next peak on this skyline which is the Divine Horizon is
Pentecost. What a link in the mountain-chain setting for the
significance of Christ "Pentecost" is! It is necessary
to hold strongly in mind the fact that Pentecost stands very
closely related to the whole Horizon, and is not something in
itself. We must see that
Pentecost is the Absolute
Corollary of the Resurrection and Exaltation of Christ
though these may have been, and wonderful truths, yet, apart from
Pentecost, they would be objective and in Heaven. Pentecost means
that all the meaning of those realities is brought down here to
be experienced in individual believers and the Church. What
Christ risen and glorified meant became the dynamic of the Church
by Pentecost. The advent of the Holy Spirit made all that
concerning Him the immediate Horizon of the Church.
1. It was the Dynamic of
is not difficult to see how the horizon of the Church expanded
with and from Pentecost. Dynamic is the right word. Dynamite
might even be better, for it was by sheer force that the
limitations collapsed. All the narrower horizons of nationality,
racialism, geography, and religious exclusiveness began to fall,
or had their continuance doomed by Pentecost.
is greater than all these, and the Holy Spirit will not
countenance or tolerate anything that makes Him smaller than He
is. Give the Holy Spirit a chance and see what He will do with
limitations placed upon Christ. Resist Him, and He will move on
and leave you to your littleness.
we resort to expedients to make the Church missionary, or to
stimulate missionary interest or zeal, we begin at the wrong end.
Time and energy will be unnecessarily wasted. Let Christ,
crucified, risen, and exalted come in the power of the Holy
Spirit and the result will be that everything will expand to the
dimensions of Christ.
Pentecost it was the local - Jerusalem.
Pentecost it was universal - "the uttermost parts".
is a reversing of Pentecost when the course changes from the
universal to the local unless it is to bring the local into the
2. It was the Dynamic of Christ's
of the Holy Spirit are fire, wind, water. All these speak of
cleansing. Fire was especially characteristic of Pentecost. So
much has been made of the zeal, power, and wonder of Pentecost
that it has been overlooked that fiery judgment of sin was very
present. The Holy Spirit through Peter brought home to men's
consciences guilt and responsibility for the death of Christ.
death of Christ was in no sense a merely local matter. It related
to universal sin. It was "the sin of the world" that
"the Lamb of God" bore away. In Jerusalem on the day of
Pentecost, the world was represented, just as Jew and Gentile
were officially represented at Calvary. Responsibility for Christ
was laid at the doors of the whole world on that day. Jesus had
said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict the world of
sin and judgment because of its attitude toward Himself. So, all
men were, and are, charged with sin and judgment until they
'repent' and thus confess. This is exactly what happened under
the power of the Spirit at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit brought
Christ as universal holiness, the bearer of, and cleanser from,
sin to be the only horizon of salvation. The prophet Malachi had
prophesied that "the Messenger of the Covenant" would "sit
as a refiner... and purify the sons of Levi" (3:1-3). There
is no salvation without the sense of sin.
the 'Revelation' the sins of the churches are judged by Him
"whose eyes are as a flame of fire", and this is
related to "the seven spirits of God", i.e., the Holy
Spirit in spiritual fulness and perfection.
least spiritual church of Paul's letters was Corinth; it was the
most carnal, and the emphasis is on holiness, and judgment upon
is separation unto God. It is that which is suitable for
fellowship with God. Christ in His holiness is the Horizon of
union with God, and this is effected by the Holy Spirit.
3. Pentecost is the Dynamic of
were all filled". But remember, this was a testimony to
Christ, for the Holy Spirit ever and always works in relation to
Christ. It is Christ - God's Son - who is to "fill all
things". To be filled with - or by - the Spirit is to be
filled with Christ. Do not make the Holy Spirit or 'Pentecost'
the beginning and the end. Do not make the Holy Spirit a
fenced-round and separate Object. His work is to fill all things
this end the ascended Lord by the Holy Spirit, gave gifts among
men. "He gave some apostles" whose chief function was
related to the expansiveness and universal dimensions of Christ.
He gave "...some, pastors and teachers", whose function
related to the intensiveness of Christ; His increase
universal features of Pentecost are not difficult to see; indeed,
they are difficult to miss. Read the account again with this
thought in mind and the whole event will be seen to be dominated
by it. Pentecost makes Christ the Horizon of salvation,
sanctification, expansion, and consummation.
the present, all that is left to point out is
The Horizon of His Coming
is not a treatise on the 'Second Coming', but just an emphasis
upon this inclusive meaning.
'Coming Again' of the Lord Jesus is the consummation of the cycle
of His whole mission. There is a very real sense in which
Christ's return horizons everything related to Him.
is surely shown in the fact (which may surprise some people) that
the 'coming again' of Christ is referred to in the Scriptures
more times than any other matter. In type, figure, symbol,
analogue, parable, song, metaphor, prophecy, narrative, doctrine,
exhortation, warning, and appeal, this matter takes pre-eminence.
the first intimation in Eden of the final bruising of Satan, to
the full and ultimate accomplishment in the 'Revelation', His
coming a second time is implicit in all the Scriptures. This, of
course, is true of His first coming and His Cross, but they are
gathered into the 'coming again' to find their justification and
vindication there. Every fundamental doctrine is bound up with
the 'coming again': redemption, sanctification, conduct and walk,
suffering, glory. In the 'coming again', redemption will be
completed and the Cross vindicated.
His coming all the doctrine concerning the Church will find its
completion and realization. The Elect Body will be exalted to
function in joint-rulership with Christ over the world. The
present world-rule of Satan will be overthrown and replaced by
this Church chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world
for this "eternal purpose". The earth will be delivered
from the bondage of corruption; the bodies of believers will be
released from the law of corruption.
'Blessed Hope' is the Horizon of the suffering and the
storm-beaten Church. It has been so from the beginning.
Horizon of believers is not what is happening, or is going to
happen on the earth, but His coming, which is as certain as the
He cometh, and the earth rejoices,
Glad in His coming who hath sworn, I come.
Yea thro' life, death, thro' sorrow and thro' sinning,
He shall suffice me, for He hath sufficed:
Christ is the end, for Christ was the beginning,
Christ the beginning, for the end
(F. W. H. M.)