Published 22nd September 2018

By John Aldworth

John 16:8: And when He (the Comforter) is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement.

            John 16: 4: He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of mine and, and shall shew it to you.

Matthew 12:28: But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Matthew 12: 18-21: Behold my servant, who I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall shew judgement unto the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry: Neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgement unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles (nations) trust.

I must confess that until quite recently I never thought of the Day of Christ, the next great event in God’s programme to save mankind, as the ‘Second Coming of the Holy Ghost’ but undoubtedly in large part that is what it will be. Happily, my eyes were opened to this aspect of truth by reading ‘A Neglected Prophecy’, a study by Otis Q. Sellers of Matt. 12:18-21. In this study, completed before his death and published in his book ‘Seed and Bread, Vol. 1’, Mr Sellers says of the words, ‘I will put my Spirit upon Him’, that the Spirit will be the ‘complete equipment’ for the task the ‘Servant’ of the passage, who  of course is Christ, will perform. He comments:

He will invade the earth by his Spirit, conquer the earth by his Spirit, and set up his own order upon it by his Spirit.

Many in Christendom hold that Christ has already invaded the world by his Spirit in that He poured out his Spirit on his disciples on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) nearly 2,000 years ago. Furthermore they claim that even today his Spirit ‘reproves the world of sin’ (John 16:8), and that it is through such conviction of sin that people are saved. But they are wrong. Such a notion flatly contradicts the Apostle Paul’s clear teaching in Eph. 2: 1-5 that today, though completely dead in sin, we are saved by God ‘quickening’ us (that is, making us alive to Him) through grace – with no conviction of sin necessarily required 9although this undoubtedly follows in those that belieive.

Fact is the world today is not convicted of sin at all; indeed it wallows in ever deeper wickedness. In no way is the world ‘convicted’ to be ‘righteous’ and thus do good and not evil.  As to ‘judgement’, which in Bible terms means treating all people in fairness and equity, forget it. The rich simply get richer and the poor are left to rot. An Oxfam survey found that in 2017 40 per cent of the world’s wealth was controlled by just 64 individuals. Now that’s not justice or equity in anybody’s book.

Yet Jesus said that when the Comforter is come He will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement, and his words are true and, therefore, must and will be fulfilled. The big question then is when does the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, come? From what has already been said it is plain He is not now convicting the world of sin. That is yet to happen. And so is the bringing in of righteousness and true judgement, as promised in both Matt. 12:18-21 and John 16:8. And, despite the many who think so, Christ, whose Spirit is the Holy Ghost, did not fulfil Matthew 12:18-21 (which repeats the prophecy of Isaiah 42:1-4) during the ‘days of his flesh’ upon earth. In fact in his earthly ministry Jesus both ‘strove’ and ‘cried out’ in the street, contrary to the terms of the Isaiah prophecy. He disputed strongly with the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders and clearly ‘cried out’ publicly as recorded in John 7:37, for example.

Nor will Christ fulfil such conditions of the Isaiah prophecy at what is commonly called his ‘Second Coming’. Far from not striving and not raising his voice at his personal, physical return to earth, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 insists ‘… the Lord will descend with a shout, with the voice of an archangel and with the trump of God. Noisy, to say the least. Furthermore at his ‘Second Coming’ the Lord, far from not breaking reeds and not quenching smoking flax, will ‘in flaming fire (be) taking vengeance on those that know not God...’. He will also raise his voice to ‘… consume with the Spirit of his mouth and the brightness of his coming…’ that ‘Wicked’ (one) (2 Thess. 2:8). 

If fulfilment of Matt. 12:18-21 and John 16:8 did not occur while Jesus was on earth and will not happen at his return to earth to bring in his millennial reign, then perhaps they were fulfilled in the Pentecostal administration after the out pouring of the Holy Ghost in Acts 2. At least that is what some think. But, again, they are wrong. True, Christ did pour out his Spirit on the Day of Pentecost but He did not at that time ‘… shew judgement unto the Gentiles (nations). Nor did He ‘…send forth judgement unto victory’. And certainly no Gentile nation, as such, has put trust in Jesus either then or now.

In any case the Holy Ghost’s miraculous ministry in the 33-year Acts period came to an abrupt end when God suddenly brought in the dispensation of grace (Eph. 3:1-4). The Apostle Paul could no longer heal (2 Tim. 4:20), speaking in other people’s tongues by supernatural means ceased, as did prophecies, miracles and ‘signs following’ (1 Cor. 13:8). Despite all claims to the contrary, there are no authentic resurrections, limb restorations or speaking supernaturally in unlearned real human languages today.

However, in the Acts period great wonders, miracles, resurrections and healings took place. ‘The Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following’ (Mark 16:20). ‘The Lord’ then and the ‘Holy Ghost’ are really terms describing the same person, i.e. Christ. Indeed the ‘Holy Ghost’ is just that, the ‘Ghost’ or Spirit of Jesus Christ. That being so, it is proper to describe that time when God will establish his government over the world by unveiling Jesus Christ in all his glory so that all people see it (Isaiah 40:5, Titus 2:13, Col. 3:1-4) as the ’Second Coming of the Holy Ghost’.

As Mr Sellers points out, the word ‘appearing’ found in Titus 2:13 and Col. 3:1-4 is far too weak to properly translate the Lord’s epiphanea, which really means a blazing forth of his glory. This is the ‘lightning’ the Lord spoke of in Matt. 24:27 and Luke 17:24 - not the lightning of the thunderstorm - but the ‘enlightening’ of the world with his own glory as foretold in Psalm 97:4. This blazing forth of Christ’s glory is the ‘blessed hope’ every believer should hold dear.

Support for the fact that it is at this ‘appearing’, or blazing forth of God’s glory, that Christ sends forth the Holy Ghost, thus making it the ‘Second Coming of the Holy Ghost’, is found in the fact that two separate words for ‘his coming’ are used in Matt. 24. In verses 30, and 48 (also in Matt. 26:64 and 16:28) Strong’s number 2064 erchomai (meaning to come and go) is employed, thus teaching that while Christ at his appearing will blaze forth his glory so ‘that all will see Him’ (vs. 30), He will subsequently govern from his throne in heaven (Acts 3:21, Psalms 66:1 and 103:19 and Acts 7:49) during this ‘day of the Son of Man’.

In sharp contrast in Matt. 24:3 and, 37 and 39 the word ‘coming’ translates the Greek word parousia (Strong’s 3952) which means, not just a person’s arrival, but his staying to perform an ongoing official function. Thus parousia describes the Lord’s coming in the Day of the Lord to take vengeance on disbelievers, to destroy the ‘man of sin’ and to inaugurate his millennial earthly reign described in Revelation. However, it must be noted that the Day of the Lord and Christ’s personal reign on earth takes place only after the centuries-long span of the ‘day of the Son of Man’, elsewhere termed ‘his kingdom’ (2 Tim. 4:1) and the ‘day of Christ’ seven times in Paul’s epistles, which comes first.

The ‘Day of Christ’ can be rightfully termed the “Second Coming of the Holy Ghost’ because Christ, while remaining seated ‘at the Father’s right hand in heaven’ will direct his great clean up and blessing of mankind by expressing Himself through his Spirit in far more power and blessing than that experienced even in the Acts period. It will be a case of ‘not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord’. In other words He will send his Spirit.

There is a precious promise of this in Isaiah 32:15. The prophet speaks of Israel’s land and cities being ‘forsaken’ … ‘until the Spirit be poured out on us from on high’. There was, of course, a partial fulfilment of this on the Day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured out on 120 of the Lord’s disciples (Acts 2:1-4). However, this was but a small part of what the Spirit will do in the Day of Christ. This is made plain in Hebrews 6:4-5 where the Apostle Paul speaks of those who ‘tasted’ the heavenly gift, were made partakers of the Holy Ghost and tasted the ‘powers of the world to come’. At Pentecost they only got a taste but in the Day of Christ, which is the ‘world to come’ they will get a four-course meal. And the enlightening, heart changing, God revealing outpouring will not be for a few. It will be poured out ‘on all flesh’.

Right now the glory of our ‘great God and Saviour Jesus Christ’ is hidden (Col. 3:1-4). But ‘in his day’ He will be unveiled in all His glory as Creator and Redeemer. Isaiah 40:5: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it’. Indeed, the ‘earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Hab. 2:14). And this will be achieved by his Spirit which, if we belieive what He has said, is actually Himself. Thus in John 14: 18, speaking of the coming of the Comforter, the Lord said: "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you'.

The end