I.C.4 Pentecostal Sanctification at the Fulcrum

Part I – 


Article 4 – Pentecostal Sanctification at the Fulcrum   

By Daniel Irving

 a.  Joel’s Prophetic Sequencing of Pentecost as Consistent with the Lamp-Stand Model

b.  The Lamp-Stand’s Mid-Level Intersection as Depicting Pentecostal Sanctification

c.  Type Found in Ruth and Naomi

Ruth 08


a.  Joel’s Prophetic Sequencing of Pentecost as Consistent with the Lamp-Stand Model

Joel is the prophet most associated with the redemptive principle of Pentecost given the quotation from chapter two of his prophecy by the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost.  While Peter’s quotation certainly establishes for us that Joel 2:28-32 is speaking of Pentecost, we might miss that the broader prophecy of Joel itself speaks to Pentecost in terms of its context in God’s work.[1]  The prophecy of Joel situates the Holy Spirit’s outpouring as occurring subsequent to a particular event.Fire Sky 07

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh.   Joel 2:28 (KJV)

“Afterward” is used in reference to the land having been restored of its vitality through repentance.  The land spoken of is Israel as a metaphor for the body of Christ.  Therefore Joel provides a prophetic sequencing of Pentecost depicting the feast as coming subsequent to the body of Christ entering upon repentance through the agency of the Holy Ghost.

But this scenario might appear logically backward.  If Pentecost constitutes the initial reception of the Holy Ghost forming the body of Christ, then how is it logical that there exists a body of Christ to repent if said body has yet to have been created through the Spirit’s outpouring?  But the prophecy of Joel is clear that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurs subsequent to the repentance of the Church.

This paradox is resolved if we alter the present view of Pentecost which equates it to the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  Rather than viewing Pentecost as a principle equivalent to the baptism of the Holy Ghost we might consider whether Pentecost is actually a broader principle incorporating the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  By so doing a number of theological dilemmas are rectified.[2]  Classical Pentecostal doctrine teaches that the Holy Spirit’s initial reception occurs via the baptism of the Holy Ghost and is made possible by initial regeneration which itself is a product of His witness, ie. the Witness of the Holy Ghost.  Relational DiagramThis view of Pentecost in which the principle is broadened so as to incorporate all aspects of the Holy Spirit’s work, from justification, through sanctification, and on to resurrection is clearly depicted in the Lamp-Stand model by means of the three successive tiers intersecting along the central shaft referred to in this treatise as the fulcrum; as the agency of God in forming the Church into the image of Christ through means of the cross.  This agency is the Holy Spirit.

The fulcrum-model of Pentecost brings Pentecost into harmony with the sequencing of Joel’s prophecy which points to a repentance occurring within the body of Christ prior to the outpouring of God’s Spirit.  That prophecy commences from a standpoint of ruination in the land expressed in the first chapter’s metaphorical language as; drunkenness (v.5), the rising up of an enemy against the land (v.6), the drying up of the yearly crops of wine, wheat, barley, and the fruits of the land (v.7-12), a distressed condition of the herds (v.18), fire that has consumed the trees (v.19), and a distressed condition of the wild beasts (v.20).  These stand metaphor for the ruined spiritual estate of the body of Christ caused by the influences upon it of the unbelieving world.  What is the answer for this abject condition of the church?  Repentance!  With repentance God is able to render judgment in favor of the body of Christ leading to the bringing forth of fruit (v.22), the pouring forth of the early and latter rains (v.23), the abundance of grain to eat (v.24-26), and the realization that the Lord; “is in the midst of Israel” (v.27).  Therefore, Pentecost is the pouring forth of God’s Spirit upon all flesh that we find expressed in the final verses of Joel chapter two. This is made efficacious via a work of preparation in the body of Christ which itself receives the outpouring from God.

b.  The Mid-Level Intersection of the Lamp-Stand as Depicting Pentecostal Sanctification

Therefore despite the fact that one has received Pentecost in terms of the baptism of the Holy Ghost this would not exclude further experiences (ie. events) of the Pentecostal outpouring of God’s Spirit.  Indeed, we find that the Lamp-Stand’s fulcrum (representative of Pentecost) has yet a higher point of intersecting branches; a second intersection between the witnesses of heaven and earth which depict the operation of sanctification.

If the model is correct, there is no inconsistency in God’s promise that He will pour out His Spirit upon the Church and the Church already having formerly received its Pentecost.  For if we will “hear His voice” and “harden not our hearts”, we can then become proper vessels for the life and work of His Spirit all over again!  This is reflected in the proverb:

Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you I will make known my words unto you.                Prov. 1:23

And this must happen first in the house of God before it can be realized for those outside of Christ that have as yet to know the things of God.

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.       I Pet 4:17

 Had those to whom Peter wrote received the baptism of the Holy Ghost?  They certainly had; and having the baptism they contemplated a judgment that would come upon them and for which they must prepare.  The true and faithful testimony of the Church is that testimony given by John the Baptist.  He was not ambiguous when it came to expressing what would be the effect of the coming of Jesus Christ in His work as baptizer in the Holy Ghost:

“As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  & His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, & to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”               Luke 3:16-17

c.  Type Found in Ruth and Naomi

The story of Ruth provides a type for this glorious cycle of the coming of God’s people unto Himself for justification and thence again for sanctification.   We read that . . .Ruth 02

 Naomi returned, & with her, Ruth the Moabitess; Her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land of Moab.  & they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.                                                                                      Ruth 1:22

 While it is said of Naomi, that she “returned”, the same cannot be said concerning Ruth.  Ruth was not returning from a sojourn away from Israel.  Rather she was a newcomer to the faith of Abraham.  While Naomi represents the return of the remnant, Ruth represents those hearing and believing for the first time.  For Ruth, the bread received in Bethlehem was evangelistically justifying.  The apostle Paul writes:

Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, & strangers to the covenant of promise, having no hope & without God in the world.                Eph. 2:12

The Ephesian believers received Pentecost as their induction into the commonwealth of Israel that is the body of Christ. – an orientation for which Ruth stands metaphor.  She is from the land of Moab, an outsider to the commonwealth of Israel.  She stood – as Paul says – “without God in the world”.  However, this changes when she comes to Bethlehem during barley harvest.  Paul continues:

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one,  & broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in the ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace..         Eph. 2:14-15

Therefore the two sheep folds of which Christ spoke gathers meaning:

And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, & they shall hear My voice; & they shall become one flock with one shepherd.                                                                                      John 10:16

Together they represent the “commonwealth of Israel”, a mixture of the stranger with the estranged; the believing with the repentant.  These are grafted together into the olive tree and made one body.

Naomi represents Israel, having the seal of promise.  Ruth represents the believing nations as beneficiaries of Israel’s sanctification ready to be grafted into the nation.  Naomi represents the believer in Christ, for a time separated from the promises and being brought back into communion with Christ via the Spirit’s seal within her.
Ruth 07Ruth represents the next generation of believer in Christ, about to receive the seal of the Spirit.  For Naomi, this is a very real, soul-changing work wherein Christ’s sacrifice for sin breaks the yoke of the law and the law’s power to separate us from God.  Naomi has received the release of her conscience from sin and death.  Prior to this she would only allow herself to be called “Mara”, meaning “bitter”.  Recall that she lost her husband and her two sons while sojourning in the country of Moab:

So they two went until they came to Bethlehem.  & it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, & they said, “Is this Naomi?”  & she said unto them, “Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.  I went out full, & the LORD has brought me home again empty:   why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD has testified against me, & the Almighty has afflicted me?                  Ruth 1:19-21

But Naomi finds her consolation to be great in the new work of God symbolized in the wheat harvest.  Ruth 08Naomi had profound knowledge of the power of Christ to justify both her and Ruth with her!  Ruth could then believe and profess this faith, and receive, and that, apart from any worthiness of her own.  Ruth is now receiving the promises; promises coming into effectuation for Naomi.  Ruth had been an alien to the promises of Christ; but in following a grieved Naomi back to her homeland, she found her own life to be Christ.  They both found salvation.  Ruth entered upon faith in the blood of Jesus Christ to justify; Naomi entered upon the effectuation of the blood to justify by that same faith.

Therefore, once Israel has heard the voice of God, returned to Him at His reproof, and has experienced anew the work of the Holy Spirit performed at the foot of the cross, only then, at this time, even “today” God says; “I will pour out My Spirit”.  And when Pentecost revives the church in sanctification, the groundwork is laid for Pentecost to be extended as a principle accommodating even the nations who have remained in the dark concerning God’s work.  Thus Pentecost occupies not only the principle of the Spirit’s baptism, but the restoration unto God of those once baptized into Christ at the place of the cross.[3]

[1] See a article II.H.1 Contextual Study of Joel’s Army which studies Joel’s prophecy contextually to itself.  This provides an overview of Joe’s prophecy that is helpful in ascertaining the meaning and placement of Pentecost in terms of sanctification.

[2] Not the least of which being the longstanding nineteenth-century controversy pitting evangelicalism against Wesleyan Methodism or the longstanding divide between Second-Work and Finished Work Pentecostals.  See previous articles for treatment of those topics.

[3] See this treatise Part II, Subpart C, Article 1; Fulcrum Identified as the Cross of Jesus Christ for more in depth treatment of this principle.


About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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