The Signs of the Times


December 1, 1898

The Outpouring of the Spirit


During the Jewish economy, the influence of God's Spirit had been seen in a marked manner, but not in full. For ages prayers had been offered for the fulfilment of God's promise to impart His Spirit, and not one of these earnest supplications had been forgotten. ST December 1, 1898, par. 1

Christ determined that when He ascended from this earth He would bestow a gift on those who had believed on Him and those who should believe on Him. What gift could He bestow rich enough to signalize and grace His ascension to the mediatorial throne? It must be worthy of His greatness and His royalty. He determined to give His representative, the third person of the Godhead. This gift could not be excelled. He would give all gifts in one, and therefore the divine Spirit, converting, enlightening, sanctifying, would be His donation. ST December 1, 1898, par. 2

Standing near His trial, condemnation, and crucifixion, Christ said: “I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world can not receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” ST December 1, 1898, par. 3

This is a wonderful announcement. Christ longed to be in a position where He could accomplish the most important work by few and simple means. The plan of redemption is comprehensive; but its parts are few, and each part depends on the other, while all work together with the utmost simplicity and in entire harmony. Christ is represented by the Holy Spirit; and when this Spirit is appreciated, when those controlled by the Spirit communicate to others the energy with which they are imbued, an invisible chord is touched which electrifies the whole. Would that we could all understand how boundless are the divine resources! ST December 1, 1898, par. 4

But the time had now come. The Spirit had been waiting for the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. For ten days the disciples offered their petitions for the outpouring of the Spirit, and Christ in heaven added His intercession. This was the occasion of His ascension and inauguration, a jubilee in heaven. He had ascended on high, leading captivity captive, and He now claimed the gift of the Spirit, that He might pour it out upon His disciples. ST December 1, 1898, par. 5

The Spirit was given as Christ had promised, and like a rushing mighty wind it fell upon those assembled, filling the whole house. It came with a fulness and power, as if for ages it had been restrained, but was now being poured forth upon the church, to be communicated to the world. ST December 1, 1898, par. 6

What followed this outpouring?—Thousands were converted in a day. In Christ's day many heard the Gospel, but they did not become sufficiently interested to search for the pearl of great price. But on the day of Pentecost three thousand were converted by the preaching of the Gospel. A wonderful communication was made that day between heaven and earth. Those who witnessed this scene had recently witnessed in the same city the crucifixion of the world's Redeemer. But how little those who beheld Him hanging on the cross understood what His death meant! How few realized that “God so loved the world, that He gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!” ST December 1, 1898, par. 7

On the day of Pentecost, Christ's witnesses proclaimed the truth, telling men the wonderful news of salvation through Christ. And as a flaming two-edged sword the truth flashed conviction into human hearts. Men were brought under Christ's control. The glad tidings were carried to the uttermost bounds of the inhabited world. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. The altar of the cross, which sanctifies the gift, was rebuilt. Believers were reconverted. Sinners united with Christians in seeking the pearl of great price. The prophecy was fulfilled, the weak “shall be as David,” and David “as the angel of the Lord.” Every Christian saw in his brother the divine similitude of benevolence and love. One interest prevailed. One object swallowed up all others. Every pulse beat in healthy concert. The only ambition of the believers was to see who could reveal most perfectly the likeness of Christ's character, who could do the most for the enlargement of His kingdom. “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” The Spirit of Christ animated the whole congregation; for they had found the pearl of great price. ST December 1, 1898, par. 8

Mrs. E. G. White