Let’s jump right into this article by looking at another text which teaches that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, was the definitive post-resurrection sign to Israel that her Messianic restoration was being fulfilled in the first century.
“But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you, ‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; and you Jeshurun whom I have chosen. ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty (land) and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants; and they will spring up among the grass like poplars by streams of water.’ “This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s; and that one will call on the name of Jacob; and another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord,’ and will name Israel’s name with honor.
Notice that the pouring out of the Spirit upon Israel was connected to and necessary for the pouring out of the “blessing” (restoration) upon Israel. The Spirit poured upon Israel, would cause them to “spring up” as trees spring up when planted by streams of water. Also notice the Hebrew parallelism. Both lines mean the same thing, expressed in different ways.
“I will pour out water on the thirsty (land) and streams on the dry ground”
“I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants”
To pour water on the thirsty and streams on the dry ground, was to pour out the Spirit on the offspring and blessing on the descendants. Also, the word “land” in verse 43 is in italics, and is therefore not in the original text. It literally reads, “I will pour out water on the thirsty…”. For Isaiah, the water was the Spirit, and the thirsty was Israel.
Now, according to the apostle John’s interpretation of Jesus’ words in John 7, Isaiah 44 would find its ultimate fulfillment on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit would be poured out like water upon the faithful remnant of Israel. There is also an allusion to Jesus’ words in Mathew 5:6, when he promised that those who would hunger and thirst after righteousness would be filled.
Let’s look at John 7.
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”.
Notice the parallels of:
1. The thirsty
2. The flowing/pouring out of water
3. The receiving of the Spirit
“I will pour out water on the thirsty… I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring” (Isaiah 44:3)
“If anyone is thirsty…. From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water… This He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive…” (John 7:37-40)
John clearly interpreted the pouring out of the Spirit upon the “thirsty” of Israel on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), to be the fulfilment of the pouring out of the Spirit upon the “thirsty” offspring of Israel, which would bring them restoration and blessing (Isaiah 44). Here is the argument and implication in syllogistic form:
Israel would be restored when the Spirit was poured out like water upon the thirsty offspring of Israel (Isaiah 44).
But, the Spirit was poured out as living water upon the thirsty offspring of Israel on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).
Therefore, Israel was being restored on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out as living water on the thirst offspring of Israel in fulfilment of their Old Covenant restoration-promises.
This is once again definitive proof that Israel’s Messianic restoration was taking place in the first century, as the remnant who was “thirsty for righteousness” was entering the Body (the Church) of Jesus Christ through the New Covenant.
But that is not it, not by a long shot. John’s word’s in chapter 7 and by implication the events of Pentecost, also fulfil at least one other Old Testament prophesy of the restoration of Israel through the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Here it is.
And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.
According to Zechariah, “living waters” would flow out of Jerusalem.
But according John 7, Jesus interpreted the “living waters” to be the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, which would begin to flow on the day of Pentecost.
Therefore, living (life giving) waters began to flow from Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon Israel.
Also notice that Zechariah says that in the day when living waters would flow from Jerusalem, the Lord (Jesus) would be “king over all the earth”. Peter and Paul specifically say that the ascension was when Jesus was recognized as “king over all the earth” – Acts 2:34-36, Psalm 110:1-2 and Acts 13:32-39, Psalm 2:6-7.
Apostle Paul helps us to understand how living waters could flow from Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost in fulfilment of Zechariah 14:8. In Galatians 4, Paul says that the New Jerusalem represents the New Covenant, and is the dwelling of the sons who are born into that New Covenant (Galatians 4:22-26). The writer of Hebrews echoes this truth when he writes to the Church, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…” (Hebrews 12:22). The Church had come to New Jerusalem by joining themselves to the Lord under the New Covenant.
So, we see that Zechariah 14:8-9 began to find fulfilment on the day of Pentecost when the power and manifestation of the Holy Spirit began to flow as living water from New Jerusalem through the sons of the New Covenant. And according to Ezekiel, the Spirit (the living water) is what began to give new life to the nation of Israel.
“I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life…” (Ezekiel 37:14)
Therefore, in fulfilment of Zechariah 14, when living water began to flow from New Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, the Lord began to “pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication”, and they began to look upon Jesus (for salvation) whom they pierced. (Zechariah 12:10 – also see John 19:31-37, Hebrews 12:1-2)
At that time (Pentecost), a fountain (of living water) was “opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity”.
(Zechariah 13:1 – also see Acts 2:29-41, Acts 15:13-18)
And the Lord began to bring “the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested”.
(Zechariah 13:9 – also see Malachi 3:1-4, 1 Peter 1:6-7, 4:12-17)
The words of Jesus in John 7:37-40 are definitive proof that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon Israel on the day of Pentecost began the fulfilment of Isaiah 44 and Zechariah 12-14, and therefore began the Messianic restoration of the faithful remnant of Israel, who were being gathered together into the New Jerusalem under the New Covenant.
Continued in part 6…..