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Bible verses about Pouring out of God's Spirit on Church
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Joel 2:28-32

God will pour out His Spirit upon the people to such an extent that seemingly everyone will be prophesying, dreaming, or seeing visions. This did not happen anciently to Judah, though it did occur in a more limited way on Pentecost after Jesus Christ died (Acts 2). This is speaking about the conversion of many people, and by their conversion through the receipt of God's Spirit, they become “His people.”

As a matter of speculation, there is a way of looking at the timing of the end-time fulfillment as a literal locust plague before the Great Tribulation. For instance, the several years it takes for grape vines and fruit and olive trees to mature and produce in abundance could indicate that the Tribulation is at least several years off when the locust invasion (mentioned in Joel 1:4; 2:25) strikes. Then come the “wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD” (Joel 2:30-31). These signs (the sixth seal; Revelation 6:12-17; Luke 21:11) are the precursors to the great day of God's wrath.

The last verse, Joel 2:32, is most interesting, as it points out that those who call upon the Lord shall be delivered and saved. Here is how James Moffatt translates it: “But every worshipper of the Eternal shall be saved, for Sion hill shall hold those who escape, as the Eternal has declared, and the fugitives whom the Eternal calls shall be inside Jerusalem.” The Amplified Bible renders it: “And whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered and saved, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the remnant [of survivors] shall be those whom the Lord calls.”

Who are those fugitives who escape and from what are they running? Who are those whom the Eternal calls? Revelation 12:15-17 prophesies of a remnant of commandment-keepers, presumably the church, fleeing from a flood of Satan's persecution. In fleeing, where did they go? In this speculative scenario, they go to Jerusalem before the army of locusts attacks and perhaps before the drought takes hold. They are in Jerusalem during that catastrophe where, apparently, there is food and water.

These church members could be the fugitives and those whom God calls. However, at this point their refuge is not what we call the Place of Safety, as the Tribulation has not yet begun. Those who are at the time in Judea, which includes Jerusalem, are later warned to run for the protection to be found in the mountains just as the Tribulation commences (Matthew 24:16-20).

Keeping in mind that Scripture was not written to the world at large, but to the few who have been called, it is not a great leap of faith to realize that these people delivered at Jerusalem are true Christians who flee from Satan's “flood.” The same group is warned to flee Judea to a safe place in the nearby mountains.

Mike Fuhrer
What Is Joel 2 Really About?


 

2 Corinthians 3:17

Acts 2 records the event of God's pouring out of His Spirit on the church, as well as the accompanying manifestations that testified dramatically that something extraordinary was taking place. Subsequently, the Holy Spirit is a significant theme throughout the rest of Acts, as the gospel was preached and more people were called into the church. The epistles of Paul, Peter, and John likewise feature the Holy Spirit frequently. Yet, for all that is written about it, the Holy Spirit is still commonly misunderstood. Many theologians claim to know what the Holy Spirit is, yet they simultaneously profess it to be an incomprehensible mystery!

Part of the difficulty in understanding God's Spirit comes from the common challenges that arise whenever a text is translated from one language, with all of its nuances, into another. In this case, the Greek word translated as “spirit” is pneuma. E.W. Bullinger, in The Companion Bible, catalogs fourteen different meanings or usages of that one Greek word. It should not be surprising, then, that when Greek texts are concisely translated into English, some of what is intended by pneuma can become clouded.

Further confusion has been introduced by the so-called “early church fathers,” whose writings are often looked to for guidance in understanding early Christian doctrine. They may have been early on the scene, yet they were also influenced by Greek philosophy, Plato in particular. Plato's worldview—one not based on the Bible—promoted a triune godhead or a single god that mysteriously expresses itself in three different persons or personalities. Plato himself developed this view from much older trinities found in the Babylonian mystery religions, as well as Egyptian beliefs.

One of the rarer usages of the word pneuma is “a spirit being,” thus it was not a great leap for early scholars—looking through a lens of pagan concepts—to regard the Holy Spirit as a third God-Being. Because those involved were already inclined to think in terms of a god consisting of three persons, they were able to find “evidence” of such an idea in the Scriptures.

It has been said that heresy crawls in its first generation, it walks in the second, and then it runs. Once the notion of the Holy Spirit being a third person got its start, it walked and then soon sprinted throughout the Western world with such force that now the overwhelming majority of professing Christians take the idea as a given.

It is worth remembering that there is indeed a spirit being striving for equality with the Father and the Son, but that spirit—Satan the Devil—is anything but holy (Isaiah 14:13-14). He has, though, created a place for himself in the minds of millions by guiding Catholic and Protestant doctrine to include a mysterious third spirit being within a three-part godhead, just as the ancient pagan religions held. Yet, that construct is nowhere found in the Hebrew Scriptures, nor is it unambiguously seen in the Greek Scriptures. It is a doctrine that must be read into the Greek text, but doing so only creates contradiction and confusion—neither of which are from God (John 10:35; I Corinthians 14:33).

David C. Grabbe
What Is the Holy Spirit?


 

 




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