ACTS 2:39 - THE PEOPLE FROM AFAR OFF ARE JEWS
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
This verse has been erroneously taught by the INC1914 as referring to their specific group. They explain that the ones promised the Holy Spirit, and referred by Apostle Peter as to you, are the Jews, while those referred as their children are the Gentiles called in the first-century; and those ‘who are afar off’ referred to the INC1914 group. Could they be correct in their understanding of this apostolic confirmation?
THE THREE GROUPS MENTIONED IN ACTS 2:39
In this declaration of Apostle Peter, who are the three groups of people promised the gift of The Holy Spirit. Let us categorize them as mentioned by Apostle Peter:
First Group - For the promise is TO YOU - these are the Jews whom Peter was addressing in this instance.
Second Group - TO YOUR CHILDREN – they were the children of the Jews (and therefore, Jews also) who will also receive the Holy Spirit as mentioned in verse 17:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
Third Group - TO ALL WHO ARE AFAR OFF – they are still Jews who were made part of the mission of The Christ to gather who would come from far places. They are the Jews in diaspora as prophesied by Isaiah:
(Isaiah 11:1, 11-12)
1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots…
11 It shall come to pass in that day
That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time
To recover the remnant of His people who are left,
From Assyria and Egypt,
From Pathros and Cush,
From Elam and Shinar,
From Hamath and the islands of the sea.
12 He will set up a banner for the nations,
And will assemble the outcasts of Israel,
And gather together the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.
The three groups of people promised the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:39 are all Jews! And the apostles understand this as a fact that the primary mission of The Christ is to save first from His own people, God’s people of olden times, and then commission them to bring the same promised salvation to all the nations.
Therefore, the INC1914 erred in understanding those mentioned as from ‘afar off’ to refer to them, vainly connecting their claim to this verse with the other prophecies like Isaiah 43:4-6, Zechariah 13:8-9 and John 10:16. Please read our separate articles concerning those mentioned prophecies and how they were also erroneously understood by this same group.