What “Beginning” is Peter talking about?
Acts 11:15 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.” The apostle Peter was explaining the events of the conversion of Cornelius and his house (Acts 10) to the church in Jerusalem. At the time, the church was composed entirely of devout Jews who had obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cornelius represents the firstfruits of the Gentiles to see the light of salvation (Isaiah 62:2, Lk. 2:32). God poured out a second installment, as it were, of the baptism of the Holy Spirit to sanctify this momentous occasion and to show His divine approval of the consolidation of Jews and Gentiles into one sheepfold under the Shepherd Jesus Christ. The prophecy of Joel had said that the Spirit would be “poured out on all flesh…” Acts 2:17. Peter compared what happened at Cornelius’ household to what had happened on the day of Pentecost. For good measure, Peter added one more verse, revealing that what had transpired at Cornelius’ household was also a fulfillment of what Jesus had said in Acts 1:5, “you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…” Pentecost is the beginning of the Lord’s church. The promise that began on that day is still in effect (Acts 2:38-39) “for all those who are afar off… as many as the Lord our God shall call.” jcd