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Pouring Out the Holy Spirit

Joel may be the earliest of the prophetic writings in the Bible. Joel 2:28-32 says, “I will pour out 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; yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.” In other words, Joel says that one feature of the coming of the kingdom (or the church, Matthew 16:16-19) will be the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on people of every kind—men and women, young and old, high and low, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, etc. The concept of an “outpouring” or overwhelming of a storm, was a rather common occurrence to both Joel and the people to whom he spoke. If you open your Bible to Acts 2 we will see his prophesy come to fruition.

In Acts 2:15–17 Peter says that the commotion caused by 120 people praising God (Acts 2:11) in many different languages is not owing to drunkenness but to the fulfillment of prophecy in Joel 22:28-32: "These men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.'" Joel's prophecy, that Peter quotes in Acts 2:17–21, makes it clear that in the last days, or the last age (Isaiah 2:2-3, Jeremiah 31:31-33, Daniel 2:31-35, Amos 9:11-12, Micah 4:1-2), will include prophecy and the power of the Holy Spirit.

The apostles were clothed with power and the main effect of this supernatural power seems to be bold, prophetic speech. They were so gripped by the Spirit of God that they saw the greatness of Jesus with extraordinary clarity. It caused them to speak with boldness and courage. This is described in greater detail in I Corinthians 12. However, I Corinthians 13 emphasized that love was actually a greater gift. Why? Because prophetic speech, along with the other miracles, were for a very specific purpose… to confirm the Word (Mark 16:20, Acts 8:6, Hebrews 2:3-4). They were temporary and would eventually cease (I Corinthians 13:8-10, James 1:25).

The truth is that we no longer need the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit to confirm the word of God. Once God gave us His inspired Word He revealed all of the information necessary to follow Him. There is no need for miracles to confirm the oral Word when we have the New Testament. We also know that the apostles are not living today and those on whom the apostles had laid their hands are also dead (Acts 2-8). Once the last apostle (John) died, the ability to perform miracles could not be passed on to others. Now we have the Bible which provides us the entirety of God’s will (II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:19-21).

This prophesy has been fulfilled! Now that we know we are in the last days… we need to prepare for the second coming of Jesus. Have a great week.

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