555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

139. Were the Apostles Converted Before the Day of Pentecost?

Jesus had said many things to and about His disciples before his deaths which indicated that they were converted men: "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven," Luke 10:20; "Now ye are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you," John 15:3; "Ye know him" (the Spirit of truth), "for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." In the last verse he distinguishes them from "the world." The world, he said, cannot receive the Spirit; but the Spirit was already with the disciples, and was to come into their hearts in greater fullness, as he did on the day of Pentecost In the high-priestly prayer Jesus said: "I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine;" "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world;" "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word," John 17 :g, 14, 16, 6. Although Peter was a converted man, he fell into sin and denied his Master. It is the common experience of justified Christians that, while they do not habitually sin, they slip occasionally into transgression. But after the fullness of the Spirit had been received on the day of Pentecost, Peter and the other apostles stood firm. This also has been the experience of many Christians since the apostles' time, who have found, in a larger blessing, sanctifying and keeping grace. Jacob's experience was the same. Before his blessing at Jabbok, he had met God at Bethel and received the promise: "I will not leave thee" (Gen. 28:15) ; God had spoken to him again, while he dwelt with Laban (Gen. 31 3-11); the angels of God met him at Mahanaim (Gen. 322). But after the experience at Jabbok, or Peniel, he lived to the end of his days a purer, higher spiritual life.