Heavenly Visions





THE Spirit of God is called the “Spirit of promise.” In the Ephesian letter the apostle says: “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13, 14. HEVI 9.1

This is called “that Holy Spirit of promise,” because it is the Spirit which the Lord promised to send upon his believing people. In the prophecy of Joel, we find the promise of the Father in these words: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; ... and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit.” Joel 2:28, 29. HEVI 9.2

As our Saviour was about to ascend to heaven, he referred to this promise, as follows: “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.” Luke 24:49. Reference is made to this promise in Acts: “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. [He was probably referring to what he had said respecting the sending of the Comforter.] For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Acts 1:4, 5. Again, in the second chapter: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Verse 4. Of this wonderful manifestation of the Spirit, we read still further: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, said God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.” Acts 2:16, 17. Again, in the same chapter: “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” Verse 33. HEVI 9.3

In the same discourse Peter’s words show conclusively that this promise of the Spirit is not confined to the time of those apostles, but that it extends to the very end of probationary time: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38, 39. HEVI 9.4

Alexander Campbell, one of the founders of the Disciple denomination, in his work on baptism, says of this promise: “The promise is expressly said by Peter to be the promise of the Holy Spirit, which is extended to all that are ‘near’, and ‘afar off’.... The gift of the Holy Ghost is the immediate antecedent to the promise, as any one may see from the slightest attention to the passage.”-“Campbell on Baptism,” edition of 1853, page 383. HEVI 9.5

Mc Garvey, a commentator of the same denomination, says: “That we are right in referring the word ‘promise’ in this sentence to the promise of the Holy Ghost, just made by Peter, is evident from the fact that this is the only promise made in the immediate context.”-Mc Garvey, on Acts 2:29. HEVI 9.6

From the reading of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we see clearly that by the expression “afar off” he refers to the Gentiles. So, then, the promise of the Holy Spirit is for the people all through the Gentile dispensation. We read: “At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ....Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” Ephesians 2:12, 13, 19. The Review and Herald, January 3, 1899. HEVI 9.7