Pouring out His SpiritBro. David Chancellor
1/7/2007 6:00 PM
Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?
Joel told them to call the people together to call on God. God was going to send judgment on the people because of their actions. Joel was trying to show them that if they would call out to God the situation could change. We want the name of God to be honored and for people to call out to God. There’s nothing God can’t handle. He can make a difference.
Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else; and my people shall never be ashamed.
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. And I will shew 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 great and the terrible day of the Lord come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
God was going to answer and give them good things if they would call on him. They had to call on him and turn to him first. He had allowed the things he said would come to come, but he was ready and waiting to fix it if they would come to him.
God promised something beyond what he did for literal Israel. He promised to pour out his Spirit on the people. Those who had an exalted opinion of themselves missed out on this when it came.
The day of verses 28-32 has already come to pass. The prophecies of the Old Testament typically refer to the coming of the gospel day. This prophecy has already been fulfilled. God sent his Spirit here for anyone who will call on his name.
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And 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: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Peter pointed to Joel’s prophecy and said it was fulfilled. He told the people, "This is happening now." They had received what God had promised. People have to seek after God to receive the Spirit of God; it doesn’t just randomly land on you. The disciples were together seeking after God when they received the Spirit.
When Jesus came, the old law had been turned into something God had never intended it to be. The Jews were looking for what many millenialists are looking for today. Because they were looking for the wrong thing, they missed out. The law failed to produce in them what God wanted. To them the sun was darkened. The sun wasn’t darkened for those who understood the intent of the law. Simon and Anna saw the fulfillment and understood.
For the Spirit to be poured out, we have to want God to be honored and lifted up. We need to put aside our ambitions and desires so that all the glory can go to God. These were honoring God. They kept pointing everything back to Jesus. When we go out, we want to point people to Jesus.
They didn’t have to be ashamed because they were honoring God. Much of what, today, passes itself off as the "Holy Spirit" doesn’t honor God. It puts man on display. God’s goodness isn’t shown by wild demonstrations, but by a life lived to show forth God. A holy life shows forth God. It makes a difference in the eyes of the world. It sets something apart because it shows that God can make a difference. The message most people hear isn’t a life changing message. What Jesus came to bring is life changing.
When the disciples first came to Christ they had some wrong ideas. When the Spirit came, their ideas were changed. The Spirit opened their understanding. As we have the Spirit and he teaches us things, our lives will change for the better.
We need to call on God. When you call on the name of the Lord, salvation is there. We claim God as our sacrifice and deliverance. Coming to church is not an acceptable sacrifice for your soul – Jesus is the only answer. We can have what God promised. "This is that." The prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He is the answer for the Jew, the Muslim, … for every sinner. Only those who believe in and follow Christ will make it to heaven. Jesus is the only way to have God’s Spirit in your heart. False Christianity has left a bad taste for many, but real Christianity is the only answer. As people turn to God, the Spirit will help to correct the direction they’re walking in. All those who call on God can be saved, and the Holy Spirit can be poured out on them and give them a life that honors God.