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The Spirit of Restoration*
Willem A. VanGemeren
Seventy-five years ago the Faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary published a significant symposium under 91 the title Biblical and Theological Studies.1 Among the chapters was one written by Geerhardus Vos, ―The Eschatological Aspect of the Pauline Conception of the Spirit.‖2 Vos‘ concern was with the correlation of the work of the Spirit and of Christ with the doctrines of salvation and the future. He outlines briefly the OT contribution to this subject3 before his most significant study on the Pauline doctrine of the Spirit. Vos‘ suggestive outline of the contribution of the OT to the doctrine of the Spirit still begs for further investigation.4 In spite of the influx of books on the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the correlation of the Spirit with eschatology lacks sufficient development. It is my hope that the OT witness to the Spirit may further the correlation of pneumatology, Christology, creation, soteriology, and eschatology. To this end we shall focus on one * Dedicated to the students who joined me in an exegetical study of the kingdom of God in the Prophets, Fall 1986.
WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. 82

OT text (Joel 2:28–32) as a springboard to the larger discussion on the place of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the gift of God the Father and God the Son to the people of God. He is the Reconciler and Restorer, as he regenerates, indwells, and leads the children of God. He is the Guarantor of the restoration of heaven and earth as he applies the promises and the blessings of God in Christ, and as he creates and sustains hope. The very mission of the Spirit of God is eschatological. He is the agent of restoration, as he prepares a new humanity, applies the eschatological blessings, draws the people of God into an ever-closer relationship, extends the boundaries of the kingdom, and keeps hope alive in the hearts of God‘s children living in the world of alienation. This approach does not reduce the soteriological significance of the Spirit‘s


Biblical and Theological Studies (New York: Scribner, 1912).


Ibid., 209-59. Reprinted in Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos (ed. Richard B. Gaffin, Jr.; Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1980) 91–125.

Vos, Redemptive History, 95-99.


For a preliminary study and general bibliography on the Spirit in the OT, see H. Cazelles, “Prolégomnes à une étude dans la Bible,” in Von Kanaan bis Kerala. Festschrift für Prof. Dr. J. P. M. van der Ploeg O.P. zur Vollendung des siebstigsten Lebensjahres am 4. Juli 1979 (ed. W. C. Delsman et al.; NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Veriag, 1982) 75–90.

83 I. The MT separates 2:28–32 into a separate chapter (3:1–5). On the one hand. 2:12–17).5 The correlation of the Spirit and eschatology gives further ground to the correlation of creation.” . 5 Neill Q. forthcoming. and eschatology: ―The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed…creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God‖ (Rom 8:19. 6 See Willem A. WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. the Spirit. the canonical message evokes a response of devotion to the Lord. “Perspectives on Continuity.Página 2 de 17 https://www. 83). of prayer and fasting (Joel 1:13– 20. 2 Cor 3:17. On the basis of Rom 8:9b. Lewis Johnson. John S.galaxie. The prophet employs this episode in the life of God‘s people to call forth a renewed expression of loyalty and to proclaim the good news of God‘s commitment to bless his people. This plague is an event in time and representative of God‘s judgment on all flesh (the Day of the Lord). (ed. We shall employ the principles of progressive hermeneutic6 in a brief study of Joel 2:28–32 as a groundwork toward a rediscovery of the eschatological work of the Spirit. Jr. At the heart of the Book of Joel is an exhilarating presentation of the Lord8 as the source of hope. 7 Throughout this article I shall follow the versification of the EB. the believers. 1957). Gal 4:6. idem. 46 (1984) 254–97. 8 This perspective is clear in Willem S. The Progress of Redemption: The Story of Salvation from Creation to the New Creation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan. the canonical message affirms the Lord‘s commitment to establish his dwelling among men and to bless his people richly with the fullness of his redemption: victory. redemption. the covenant fellowship. thus Joel 4 in the MT is chap. 1988). The Context of Joel 2:28-327 The prophecy of Joel is occasioned by a terrible locust plague. and Phil 1:19 he concludes that there exists an intimate connection between Christ. but puts soteriology in the broader context of eschatology.” WTJ45 (1983) 132–44. Feinberg. VanGemeren. Westchester: Crossway.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 work. glory. On the other hand. 1988). and eschatology. idem. “Israel as the Hermeneutical Crux in the Interpretation of prophecy. Hamilton has made a significant contribution to the NT understanding of the work of the Spirit in The Holy Spirit and Eschatology in Paul (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. “The nature of this identity became clear when we noted that the context presents the Spirit as the agent which mediates the benefits of the new covenant which are available in Christ” (p. and the establishment of his kingdom on this earth. 1985+ 9): “Exegesis must guide us to a meaningful synthesis of what the text of Joel has to say about Yahweh. 3 in the EB. his Spirit. who by his promise-word (2:18–27) and by his Spirit (2:28–32) upholds his people even in the darkest hour. Prinsloo’s study (The Theology of the Book of Joel [Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 1 Cor 12:3. 21).” in Continuity and Discontinuity: Perspectives on the Relationship between the Old and New Testaments in Honor of S.

15 Prinsloo. 80. 97. Obadiah. 14 Leslie C. from sorrow to joy. ―The pericope starts with a stereotyped introductory formula [‗and afterward‘]…[which] focuses attention on events that would only come to pass after the preceding 2:18–27..‖14 Yet. But the difficulty lies in its relationship to the preceding verses. Theology. which reveal a magnificent internal structure by repetition of vocabulary and motifs. cf. from divine absence to presence. . 34:11)..com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 Chap.13 Allen divides the oracles (2:18–3:21) into two oracles: (i) material and spiritual promises (2:18–32) and (ii) the judgment on the nations (3:1–21). but each successive section further develops what is already inherent in the previous unit. Jer 16:16. Jonah and Micah (NICOT. 13 “Salvation is amplified. 126). The blessing of the Spirit amplifies and may be seen as a further development of v 27. The Books of Joel. as Prinsloo assumes: “This verse recapitulates the entire passage and the purpose of the redactional addition was to demonstrate that Yahweh’s wondrous deeds were all aimed at one goal: that Israel and all the world should acknowledge that he alone is God” (ibid. 10 Verse 27 is the climactic affirmation of Yahweh’s covenant presence and is not to be considered as a redactional addition.” 12 “3:1–5 are closely connected with the preceding pericope but also announce a new era of salvation for Israel” (ibid. Allen. 84 from disgrace to glory unite the sections and lead to the only possible conclusion: Yahweh keeps covenant (v 27)!11 II. In this case the era of blessing (vv 18–27) will precede the era of the Spirit. Prinsloo admits the continuity of these verses with regard to the context of blessing.galaxie.10 The restoration motif from curse to blessing. 62-79.‖ The phrase ʾaḥărê kēn (―afterward‖) may signify temporal sequence (cf 2 Chr 20:35.12 but also anticipates the context of judgment on the unbelieving.. 2:18–27 is made up of three strophes. 126. 80).. 9 Ibid. Thus catastrophe culminates in confession. Yahweh is described further as the one who will completely transform the crisis of his people” (ibid.Página 3 de 17 https://www. “The entire pericope culminates in the credal formula…..9 Each section overlaps with the next. The material promises (2:18–27) pertain to the immediate future and the spiritual (2:28–32) to a ―subsequent stage. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Each strophe by itself and in its contribution to the whole enlarges upon the climactic self-revelation of Yahweh as the covenant God who is also present with his people (v 27). Joel 2:28-32 (MT 3:1-5) Verses 28–32 contain different motifs.‖15 The relationship of these two sections (2:19–27 and 28–32) hinges on how we understand the words ―and afterward. 1976) 43. 11 The form of this conclusion is uncertain. and WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. 79) treats it as a confession. Prinsloo (ibid. p. 75). he is representative of all who interpret the outpouring of the Spirit as a new event in redemptive history.

70. In this case. Joel. 1 Sam 24:6.Página 4 de 17 https://www. BDB (p. as the Spirit is more excellent than the material. 16 John Calvin. but so is the phrase ʾaḥărê kēn. 97. 2 Sam 2:1. The formula (―and afterward‖) may be used as a transition. Afterward you will be called The City of Righteousness.” 18 Wolff. sequence is secondary. the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat‖ (2 Chr 20:1. Judg 16:4. 2 Chr 20:1. 1977+ 65). 8:1. Joel 2:28 ad loc. deeper gifts of God‘s grace were in store. sets off the blessings of 2:18–27 as ―external proofs‖ by which the people were encouraged to think beyond the material toward hope for the new era of the Spirit. Further. 2 Chr 24:4). The former has a bearing on God‘s way with Israel. WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. 98. “it presupposes that the preceding assurance oracles of plea-response pertaining to the earlier times have already been fulfilled. cf. to be dispensed at a subsequent stage. 17 Allen.galaxie. 86 … After that…I will hand over Zedekiah …‖ The phrase ―after that‖ could well be rendered as a connective ―and‖ (so NEB). 19 . Joel.‖ or even. earthly blessings. 2 Kgs 6:24. Of primary importance is the correlation of restoration and the new character of the people of God: The Lord shall restore his people and they shall be righteous.30) lists several examples: Judg 16:4. 2 Sam 2:1. confirming the expectation of the much greater future response (2:27).18 However. ―after this‖ could well be rendered by ―when‖: ―When the Moabites and Ammonites …‖ In the prophets this usage is rare. ―when. The Faithful City. Philadelphia: Fortress. Allen writes similarly.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 Calvin. which carries with it proof of Yahweh‘s gracious presence in Israel. cf. Here. WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p.19 As a transition ʾaḥărê kēn may function as a temporal conjunctive.‖17 Wolff extends God‘s blessing on Israel even in her present state of rejection of Jesus as the Messiah of God and he understands 2:28–32 in light of Acts 2 relative to Pentecost. is but the first stage. whereas the latter bears on God‘s way in Christ. ―and‖: ―After this. 8:1. 2 Kgs 6:24. It apparently functions as a connective formula stressing the totality of judgment: ―I myself will fight…I will strike down. Wolff (Joel and Amos *Hermeneia. 85 ―The bestowal of material blessings. 24:4.16 The new era differs from the old. thus. In Jer 21:7 the judgment of God on king Zedekiah is introduced by the phrase ―after that‖ (ʾaḥărê kēn) but according to the context it forms a part of God‘s judgment on Jerusalem. 1 Sam 24:6. In Isa 1:26 two related events are connected by the prepositional phrase: I will restore your judges as in the days of old. there is another possibility.

frustration.” .20 The prophet Joel anticipates a grand era of the fullness of the benefits of God‘s presence and the absolute absence of the experiences of alienation. NIV ―after that time‖) in Jer 31:33. First. the progressive fulfillment of these blessings (―never again‖ in vv 19b. 19). The Lord inaugurates a new era of covenant favor only after the time of exile.Página 5 de 17 https://www. whether natural or political: a (2:18–26) blessings of food and drink. “The role of the Spirit in Paul’s teaching is similar to that of the kingdom in the Synoptics. interpretation proffers a use similar to the phrase ―after those days‖ (ʾaḥărê hayyāmim hāhēm. Its temporal or sequential significance has been replaced by a theological function of serving as an introduction or a transition to an act of God. So also Jer 49:6. though related. and anxiety: the ―nations‖ (3:2. and wickedness (3:13. war. I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites‖ (Jer 49:6). Alienation may take many forms. Though this interpretation is most commonly held. removal of shame b (2:27) covenantal assurance: removal of shame 20 Hamilton (Eschatology. revealing. 27).com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 Another. through symmetry and chiastic arrangement. in that both verses contain a temporal clause. 17). it does not pay attention to the inner connection of the blessings associated with the new era of God‘s favor (vv 18–27). the temporal or sequential meaning has an inherent weakness. The phrase ―after that time‖ (v 33) is functionally equivalent to ―the time is coming. but his message also extends to any cause of anguish. vv 31 and 33 refer to the same covenant and form a parallel expression: The time is coming…when I make a new covenant with the house of Israel…[Jer 31:31] This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time…[Jer 31:33.galaxie. 26. ―afterward‖ or ―after that time‖ functions as a temporal phrase introducing the new work of God after an era of judgment. violence. emphasis ours] Verse 33 is a chiastic restatement of v 31. 87 and complete victory over the enemies was not fully experienced before Jesus‘ coming. The prophetic word of fullness of blessing WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. a reference to the covenant. Instead. that the Lord‘s concern is with all objects of resistance to his kingdom. after what time? To suggest that it follows sequentially the promise of covenant renewal in Jer 31:31 would lead to the preposterous suggestion that Jeremiah predicted two covenants.‖ In conclusion. and the connection of vv 27 and 28. his oracle relates to the whole progression of God‘s kingdom from the postexilic era to the coming of our Lord in glory. We may ask. This conclusion is borne out by a comparison of 2:18–27 with 3:17–21. and a reference to the parties of the covenant (―I‖ and ―the house of Israel‖). The phrase ʾaḥărê kēn in prophetic speech may denote the era of God‘s acts associated with the day of the Lord after the exile or any period of judgment. In Joel 2:28 ―afterward‖ may be understood sequentially or as an explication of v 27. Clearly. afterward [ʾaḥărê kēn]. 23-24) demonstrates the inner connection between the Spirit of God and the presence of the kingdom in Pauline eschatology. ―Yet. The immediate context suggests natural disasters (locusts) and the resulting famine (1:11).

Rev 21:1–4. Joel. 27)? The Lord himself has given his promise word to this end (vv 18. the promise of eschatological fulfillment. 19-25). [v 27. Fulfillment extends to God‘s people throughout the progression of redemptive history. he attends his promise-word with the outpouring of his Spirit as the guarantee of the fulfillment of his promises: the restoration of heaven and earth. 19) 23 John Murray.galaxie. 26). Introduction. 88 (v 27). encourages God‘s people throughout the history of redemption with the tokens of God‘s goodness. 86) concludes. I favor a postexilic date for Joel (as did Calvin according to Allen. But did God‘s people truly experience the finality and fullness of his blessings after the exile?22 It appears that the covenant blessings (2:18–27. The fulfillments are real. that I am the LORD your God. 1953).23 the Lord gives his people evidences of his covenantal care by fulfilling the promises in measure. The covenant relationship interconnects Yahweh‘s Lordship over his people WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. 19a). never again will my people be shamed. 22:1–5). as both sections explicate the new era of covenant renewal. the era of blessing (2:18–27) and the era of the Spirit (2:28–32) overlap. 26. Childs (Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture [Philadelphia: Fortress. 1979] 391) rejects the strict separation of past and future as inconsistent with prophetic usage. Verses 28–32 are complementary and explanatory of vv 18–27. 393. but they will not experience the full satisfaction until the glorious establishment of his kingdom on earth (cf. curse on foreign nations In conclusion. The words of blessing and the promise of the Spirit are corollary witnesses to the telos of redemptive history: God‘s presence with his people in protection and in blessing the new community of the Spirit. 21 Brevard S. the days of blessing (vv 18–27). 22. and that there is no other. Isa 65:17–25.Página 6 de 17 https://www. 24 Wolff (Joel. cf. How will the people be sure that there will be no more cause for grief and fear (vv 19. The Covenant of Grace: A Biblical-Theological Study (London: Tyndale. In his sovereign administration of grace and promise. cf. 22 Though the date is not so important to the canonical discussion (see Childs. his presence in blessing and protection (vv 18–26). 23. 3:17–21) are so grand and glorious that they cannot be fulfilled until the New Heaven and Earth. However.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 b‘ (3:17) covenantal assurance: removal of ―foreigners‖ a‘ (3:18–21) blessings of food and drink.” . 3:17] Second. “But as far as the completely new world is concerned—the world that corresponds to the inviolable sanctuary of Jerusalem of 3:16–17 and the fullness of life which proceeds from the Temple fountain (3:18)—the New Testament people of God together with the Old Testament people of God are waiting for a future event which will exceed the bounds of the old expectation (cf. Joel. Rev 22:1–5). that is of the new age.24 To this end. 21.21 Then you will know that I am in Israel. Allen. and their joyful praise of their great king (vv 21. ―afterward‖ is a parallel expression of ―in those days.‖ that is.

the sun and moon are darkened. namely the day of God‘s favor on his people. 27 P. ―never again will my people be shamed‖ (vv 26b and 27b)? The Lord alone can and will remove all causes of anxiety. blood and fire and billows of smoke. and of the goal of redemptive history: the presence of God among the new community. The LORD will reply to them. Den Haag: Van Keuien. linking these verses together: wĕhāyâ (lit. How can God‘s people be sure that they need not suffer ―shame‖ any more. On the other hand. anguish. and the stars no longer shine. 37). ―on the earth.‖26 Thus. But the question may be raised. The phrase ―after that‖ explicates vv 18–27 and especially v 27. the Lord‘s judgment must extend to everything. vv 28 and 32 develop in inclusionary fashion the progression and victorious outcome of the new era: When [as transition] I will pour out my Spirit on all people … then25 everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” also cited by Luke: “In the last days…I will pour out my Spirit” (Acts 2:17). 1956). the sky trembles. “and it will be”). as is spoken of in vv 18–19a: ―Then the LORD will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people. we present an alternative interpretation. how can this be so in the light of the fickle WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. The usage of ʾaḥărê kēn (―afterward‖) is here identical with ―in those days‖ (v 29). The comprehensiveness of judgment (―the Day of the Lord‖)27 pervades the message of Joel: ―the earth shakes. This world in alienation must undergo restoration by the purification of the Day of the Lord. his final judgment on his enemies. WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. Allen (Joel. “in the last days” instead of “afterward. the presence of the Spirit is God‘s guarantee of the fulfillment of his promise-word (the blessings).28 This judgment 25 Verse 28 begins with the same verbal phrase. 90 Joel begins his message of relief from the locusts as the immediate cause of Israel‘s troubles. 36. “This is the terrifying theological interpretation placed upon the plague: it is Yahweh’s intervention to destroy a sinful people. vv 29–31 anticipate God‘s judgment on the nations. 26 This conclusion is further supported by the LXX. experience his presence.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 Because we cannot assume that the blessings of 2:18–27 were fulfilled before Pentecost. but he envisions the removal of all causes of alienation. and the stars no longer shine‖ (2:10). Die Dag van die Here (Exegetica 11/3. and frustration. the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood‖ (2:31). his close communion with his people.galaxie. as promised repeatedly: ―never again will I make you an object of scorn to the nations‖ (v 19b). The earth and sky will tremble‖ (3:15). Verhoef.Página 7 de 17 https://www. 89 nature of people? In response. Because of the pervasiveness of sin and evil in this world. and never again suffer from anxiety which is characteristic of this world in alienation (v 27). These verses form an inclusion around the phenomena of the Day of the Lord (vv 29–31). 28 Cf. ―The sun and the moon will be darkened.” . The goal of God‘s new acts of blessing and protection is that his people may know him.

―all flesh. Thus. social standing (―servants..galaxie.‖ 2:27). the promise of the Spirit is limited to a particular group in ―Israel. They constitute the new community of the Spirit. Rev 6:12. a stronghold for the people Israel‖ (3:16). the comfort of God‘s people by the Spirit. it became even clearer that the promise of the Spirit was not only for the Jews. WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. as the history of redemption unfolded.29 because they find ―deliverance‖ (2:32) in the Lord. sustaining. who is ―a refuge for his people.‖ The proper reading of v 28 (MT 3:1) is in the light of v 32 (MT 3:5). lit. sex.‖ On the one hand.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 is correlative to the progression of blessing. 1. Israel (―his people. or sexual differentiation (―sons and daughters…men and women‖).‖ NIV ―all people‖] wĕhāyâ [not translated] kōl ʾăser [―everyone who‖] Secondly. 9:2. 19:11–16). 2 Pet 3:10–12.‖ v 28)? They are. regardless of age (―old men…young men‖). III. as he 29 Cf.‖ 2:18). The outpouring of the Spirit is to guarantee the people of God that the Lord is their covenant-God and that the enjoyment of the blessing is theirs. the Word. as these two verses are bound together by an inclusionary motif: wĕhāyâ [not translated] kōl bāśār [―all flesh.” . or social standing. Mount Zion. 91 Joel points all of God‘s people to the Lord. Only those who ―call‖ on the name of the Lord make up ―all people.Página 8 de 17 https://www. the application of the promise of the Spirit is not mechanical. “The message of…Yahweh’s intervention in the world can hold no terrors for Joel’s hearers. the Spirit. in the first place. ―There is no other!‖ However. The Era of the Spirit In the promise of the Spirit the Lord gives hope to the godly who live in a world filled with tension between curse and blessing. but it will have its final fulfillment with the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ (cf. as he applies God‘s promises and assures the people of God that the blessed presence of God is the goal of redemptive history.‖ What is the identity of ―all people‖ (kōl bāśār. the Spirit will not discriminate between age. Peter first applied the prophecy of Joel to the Jews. even during times of distress. Mark 13:24–25. The Lord promises to give his presence and his blessings (2:19–27) to ―all people. and the hope in the restoration of heaven and earth (the New Jerusalem) belong together as related motifs. The Community of the Spirit The work of the Holy Spirit lies in the bringing together. The people of God need not be afraid. both men and women‖). On the other hand. Allen (ibid. and quickening of the new humanity. The Lord‘s Spirit will rest on the members of the covenant community (―Israel…my people. by whom the promises were given and by whom they will be fulfilled. who will be brought through the Day of the Lord as the heirs of promises of God. Acts 2:20. The Spirit is the guarantee of the promise-word. Not ―all people‖ will be saved and find deliverance in the city of God. Luke 21:25. 100).

How this will come about is hidden in the wisdom of God (Rom 11:33–36). 4:5–7] 30 Beverly Roberts Gaventa rightly disagrees with Conzelmann in concluding from the LXX use in Acts 2:14 (en tais eschatais hēmeras.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 said.31 Thus. when Cornelius. for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ―So if God gave them WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. who was I to think that I should oppose God!‖ (Acts 11:17). male nor female. B. God has made you also an heir. There is neither Jew nor Greek. the Spirit who calls out ―Abba. and especially as he develops the application of Joel 2:32 in Rom 10:14–11:32. received the Spirit of God (Acts 10:44–47). Initially. 28. he shocked the early church. 70). 29. ―For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him‖ (Rom 10:12). then you are Abraham‘s seed. ―The promise [of the Spirit] is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call‖ (Acts 2:39). a Gentile. is asked whether it will bring shame or honor to the name of Jesus as it listens to Joel. or race! The apostle Paul applies Joel 2:32 to Gentiles as well as Jews.” TrinJ 2 (1981) 131–58. [Gal 3:26.‖…since you are a son. Thus. “the text of Joel may be able to help modern Israel to recognize liberation from horrible calamities as a basis for the hope that God wants to be near to it…he wants to make into a reality the prophetic promise of a new life in unreserved communion with him through the gift of his spirit. age. our Lord Jesus Christ.Página 9 de 17 https://www. M. the Spirit extended the boundaries to the Gentiles. thus extending the original perimeters of the promise. Father.32 That is the point of Paul‘s argument in Romans 9–11. 31 For a survey of interpretation on the Spirit in the theology of Acts. He concludes with this note. and heirs according to promise…that we might receive the full rights of sons. as Paul explains: You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus…. the inclusion of the Gentiles need not be inter-preted to the exclusion of the Jews.” Encounter 43 *1982+ 27–42).” . see M. 92 the same gift as he gave us. 32 I appreciate Wolff’s caution (Joel. Christianity. Because you are sons. ―all people‖ refers to all the people of God. If you belong to Christ. “in the last days”) that the Spirit is an eschatological event and that the promise of the parousia is guaranteed by the presence of the Spirit (“The Eschatology of Luke-Acts Revisited. However. Turner. They will join together with Gentile Christians in the worship of the Father and his Messiah. slave nor free. As I have argued elsewhere. “The Significance of receiving the Spirit in Luke-Acts: A Survey of Modern Scholarship. who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.galaxie. So great was their consternation that Peter was called upon to give an account. regardless of sex. God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. however. social standing. the fidelity of God and the promise-word of God sustain us with hope that a great number of Israel will be saved.30 In the progression of the era of the Spirit. the newness of the age of the Spirit lies in the all-inclusive formation of the new humanity.

It is clear from 2:27 and 3:17 that the blessings evidence God‘s presence and that his rule over nature and the nations powerfully witnesses to his being the great King. and the causes of anxiety. He has blessed his people Israel in the fourfold promise of the Abrahamic covenant (descendants.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 In conclusion. The new community consists of all who have received the Spirit of hope. Then you will know that I am in Israel. The blessings of God are continuous throughout the history of redemption. regardless of their present adversities. age. the inheritance. The history of redemption records again and again that ―the LORD has done great things‖ (2:21. in the consecration of his people. ―all…who await the future from Yahweh will.galaxie. never again will my people be shamed. This new humanity. until you are full. and peace. The Spirit as the Guarantor of Blessing Throughout redemptive history the Lord blesses his people with a foretaste of his goodness in an experience of his presence. and the privilege of adoption in the Spirit (cf Rom 9:4–5). . the new humanity receives the covenant fellowship. prosperity. as Wolff explains. the land. with joy. Nor are his blessings to be minimized as merely material. 69. or race. never again will my people be shamed. God‘s presence in blessing and protection. Likewise. cf. Gen 12:2. v 20). the Divine Warrior. 93 brings the two parties of the covenant fellowship together: the Lord and his people. composed of both Jews and Gentiles. and with gratitude that he is their God: WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. will be removed. The Spirit WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. sex. 3). as the Spirit of God makes no distinction as to social standing. Joel. [2:25–27] 33 Wolff. Israel‘s experience before and after the exile does not take away from the reality of his blessings. Joel speaks of God‘s protection and blessings as evidence of his presence. the earth will be renewed with abundant rains and by producing luxuriant crops. is the community of the Spirit. and a blessing to the nations. at the time of the world catastrophe. You will have plenty to eat. and in his being the only source of man‘s happiness.‖33 2. who has worked wonders for you. These blessings were incorporated into the Mosaic covenant and are again and again renewed through his servants the prophets. 94 I will repay you…. and that there is no other. The people of God respond to the evidences of his love with theocentric living. The Spiritual people of God have a oneness in the Spirit. that I am the LORD your God. The enemy will be completely removed (2:19–20). and you will praise the name of the LORD your God. so characteristic of this world of alienation.Página 10 de 17 https://www. find refuge in the community of God on Mount Zion.

but those who call on his name are no other than the ones ―whom the LORD calls‖ (v 32). The theology of the Holy Spirit is in them. 1963.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 This is the language of promise. and sharing in the blessings of Abraham. dwell in Zion. 36 Willis Judson Beecher.36 The blessing of the Lord continues to rest upon his people until the fuller revelation of his glory in the New Jerusalem. They are a study in the doctrine of the divine decree. as he gives assurance that in time and forevermore he will secure the blessedness of his people. This means that the blessings are material and spiritual. It is Christ to whom the promise points forward. There is then no other way to avail ourselves of God‘s blessings than in the Spirit. The promise passages connect themselves with everything that is essential in Christian doctrine. the Spirit. and not for anything it contains apart from Christ. the LORD. and of sonship. reprint of 1905 ed. The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ! This movement from the Spirit. cf 2:27] 3. The mutual calling is not to be limited to redemption in the narrow sense. Jerusalem will be holy. 1975) 199.) 193. Paul: An Outline of His Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. [3:17. the Lord draws near to those who seek him and those who 34 Herman N. life everlasting. The Prophets and the Promise (Grand Rapids: Baker. as applied by the Spirit.35 He is the Spirit of regeneration. to the Son. Then you will know that I. contentment. He is ―the eschatological Bringer of salvation. But the apostolic world-view that has been traversed in this chapter is certainly Christocentric.” in Studies in Paul [Minneapolis: Augsburg. your God. Its significance lies in the hope given by the Lord. The Spirit as the Reconciler The Spirit of God is poured out only on those who call on the name of the Lord. 35 Nils Alstrup Dahl (“Promises and Fulfillment. to wit forgiveness. where they will experience blessing upon blessing and glory upon glory. my holy hill. They outline the nature and the person of Christ. The Spirit of God applies and guarantees all of God‘s gifts to the heart and life of the believer. It is on account of its containing Christ that the promise is cited with so much reiteration. and to the Father involves each person of the Trinity and acknowledges the present blessings and the inheritance to be the gift of the Father to the Son.‖34 But the blessings of God are only for those who recognize the Lordship and messianic rule of his Son. as Beecher wrote many years ago. Ridderbos. realized and eschatological. the fruits of the Spirit. as well as creaturely benefits. 95 out the promise. he being the divine Agent in carrying WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. 1977] 133) relates justification. Within this context of covenant renewal and promises of restoration. . that decree having Christ as its determinative point. never again will foreigners invade her. Christ is the focus of the promises and the Spirit of Christ applies the promises of God in Christ. sanctification.galaxie.Página 11 de 17 https://www.

Joel 2:18]…. preparing his congregation to be his instrument” (Theology of the Old Testament [2 vols. The Spirit as the Agent of Restoration 37 Wolff. bringing assurance and raising the horizons of the age to come. The Spirit of God applies the promise-word of God to the heart of the believer. He renews the hearts of man in regeneration. especially in the approaching times of judgment. and full enjoyment of God‘s blessings are theirs to be enjoyed throughout the progression of redemption history until the final and climactic fulfillment in the age to come..galaxie. Lordship.‖37 This text is similar to Jer 31:33–34.40 The Holy Spirit is God‘s gift to his people in order to work in them a heart of loyalty. leading to the curses as sanctions of the covenant. 3:19–26). call on him while he is near‖ (Isa 55:6). 41 Walter Eichrodt writes. They ―call‖ on his name. 38 39 40 Peter links together in his preaching the resurrection of Christ. Israel had broken the covenant. the restoration. The Holy Spirit guarantees the certainty of the covenant blessings by preparing the hearts of a people to show full loyalty to the Lord. and to intensify the yearning for the fullness of covenant life. are rootless and feeble. 66. the presence of Christ in the Spirit. their consecration. 4. and by giving an eschatological dimension to the man of faith. to deepen their fellowship with the Lord. in idiom and form. 15. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God. Ibid. 67.Página 12 de 17 https://www. to be refreshed with the present application of the covenant blessings. 83) speaks of his being the mediator of the eschatological blessings. Philadelphia: Westminster.. “under his guidance the word becomes the means by which God acts in living power. Hamilton (Eschatology. the people of God have the assurance that the covenant presence of God. Wolff interprets the work of the Spirit as ―the establishment of new. having ―the prophetic certainty of the coming acts of WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. in themselves. This phraseology is a variant of ―seek the LORD while he may be found.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 seek him draw near to him. according to which the covenant children enjoy the closeness of relationship with the Lord.41 This is what we mean when we speak of the work of the Spirit as eschatological. Joel. and I will be zealous for my holy name [cf. the times of refreshing. 96 God on behalf of his people. for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel. sanctification. The Spirit is the ground for both blessing and covenant communion. The Holy Spirit evokes a response of loyalty. 19671 2. vigorous life through God‘s unreserved giving of himself to those who. 65). the prophecy of Ezek 39:25–29: I…will have compassion on all the people of Israel. I will no longer hide my face from them [blessing will follow curse]. time and time again.‖38 It also resembles. and the judgment as interrelated motifs (Acts 2:22–30.39 Through the operation of the Spirit of God. his glorification. .

ciii. Ibid.. 97 that!42 Soteriology with its eschatological dimension requires a correlation of the Holy Spirit and eschatology.. accordingly. but also creation (cf. He prepares the people of God for their citizenship in the New Jerusalem and sustains them with the hope of the glorious future. redemption. Torrance. according to which Christology. The correlation of creation. the relation of the Spirit and the Word brings the power of God to bear on this world. and pneumatology are isolated from eschatology: “it does not take into account the eschatological aspect of the Spirit’s activity. But we must also relate the Spirit to Jesus‘ rule over creation. Ltd. is ―the beginning‖ of the progression of the Day of the Lord.45 Reformed theology has never fully faced or worked out the relation between the Holy Spirit and nature. Torrance posits the ―communion‖ of the Spirit as an experience of the presence of the Spirit in this world and as an invitation to the eschaton. The progression of redemption history includes the people of God. he is intimately involved in the application of God‘s redemption in regeneration and sanctification. Those who have received the Spirit of God need not fear nature. 67. The School of Faith (London: James Clarke & Co. F. This is an area that needs further thought. i. T.‖46 In response to this dilemma. 45 46 . 42 Hamilton (Eschatology. and the Spirit is the message of Joel. … that change has to be interpreted Christologically in relation to Christ the First-born and Head of all Creation. Since the incarnation we cannot but reflect on the Spirit in relationship to the mission and work of our Lord.Página 13 de 17 https://www. because the Spirit assures them that all areas are under the control of God‘s Messiah. presence until the appointed hour of judgement and recreation.43 Of this new age Wolff comments. 1985+ 194) speaks of the Holy Spirit as “a glimmer of light within to signal the approaching dawn. Joel. Further. by being deigned worthy of the highest distinction along with all the rest.. 98 extent the failure of Reformed theology to think out the doctrine of Christ and the doctrine of the Spirit in relation to creation and therefore to nature.” 44 Wolff. soteriology.galaxie. 85) is equally critical of what he calls the truncated view. He regenerates so as to restore humanity to the new creation. in which he withholds the fulness of His. as Torrance wrote.‖44 The outpouring of the Spirit.e. But more than WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. I agree wholeheartedly with Torrance‘s observation that ―It was to a certain WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p.” 43 Morris Inch (The Saga of the Spirit *Grand Rapids: Baker. it has to be interpreted eschatologically in terms of the new creation… we have still to interpret the presence of the Spirit to creation and nature as involving a measure of distance between it and God.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 The Spirit of God is the Guarantor of restoration! To be sure. 1959) cii. Rom 8:19–22). ―in the coming age they shall be incorporated fully into the community of the free.

regardless of what happens on this earth. The Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Study of the Faith (rev. The Spirit…touches us. and anew exceed its own boundaries.‖48 But the prophets remind us that concern with salvation and promise to the exclusion of creation leads to myopia.49 The danger of restricting the Holy Spirit to space and time is most real. They are not only the ones who return from the diaspora. 48 49 Thomas M. a work which in this present world will not be completed. from the exclusive center which is Christ. 99 This tension will be finally resolved by ―judgment.47 The Holy Spirit breaks through this tension. 52 Hendrikus Berkhof (The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit [Richmond: John Knox. Hendrikus Berkhof portrays the Spirit‘s work as an ever-widening operation in space and time: the work of the Spirit is to be characterized as an event that participates and intervenes in history in an entirely new way…. so that whatever he accomplishes here points beyond itself and must always. the new community. cxxiv.. 19641) discusses the eschatological context of the Holy Spirit under four propositions: (1) Christ. the people of God find security in their God (2:32. as he involves all who walk in him in the progression ―toward victorious triumph and consummation. Raitt. Ibid. 1 Thess 1:10). and the eschaton. the principle of tota Scriptura (OT and NT) sustains the correlation of the Spirit in the totality of restoration. 1986). A Theology of Exile: judgment/Deliverance in Jeremiah and Ezekiel (Philadelphia: Fortress. but instead they consist of all who are loyal and responsive to Yahweh. Participation means that the Spirit. but through the universal range of the Spirit the Church is catholicised or universalised and made to reach out to the fullness of Him who fills all in all. The NT reveals an interdependence between Christ.51 WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. (2) the consummation begins in the work of the Spirit. transforms us. and hence of the Spirit of God.Página 14 de 17 https://www.galaxie. 1986) 333. 51 Hendrikus Berkhof. a restriction of God‘s freedom. The Subversion of Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. cxxv. Thus the range of the Communion of the Spirit cannot be limited and bound to the Church. cf. (3) the Holy . ed.50 Christianity faces the dilemma of church and the world and time and eternity by the very nature of her spiritual calling in a physical world.. the Spirit. the Holy Spirit. and the consummation belong together. MT 3:5. cf. In conclusion. so that the boundaries of the Church must ever be open toward all men outside and toward the full consummation of the purposes of God for all things. and enlists us for service in his ongoing work. constantly draws new circles in time and space…. 3:1–16). 50 Jacques Ellul. They are ―the survivors‖ (v 32). 1977) 215–22. The ―survivors‖ call on the name of the Lord (an expression of loyalty. but the whole of creation shares in it.‖ The omens of Joel 2:30–31 point to the certainty of God‘s judgment (2:10–11. But.52 This correlation grows out of the OT prophetic 47 Ibid.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 The Church does not possess the mystery in and for itself It shares in it. 2:12–17).

100 Conclusion The Holy Spirit is Guarantor and Reconciler. Ezek 36:27. Ridderbos observes.‖ for ―the redemption of our bodies‖ (Rom 8:24). However. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 12:10(?). with Gal 5:5–6. 53 Isa 11:2. In spite of these points of tension. it is a serious mistake to limit the work of the Holy Spirit to the individual. The apostle Paul explains that in the Spirit we wait with eager anticipation for ―our adoption as sons. the powers of this world and the rule of God‘s Messiah. 37:14–39:29. gives life and peace (John 14:15–19. and beyond ethics to the eschaton. he guarantees and applies the words of blessing to all of God‘s children. and love by the operation of the. and assures the adoption to sonship (Rom 8:14–17.. See Raitt. But hope that is seen is not hope at all. The Holy Spirit pushes us not to be content with the present experience of the Christian life. Hence the spirit is also the sign of the everlasting covenant which Yahweh has made with Israel. Isa 32:15–17. or to the church. God sovereignly establishes his kingdom on earth by the Messiah and by his Spirit. predict the Spirit‘s involvement in the restoration. This means that Christian living is nothing but persistence in faith. He points beyond the renewal of life. and the Spirit of restoration and the powers of destruction. and as the spirit of judgment and destruction it prepares the redeemed in Israel for the visible dwelling of God among them. 39:21. A Theology of Exile. 23). ―The Holy Spirit as pledge and Spirit creates a longing for the consummation. 26–27). to Christian ministry.53 It fosters the tension between this age and the age to come. 42:1. These promises are ours in the Spirit. He brings them comfort. 175-84. the material and the spiritual. Blessing for those who call on the name of Jesus and judgment on those who deny him (John 16:8–11). 62. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is coextensive with the building of the kingdom of God and with progress of restoration. the OT prophets. Eichrodt. hope. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope…. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have. For in this hope we were saved. Theology 2. Compare Rom 8:24–25.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 message which projects a new age externalized by the Messiah of God and internalized by the Spirit of God.54 like Joel. and (4) the Holy Spirit is the content of the consummation. Israel and the church. On the one hand. 44:3. because the fulfillment of the promises is not ours as yet.galaxie. 61:1. as summarized by Eichrodt. The Spirit of God is the agent of judgment and blessing.Página 15 de 17 https://www. counsels. He is ―the firstfruits‖ of our inheritance (Rom 8:23) and the ―seal‖ (Eph 1:13) of our redemption. Spirit. Zech 4:6. we wait for it patiently.55 WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. The NT teaching on the Spirit is fully consistent with that of the OT. 54 55 . beyond ministry. 28:5.

” Reformed Review 19/2 (1965) 3–12. The Spirit is not the final manifestation of Christ. . as Holwerda writes. “Eschatology and the Holy Spirit.Página 16 de 17 https://www. 1959) 65.‖59 His work consists of presenting the exalted Christ through the apostolic witness and of applying the present benefits of the exalted Christ. I Believe in the Holy Spirit (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. “The Eschatology of Luke.” that is. including a quotation from Barrett’s The Gospel according to St. The Holy Spirit and Eschatology in the Gospel of John: A Critique of Rudolf Bultmann’s Present Eschatology (Kampen: Kok. 85. Oudersluys. E. 1947).62 while at the same time giving hope for what Holwerda calls ―the interim between Easter and the Parousia.‖61 Thus. The Holy Spirit and the Gospel Tradition (London: S. the Lord in heaven gives his people a taste of heaven on earth in the progress of salvation history. John (London: S.” ET 59 (1947/48) 302–5. The Centrality of the Resurrection: A Study in Paul’s Soteriology (Grand Rapids: Baker. John gives us in his Gospel an eschatological emphasis. C. 58 See Rudolf Schnackenburg.C..” BTB 12 (1982) 73–76.C.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 firstfruits: Both designations firmly establish the correlation between the present and the future. Jr. Mohr. Richard C. 59 David Earl Holwerda. Cf.60 The ―interval‖ between Christ‘s coming and parousia is the object of John‘s concern. This interval is eschatologically a continuation of the present kingdom manifested in the earthly ministry of Jesus. The eschatology of the Spirit is related to the centrality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as an eschatological event in the history WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p.. Richard B. Barrett. Geburtstag (eds. K. Festschrift für Werner Georg Kümmel zum 80. is wrought out. 1956) 74.57 The Holy Spirit guarantees the eschaton. “Die lukanische Eschatologie im Lichte von Aussagen der Apostelgeschichte. See also Barnabas Lindars.K. prepares. 1978) 90. “The Sound of the Trumpet: Paul and Eschatology. as he sustains. Holwerda concludes that the Spirit continues the work of Christ ―as the replacement for Jesus on earth…of teaching and revealing.. 19721 14) calls the resurrection/exaltation motif “the vertical dimension.‖63 The 56 Ridderbos. 61 Ibid. C. and renews the church. initiated in his ministry and awaiting its termination at his return. Earle Ellis (Eschatology in Luke [Philadelphia: Fortress. Paul.” BJRL 67 (1985) 766–82. Gaffin.. idem..‖56 In a similar vein. of witnessing and convicting…in complete unity with the exalted Jesus. 57 Richard B. 1985) 249–65. 1975).K. Tübingen: J. Grasser & Otto Merk. 62 Cf. E. 101 of redemption. B. Michael Green.galaxie. Leopold Sabourin. but he is ―the eschatological continuum in which the work of Christ.P. “The Place of Eschatology in the Fourth Gospel. 60 Ibid. Gaffin argues that the work of the Holy Spirit has an eschatological dimension. 66.58 The present operation of the Holy Spirit comes to clear expression in the Gospel of John. 1 14.P.” Glaube und Eschatologie.

1976 *Oxford: Clarendon Press. Mississippi 392091 63 Holwerda. cf G. 1988 (1) (80–102). Vol.‖65 Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson. 1 . 50: Westminster Theological Journal Volume 50. 102 64 Spirit is Jesus‘ guarantee to his church by which he reminds his sheep of ―the victory that has been won and the anticipation of the victory that still must come. 133. W.galaxie..” 65 Holwerda. The Church cannot be an Ark of salvation. Eschatology. H.. it must be related to the Spirit’s creative purpose for the world itself. Lampe (God as Spirit: The Bampton Lectures.. 133. we cannot suppose that the sphere of the Spirit’s creative action is a community redeemed out of this world. Philadelphia: Westminster Theological Seminary. “If creation and salvation are one continuous process. . Eschatology.Página 17 de 17 https://www. 1977+.com/article/wtj50-1-04 /28/ago 2013 WTJ 50:1 (Spring 1988) p. 64 The church is always to be dependent on the Spirit.

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