The Holy Spirit

Book of Acts and Book of Joel


As a prophet, Joel was one of the privileged individuals in Old Testament times to receive the special anointing of the Holy Spirit. He experienced and understood the Holy Spirit in ways the average Israelite could not, but he had a vision of a time to come when the anointing of the Holy Spirit would be the rule rather than the exception among the people of God.

In contrast to today, in Old Testament times the gift of the Holy Spirit for service was bestowed primarily on prophets, priests, and kings.

Joel spoke of God’s Spirit being poured out on people: given in abundance to people of all nations, male and female, old and young, but rich in faith. They would receive the abundant gift of God’s Spirit.

As Joel saw it in prophetic vision, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit would occur before the final Day of Judgment. Joel’s prophecy was to be fulfilled in the last days. The last days began with Christ’s first advent and will end with His second advent.

As best we can determine, Joel lived some eight hundred years before the time of Jesus. He prophesied to Israel about divine judgments against sins and of the blessings of repentance. But in one glowing prophecy, for which Joel is known throughout the Christian world, his vision leaped far ahead to a distant time when God would pour out His Spirit upon all nations of people.

As the centuries passed, many of the people of Israel forgot everything about Joel except his name, his father’s name and his “little book of prophecies”. Devout Israelites wondered just when Joel’s prophecy might be fulfilled.

Generations passed into centuries and still the prophecy, so full of hope, was not fulfilled until the Day of Pentecost, recorded in Acts 2, and that was only the beginning of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2
1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven. 6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia. 10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel; 17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you as ye yourselves also know: 23Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24Whom God hath raise up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26Therefore did my heart rejoice and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 28Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 29Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30Therefore being a prophet and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. 34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40And with any other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Now, throughout the world Christians celebrate God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, and it is estimated that more than four hundred million Pentecostal Christians testify of the continuing outpouring of God’s Spirit. Many Bible scholars see the current world-wide outpouring of the Holy Spirit as a sign that we are drawing even nearer to the end of this age and the second coming of Christ.

God is working to offset the evil by pouring out His Spirit on mankind. The Divine offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, which was first proclaimed by the church at Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, has now been carried to every quarter of the earth.

We should feel free to ask for the Holy Spirit’s filling however many times it is needed.

Galatians 5:16
This I say, walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

The Holy Spirit will teach.

John 14:26
But the comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The Holy Spirit will guide.

John 16:13
Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak, and He will shew you things to come.
Romans 8:14
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The Holy Spirit strengthens.

Ephesians 3:16
That he would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.

The Holy Spirit empowers for ministry.

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The Holy Spirit will share God’s love to others through us.

Romans 5:5
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

The Holy Spirit will conform us to the image of Christ.

Philippians 3:10
That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.
1 John 3:2
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.

The Holy Spirit gives us liberty.

Romans 8:2
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Then He, the Holy Spirit, fills our mouths with right things to say.

Mark 13:11
But when they shall lead you and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate; but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye, for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

What a comforting work the Holy Spirit accomplishes daily in our lives through His power and His love.

Before His ascension, Jesus made a promise to His disciples. He coupled that promise with a commandment.

Luke 24:49
And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you, but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

This infilling was so important and it was so necessary that they were to stay in Jerusalem, waiting and tarrying until the Holy Spirit came. They were not to go out and preach at this time; this time would be better spent preparing for this blessed infilling.

Virtually everywhere in this world there are people who have called on the Name of the Lord and have been saved by Him.

None of us dare neglect the marvelous offer of salvation to all who believe in Jesus Christ. Today is the Day of Salvation, before the Day of Judgment comes.

We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit so we will be Spirit-inspired Christians, so we will have the spiritual vision to motivate us to be godly, faithful and evangelistic.

The baptism, in the Holy Scripture, is subsequent to a clean heart. This means that repentance, confession of faith in Jesus Christ, and a willing attitude to obey his commandments are prerequisites for being baptized in the Spirit.

We cannot bypass the fundamentals of becoming a Christian and move directly into the Spirit-filled life. In fact, the convincing of the sinner to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, repentance, and all aspects of an individual’s conversion to Christ, require the power of the Holy Spirit confirming the Gospel.

If we would point people to Christ, we must be faithful to tell the gospel and rely on the Holy Spirit to make our witness of Christ effective. The gift of the Holy Spirit is to make us effective servants in the church and kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The gift of the Holy Spirit is spiritual power with a Divine purpose. The Holy Spirit is present among us not only to equip and enable Christians for service but also to convince unsaved people to believe the Gospel and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

No effort of the church to reach the unsaved for Christ will be successful without the convincing work of the Holy Spirit.

Those who received the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost were the same persons as before: servants/disciples of the Lord. Their human relationships were unchanged.

The difference was—and is—POWER, invading spiritual power IN the life, power to fulfill all the noble challenges of the Christian faith.

Believers still need the enabling which the Holy Spirit alone can provide. He comes into our life in fullness to equip us for service. His coming is not primarily to make us happy or to make us holy, but to make us useful.

We should have been made happy being saved and sanctified. Now He seeks to make us effective in ministry.

No amount of self-improvement or wishful thinking can change our basic nature…only God…the One who created us, who can recreate us, and make of us vessels for His use.

The Spirit of God anoints us not only to worship, but to do His will.

How privileged we are to live in this time when all who are born again and sanctified by the Holy Spirit can also be baptized in the Spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit for Christian service.

A thought: “Religion without the Holy Spirit is like an automobile without gasoline. It has to be pushed wherever it goes.”

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan   (Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)

 

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