the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts:
The Importance of knowing the background and
the role of the Holy Spirit
A research paper submitted to Prof. Rusty Small
In Partial Fulfillment of the requirements For
Liberty University Online
July 4, 2012
Table of Contents
Background Information: Geographical Information about the Holy Spirit 2 Historical Information about the Holy Spirit3
Information about the evil spirit in the Scripture 4
Three Important roles that the Holy Spirit plays in Acts5
Destroyed families, dishonest entrepreneurs and corrupted politicians are contaminating modern society. Korean churches have many revival worship services for saving the country, especially during summer. They often invite famous preachers to these events. Many guest preachers emphasize the importance of receiving the Holy Spirit by shouting and praying out loud during the revival worship services, as it is well-known to pray out loud especially during Korean churches’ prayer services. However, many congregations seem to be hoarse from shouting and praying for receiving the Holy Spirit, and they finally end up with an empty heart and a hoarse voice. The reason for that is a lack of knowledge about the Holy Spirit. Graham states, “Many prayers are said pleading for this power. Scores of Christians would like to have it, but they are not sure what it is.”  It is essential for Christians to have Biblically correct background knowledge and an understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit.
Background Information: Geographical Information about the Holy Spirit
Jerusalem is the place where the Holy Spirit came on the apostles (Acts 2:4). According to Conzelmann, Jerusalem represents “the continuity between Israel and the church.”  Bruce states that Jesus already promised to ask God to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples on the night of his betrayal in “the upper room in Jerusalem,” after they had finished the Last Supper, before they headed to across Kidron valley and spent the remaining time on the slope of Olivet (NIV, John 14:16). Bruce also explains that it is because of Jesus’ instructions to them that they received the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.  Jesus instructed them not to leave Jerusalem until they had received the Holy Spirit that God had promised to give (Acts 1:4). Cadbury explains that Jerusalem was a multicultural atmosphere with people who came to celebrate Pentecost from every nation. After receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they began to speak in other languages so that people from different nations could understand the Gospel (Acts 2:4, 5).
Historical Information about the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is frequently referred to in the Old Testament. Ezekiel prophesied that at the dawn of the new era, the God of Israel would give His people a new spirit (the Holy Spirit) and a new heart to cleanse them from their sins (Ezek 36:26). Moses hoped that God would put the Holy Spirit on all His people so that they could be prophets (Num 11:29). Bock states that when citing the Psalms, Peter argued that the Holy Spirit had worked through the mouth of David.  The Holy Spirit is also referred to in the New Testament. Fitzmyer argues that any follower of John the Baptist, especially Gentile followers who might not have known Old Testament scripture, must have not known about the Holy Spirit.  According to Bock, however, the disciples of John the Baptist were aware of the existence of the Holy Spirit since it was a common Jewish concept, and John the Baptist had already refered to the coming of the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:15-16).  The problem was that they never realized that the Holy Spirit had already come. When discussing the Holy Spirit with some disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-4), Paul clarifies the point...