11. THEN & NOW, IN REVIVAL, YOU WILL BE WORKING
TO BRING FULFILLMENT OF THE SPIRIT’S WORK UPON THE WORLD.
There is a prophecy in Joel that is usually misunderstood.
"AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS AFTERWARD, THAT I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS, YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS. AND ALSO UPON THE SERVANTS AND UPON THE HANDMAIDS IN THOSE DAYS WILL I POUR OUT MY SPIRIT."
This great prophecy was prophesied about 770 B.C. Part of this prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, as stated by Peter in Acts 2:16-18.
A key word in this prophecy is the word - "afterward." After what??? The gift of the Holy Spirit comes upon all people "afterward." If we look at the part preceding these verses in Joel we can see what is to happen before the perfect fulfillment of this prophecy.
Joel 2:1-11 - speaks of judgment
Joel 2:12-17 - calls for repentance
Joel 2:18-27 - refers to a time of fruitfulness, restoration, and divine vindication
Joel 2:28-29 - shows that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will climax the "day of the Lord." It is to happen at a time when the part of Israel that survived the tribulation in Petra is saved. The nations of the world are about to be judged (3:1-16). Then Israel is to be established forever (3:20). So the time of the perfect fulfillment of this prophecy is after the tribulation.
Yet Peter said that "this is that..." So we have the beginning of the fulfillment of this prophecy on the Day of Pentecost. The completion of the prophecy is not until after the tribulation when the Spirit will be finally poured out on ALL FLESH. We are now IN BETWEEN the beginning and the end of the fulfillment of this prophecy.
Those who say that this prophecy is not for today, have no scriptural leg on which to stand. The baptism of the Spirit is still being poured out as it was on the day of Pentecost on which the 120 received. This experience will continue to be fulfilled, until it is finally poured out on ALL FLESH.
"I INDEED BAPTIZE YOU WITH WATER UNTO REPENTANCE; BUT HE THAT COMETH AFTER ME IS MIGHTIER THAT I, WHOSE SHOES I AM NOT WORTHY TO BEAR; HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND WITH FIRE:"
John the Baptist prophesied here that Jesus would "baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire." The word "baptidzo" of the Greek is used here. It means "to immerse, overwhelm, drown with..." John the Baptist immersed in water as a symbol of repentance. Jesus would immerse in the Spirit to empower.
"THIS SPAKE HE OF THE SPIRIT WHICH THEY THAT BELIEVE ON HIM SHOULD RECEIVE: FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS NOT YET GIVEN, BECAUSE JESUS WAS NOT YET GLORIFIED."
The very fact that the baptism of the Spirit has come testifies to the fact that Jesus has ascended to heaven and been glorified. We can rest assured that He did reach heaven by the fact that the Spirit did return. We need to take courage in the fact that the Spirit is being now poured out on all who wish to receive Him, because it is an experience that is intended to reassure us of the fact that Jesus is not dead, and buried-- but is at the right hand of the Father in heaven and interceding for us. The Holy Spirit glorifies this Jesus.
"NEVERTHELESS I TELL YOU THE TRUTH: IT IS EXPEDIENT FOR YOU THAT I GO AWAY: FOR IF I GO NOT AWAY, THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU: BUT IF I DEPART, I WILL SEND HIM UNTO YOU. AND WHEN HE IS COME, HE WILL REPROVE THE WORLD OF SIN, AND OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND OF JUDGMENT: OF SIN, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE NOT ON ME; OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, BECAUSE I GO TO THE FATHER, AND YE SEE ME NO MORE; OF JUDGMENT, BECAUSE THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD IS JUDGED. I HAVE YET MANY THINGS TO SAY UNTO YOU, BUT YE CANNOT BEAR THEM NOW. HOWBEIT WHEN 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. HE SHALL GLORIFY ME; FOR HE SHALL RECEIVE OF MINE, AND SHALL SHEW IT UNTO YOU. ALL THINGS THAT THE FATHER HATH ARE MINE; THEREFORE SAID I, THAT HE SHALL TAKE OF MINE, AND SHALL SHEW IT UNTO YOU."
These verses show that the main purposes of the coming of the Spirit and of the experience of being baptized into Him is:
-reproof of sin, righteousness, and judgment
-guiding us into the truth
-showing us prophecies of what is to come
-glorification of Jesus
-speaking and revealing to us whatever the Son and the Father speak concerning us
Many were invited to tarry in the upper room until the Holy Spirit came. At one time 500 saw Christ after His resurrection. Even if these 500 had been the only ones invited, 380 had either not gone to await the coming of the Spirit, or had left before the Spirit finally came. It is the same today. Many know about the infilling of the Holy Spirit and its availability. Few seek it.
"BUT THIS I CONFESS UNTO THEE, THAT AFTER THE WAY WHICH THEY CALL HERESY, SO WORSHIP I THE GOD OF MY FATHERS."
Paul was called a "heretic" for the way in which he worshipped. Many call those who are filled with the Spirit to be "heretics," or "fanatics."
II Timothy 3:2
"YEA, AND ALL THAT LIVE GODLY SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION."
"WOE UNTO YOU WHEN ALL MEN SHALL SPEAK WELL OF YOU."
Rather than "heresy"--it is the best, and proper way to worship God. In our worship, the flesh seeks to intrude, and to hinder worship. It often is successful. When we have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit aids, inspires, and directs our worship. The type of worship that God desires is Spirit-inspired worship.
"GOD IS A SPIRIT. THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM, MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH."
The baptism of the Holy Spirit aids our flesh in its worship. No people can worship as well as Spirit-filled people. Before you receive the Spirit, you will come to the place of realization of your own utter helplessness. You will look up to the Spirit to fill you so you may be able to worship better.
This experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit is still for us today. All true believers are candidates. Peter said it was for "AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL..." (Acts 2:38-39). Jesus put no moral level, or position for candidates to reach, other than the new birth. One can still be fighting bad habits. One can still have ups and downs. Perfection is not to be attained before the infilling of the Spirit. No, the Holy Spirit wants to fill us so we are empowered to fight the flesh, and the devil.
The Holy Spirit is present with the sinners to convict them. He is present with all believers to regenerate them. Yet, there is an experience available beyond these. It is called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
"BE NOT DRUNK WITH WINE, WHEREIN IS EXCESS, BUT BE YE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT."
Ephesus, to whom the above verse was addressed, was a pagan city. They worshipped the goddess, Diana. Drunkenness was common. The wine brought exhilaration, insensibility to pains. It seemingly took the drinker to another world. They felt carefree and happy, strong and uninhibited. The baptism of the Spirit does this also, without the hangover, social, and mental damage.
We are commanded not to be "drunk with wine." Many people try to follow that command.
Yet we are also commanded to be "filled with the Spirit." Many forget to follow that command.
When you received the Lord as your Savior, your spirit became alive again. Your spirit within you began to assert itself over your soul and body. This spirit is the dwelling place of God within you. Your spirit united with God's spirit at salvation.
Some say, "How can I receive the Spirit when He already dwells within me?" The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the receiving of the Spirit into your life--all Christians have the Spirit working in their lives. At the baptism of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit completely fills your life.
The word "baptize" in the classical Greek was used of a sunken, waterlogged ship. The Lord wants us to be more than:
born of the Spirit,
or used of the Spirit,
or regenerated of the Spirit
--He wants us to be waterlogged with the Spirit.
"HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME...OUT OF HIS BELLY SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER (the Holy Spirit)."
The baptism of the Spirit will aid in the production of the "image of Christ" in us.
"WALK IN THE SPIRIT AND YE SHALL NOT FULFILL THE LUST OF THE FLESH."
We are not made perfect by the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Yet, when we are Spirit-filled, the Spirit will help us resist the lusts and temptations of the flesh. There will still be ups and downs. However, the Spirit is better able to direct, to aid, to uplift, and to convict. We can still refuse or ignore His help. The baptism of the Holy Spirit makes us more aware of sin, and gives us more desire to shun sin. With this new power we have received, we have power to resist sin, if we so choose.
There are many negative reactions to the experience known as the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some say that it is of Satan. Yet, time has shown that those filled with the Spirit have a deep love of God and Christ. Missionary zeal among Spirit-filled people is great. The churches of Spirit-filled believers are among the fastest growing. It isn't likely that Satan would like to cause these things.
Some say that the experience was only for the apostolic age. Yet, the verses of Joel that predicted the experience, is not yet completely fulfilled as yet. So we are still in the process of seeing those verses being fulfilled.
Some say that church history does not record it. This is wrong. It has been recorded in all the church ages. Ireneas, Tertullian, and Augustine all speak of the speaking in tongues. Martin Luther, and Francis Xavier are reported by good authority to have spoken in tongues.
Some say Paul talked against it. This is wrong. He spoke against the misuse of tongues, and spiritual gifts. He also said that he thanked God that he spoke in tongues more than they did.
Satan counterfeits all the good things that God gives. His counterfeits are false and evil. Yet we should not reject the real, because Satan has a counterfeit for it.
God's gifts include, the gift of knowledge, and wisdom, the gift of discernment, the gift of faith, the gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues, the gift of prophecy, etc.
Satan's counterfeits of these gifts include, ouija boards, crystal balls, Precognition, fortune telling palm reading, ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance, mind reading Mind expansion drugs, T.M., positive thinking, hypnotism spiritism, seances, necromancy, etc.
Just because there are counterfeits, we must not miss receiving the real gifts of power from the Holy Spirit.
There are many misconceptions about the baptism of the Spirit, and especially about the part of it known as "[b]tongue[/B]s."
Speaking in tongues has nothing to do with emotions. Emotions may or may not be felt as one experiences this. One will not be in some trance, or in a strange frame of mind when they speak in tongues. There is no compulsion to speak in tongues. A person may cease at any time. You are not possessed, nor compelled by an outside force to speak. The Holy Spirit inspires the tongues, but the person is in control at all times.
I Corinthians 14:32 "AND THE SPIRITS OF THE PROPHETS ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROPHETS."
It has often been taught that the receiving of the Holy Spirit is difficult to receive. This is not true. People have made it difficult by some strange teachings and ideas that have been perpetrated upon Christianity. The Lord desires all of us to have this experience. He wishes all to be saved, and therefore He has made salvation so simple that even a child can be saved. In the same way, the Lord has promised to give the Spirit to all who ask. He has made it simple, and all Christians can receive this baptism of the Holy Spirit.
"IF YE THEN, BEING EVIL, KNOW HOW TO GIVE GOOD GIFTS UNTO YOUR CHILDREN: HOW MUCH MORE SHALL YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER GIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THEM THAT ASK HIM ?"
Thus, the simple beginning of the receiving of the baptism of the Spirit, is to ASK.
"YOU HAVE NOT BECAUSE YOU ASK NOT."
Then, one must simply believe that what God has promised, He will fulfill. At the moment you ask, the Lord will begin to fill you. Enjoy the filling. Don't demand tongues immediately. That is the sign that the filling is complete, not the filling itself. Enjoy what God is doing in and with you, as He gently fills you with His Spirit. Praise Him as He fills you. You may feel emotion, and again, you may not. The filling is proceeding as you worship and praise. When He is finished filling you, you will have a prayer language given to you. It is like eating at a buffet. The mealtime is the enjoyable. Enjoy every course and eat to the fill. The dessert is great, but it is just the final course. Enjoy the full meal, the dessert will come soon enough.
Be sure to pray aloud. The finishing part of this experience is the tongues, and one must be speaking aloud to find their language changed.
"OPEN YOUR MOUTH WIDE, AND I WILL FILL IT."