126. The Older Testament’s predictions of Pentecost Sunday
Rev. Dr. James Buchanan was sometime Professor of Systematic Theology at the Free Church College in Scotland’s Edinburgh. In his famous book The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit, he states:799 "There are many passages in the Old Testament (Psalm 35 & 102:13-22) which are beautifully descriptive of the Spirit-ual revivals which occurred from time to time under the Jewish dispensation."
We should consider also those Older Testament passages which actually predict the much greater "Spirit-ual revivals" which would start on the Newer Testament’s first Pentecost Sunday after Calvary. For it was then that the ‘Pentecost predictions’ of Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, Hosea, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah (etc.) — and especially Joel — were all fulfilled.
127. The fullness of the Spirit from Malachi to Calvary
In New Testament times, yet still before Calvary — as predicted by the Prophet Malachi800 — John the Baptizer the Second Elijah was "filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb."801 Nevertheless, even after his then going forth before Jesus "in the Spirit and power of Elijah"802 — John (for a while) later doubted his own faith in Christ,803 before re-repenting again.
Also the prenatal John the Baptizer’s pregnant mother "Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit" — when she became aware of the then-proximity of the only-just-conceived Saviour Jesus Christ.804 And after the Spirit-conceived birth of the Lord Jesus,805 we are told that "the Holy Ghost was upon" the prophesying Simeon.806
Thereafter, the divinely-unique and humanly-sinless child Jesus Himself "grew and waxed strong in Spirit" and "increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man."807 Too, when about thirty years of age, after the Holy Spirit descended on Him at His water-baptism808 — He was "full of the Holy Ghost" and "returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee."809
128. John the Baptizer filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb The Newer Testament, then, would start when John the Baptizer "would be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb." Thereafter, he "would go out ahead of Jesus — in the Spirit and power of Elijah." Luke 1:15-17. Comments Calvin regarding John the Baptizer:810 "The power and grace of the Spirit will appear in him not only when he shall enter upon his public employment, but even from the womb he shall excel in the gifts of the Spirit…. The power of the Spirit, I acknowledge, did operate in John while he was yet in his mother’s womb…. John, even when a child, would be…accompanied by extraordinary commendation of the grace of God…and very uncommon abundance of the gifts of the Spirit….
"To Christ alone the Spirit was given ‘without measure’ (John 3:34), so that we may draw ‘out of His fullness’ (John 1:16); while to others it is distributed according to a fixed measure (First Corinthians 12:11 & Ephesians 4:7). But those who are more plentifully endued with
grace beyond the ordinary capacity, are said to be full of the Holy Ghost…. The more plentiful influence of the Spirit was, in John, an extraordinary gift of God….
"Let us learn by this example that, from the earliest infancy to the latest old age, the operation of the Spirit in men is free!… For when the Lord bestows so great praise on the outward doctrine, He does not separate it from the secret influence of His Spirit. As God chooses men to be His Ministers whose services He employs for the edification of His Church, He at the same time operates by them through the secret influence of His Spirit — so that their labours may be efficacious and fruitful.