOp. Cit. Power.