The Ministry and Outpouring of
The Holy Spirit
By Pastor F. M. Riley
May 2, 2018
"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." Joel 2:28-29
In my last study, The Month of May, 2018, I mentioned this text Scripture in Joel 2, and also the similar passage in Acts 2. After sending out that study, the Lord laid on my heart to write in more detail about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in fulfilling both of these Scripture passages.
The subject of the Holy Spirit is a massive study in God's Word. To deal with the subject in every detail, would require the writing of a book. I have no inclination to write a book on the subject. Therefore this brief study is written only to emphasize a truth about these passages in Joel 2 and Acts 2, which has been overlooked or ignored by even most of God's people. My prayer is that this study will be both enlightening, and a blessing, to our readers.
The Reality of the Holy Spirit
The first mention of the Holy Spirit in God's Word is found in Genesis 1:2, where we read, ".....And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
I have actually had some "Christian" preachers tell me, that the Holy Spirit did not come into the world until the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2, and that this Scripture in Genesis 1:2 does not say, "Holy Spirit," but only "the spirit of God." Ignorance gone to seed! Then, was this "Spirit of God" in Genesis 1:2, an "unholy" spirit? Well...?? 2 Timothy 2:15 is still in the Bible, and some "professing Christians" need to start paying attention to it!
The Hebrew word translated as "moved" in 1:2, literally means, "brooded." This is similar to the Lord's statement found in Matthew 23:37, where the Lord spoke of a hen gathering her chicks under her wings. A hen gathers her chicks in order to protect them, preserve them, and bring forth new life. Likewise the Holy Spirit "brooded" over the waters in Genesis 1:2. At that time the waters were covering the waste and desolation [tohu waw bohu] into which the original earth had been brought. This waste and ruin on the earth was caused by the rebellion of the "anointed cherub," the one we know today as Satan, Ezekiel 28:11-19.
The earth as originally created was not created in the state or condition described in Genesis 1:2. We know this to be so, because the inspired Word clearly says so. Read it for yourself in Isaiah 45:18. When the Lord God created the earth, He created it a beautiful place, ready to be inhabited by mankind whom He was going to create to dwell in it, Ecclesiastes 3:11; Isaiah 45:18. But the "anointed cherub" hated God, and destroyed the original earth, leaving it as described in Genesis 1:2.
The "Holy Spirit" of God was not the least bit happy with earth's ruined condition, and is seen in Genesis 1:2 "brooding" over the ruined earth, in order to restore it to an orderly condition and bring forth new life. Praise the Lord for the reality and ministry of God's Holy Spirit.
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
There are dozens of Scriptures thoughout the Old Testament which speak of "the Spirit of God." Now unless some reader wants to believe these Scriptures are referring to an "unholy" spirit, then obviously they are referring to the Holy Spirit of God.
When we turn to the New Testament we find that both John and Jesus were filled with the "Holy Spirit" from their mother's womb. This would have been impossible unless the Holy Spirit was already in the world.
Further, the first public sermon of the Lord Jesus recorded in God's Word, is found in John 3, several years before the events recorded in Acts 2. In His first public sermon, the Lord told Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," John 3:5. Read the remainder of the chapter. Now if the Holy Spirit didn't come into the world, until He was poured out upon the Lord's church in Acts 2, as some today claim, just how could anyone be "born of the Spirit" before He came into the world? Well...??
The So-called Coming Great Revival...??
Yet some today are teaching that the Lord Jesus will not return to resurrect and rapture His people to glory, until there is another great revival in the Lord's churches. This claim is generally based upon the prophecy of the Holy Spirit being poured out as recorded in Joel 2:28-29, which I used as a text for this study.
Folks, this claim of another great revival coming before the Lord's return, is a false claim and false teaching. Those making such a claim today are "wrongly dividing" the Word of God, and just setting forth another way of saying, "My Lord delayeth His coming," Matthew 24:48-51; Luke 12:45-46.
There will not be another great revival, among the churches and in the ranks of Christianity, before our Lord comes. The Lord is coming to rescue His Bride and people out of "this present evil world, Galations 1:4. The claim that such a revival has to occur before the Lord can come again, is absolutely false teaching. The Christian movement today is in a state of apostasy, with only a "remnant" of true believers still faithfully loving and serving the Lord. I cannot help but believe that it is this "remnant" of true believers who will make up the Bride of Christ at the rapture. Now do our readers want to be a part of this faithful, loving, "remnant," or are you content to just attend some church and hope that you will make it to Heaven?
Now let's turn our attention to the inspired prophecy of.......
What about this prophecy? If it does not apply to some great revival before the Lord can return, then where and when does it apply, in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Let's see.....
Any reader who will seriously study the context in which this passage occurs, and even the statement made in this passage, should easily see that the Lord God was speaking to and about the Holy Spirit being poured out again upon the nation and people of Israel. Even a casual reading of the second chapter of Joel will reveal that the statements in the chapter are primarily speaking to and about the nation and people of Israel. The very first verse in the chapter speaks about sounding a trumpet in "Zion," which is God's "holy mountain," in the land of Israel. The entire chapter gives both warnings and blessings which will come upon Israel and the Jewish people during "the day of the Lord" [the Tribulation period]. This is the context in which the prophecy in Joel 2:28-29 occurs.
God's Witness Upon the Earth
Then what this passage in Joel 2:28-29 is prophesying, is that there will be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the nation and people of Israel. This will happen at the time the authority to be God's "witness" among mankind on the earth is transferred back from the Lord's church to the nation of Israel and the Israelite people. And when will that be?
Ever since the Lord God made His covenant with Moses and the children of Israel on the Day of Pentecost at Mount Sinai, as recorded in Exodus 20, the Lord God has never been without a "witness" in the earth. In fact, Acts 14:17 makes it clear that the Lord will not leave Himself without a "witness" in the earth.
In Acts 2:1-3 the Lord God, on the Day of Pentecost transferred the authority to be His "witness" on the earth among mankind, from apostate Israel to His espoused bride [Church].
The Timing of the Outpouring
Just as soon as this present Dispensation of Grace ends, with the resurrection and rapture of the Lord's Church, and all true New Covenant believers, then the Lord God will transfer the authority to serve as His representitive to mankind on this earth back to the nation and people of Israel. And yes! There is Scriptural proof in God's Word for my making this statement.
Examining the Statements
But what happened on that Day of Pentecost so long ago was really only a partial fulfillment of the prophecy given in Joel 2. Those readers who carefully study Peter's message on that day, should notice that Peter. in explaining to that vast gathering of the Jewish people, explicitly stated,
"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 dauthers 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," Acts 2:17.
Isn't it obvious to our readers that Peter could have said that the outpouring was similar to, or somewhat like, the prophecy in Joel. But Peter did not say that! What Peter explicitly said, was, "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;" and then Peter transliterated the prophecy recorded in Joel 2:28-29. So it should be evident to those readers who take the Bible at face value for what it actually and literally says, that the prophecy in Joel 2:28-29 began to be fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. But the complete fulfillment of Joel's prophecy has not yet occurred!
I used the word, "transliterated," because Peter did not quote Joel's prophecy word for word, as it was given. What Peter said was, "And it shall come to pass in the last days....." But what Joel actually said was, "And it shall come to pass afterward. Now be honest! Isn't that exactly what is writteen in the inspired Word?
These two different wordings do not say the same thing, or mean the same thing. In fact the two different wordings are emphasizing two different dispensations of time for the complete fulfillment of Joel's prophecy.
So many believers today have totally missed or overlooked this truth. The prophecy of Joel 2:28-29 was given to Israel, and began to be fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 with the salvation of 3,000 souls. But what is still awaiting, when the rest of Joel's prophecy is fulfilled? Wow!
Defining the Two Different Terms
The two different terms used in God's Word in reference to Joel's prophecy, are "afterward" in Joel 2:28, and "the last days" in Acts 2:17.
In Joel 2:28, the prophet Joel was inspired of God to say, "And it shall come to pass afterward....." After what, or after when? The obvious answer is after the Dispensation of Grace has been concluded by the resurrection and rapture of the Lord's church and all true New Covenant believers. Proof? Gladly!
Just look at Peter's statement in Acts 2:17, "And it shall come to pass in the last days....." Dear readers, we believers are living in "the last days" right now! Just look up the expression in the New Testament, and it places the Lord's church and people in "the last days" over and over again. For example see 2 Timothy 3:1-7, Hebrews 1:1-2, James 5:1-8, and 2 Peter 3:3-4, A careful study of this expression will reveal that "the last days" could be used as a synonym for the Dispensation of Grace.
So the "afterward" in Joel 2:28-29 literally means that the entire nation and people of Israel will experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit after this present dispensation is over. This means after the resurrection and rapture of all New Testament believers has occurred. And why shouldn't that be the proper time in God's Great Plan of the Ages? And yes! This clearly allows for a Pre-tribulation Rapture. Glory!
A Witness to Israel
Israel as a nation and people, throughout this entire dispensation has rejected the New Testament as being a part of the inspired Word of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ as being their long awaited Messiah, King, and Savior.
But when the resurrection and rapture occurs, some believers will be be raptured right before the eyes [Matthew 24:40-42; Luke 17:34-36] of some of the Jewish people, and the rapture will be one of the greatest "witnesses" ever seen by and given to the nation and people of Israel.
And when the rapture occurs, God's "two witnesses" [Revelation 11:3-6] will show up in the streets of Jerusalem, preaching the Lord Jesus Christ as God's "way" of salvation, and the Messiah and Savior of Israel, and calling upon Israel to repent of their unbelief. You talk about a "witness" to a people! Wow! And glory to God!
And shortly after the rapture has occurred the power and presence of the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon the nation and people of Israel, to complete the outpouring which began on the Day of Pentecost 2,000 years ago on the Lord's church in Acts 2. Glory to God! Praise the Lord!
The Amazing Results.....
It must have been a great day of rejoicing for all the true believers when the Holy Spirit was poured out, and then Peter preached his great sermon on the Day of Pentecost and 3,000 souls were saved as recorded in Acts 2. I would love to have been there!
But now just think about it! When the Holy Spirit is finally poured out upon the nation and people of Israel as recorded in Joel 2, shortly after [afterward] the rapture has occurred, and God's "two witnesses" [Revelation 11:3] preach the Lord Jesus Christ to the Jewish people gathered there in Jerusalem, 144,000 Israelites will be gloriously saved out of all twelve tribes of Israel, Revelation 7:1-8. Glory hallelujah!
If any reader cannot get excited over this fulfillment of the prophetic Word, then perhaps they need to read 2 Peter 1:10-11 again, and act upon it. But this is still not the end of the story.......
Those 144,000 saved and sealed Jews will then go forth into all the world preaching "the gospel of the Kingdom" to every person left behind on the earth after the rapture, Matthew 24:14. The result of their preaching was seen by John in Revelation 7:9-17.
I am sure some preachers will balk at this truth, claiming that their ministry has already reached into the whole world by means of radio or television. Is that so? There are a few things wrong with such a claim in the light of Matthew 24:14.....
 We who preach God's Word today do not preach "the gospel of the Kingdom." We should be encouraging true believers by reminding them that the Kingdom of Christ is coming, but in order to reach lost souls for Christ, we today preach, or should be preaching, "the gospel of the grace of God in Christ Jesus," Acts 20:20-21.
 A careful study of Matthew 24:14 in the Greek text, makes it clear that the "gospel of the Kingdom" will be preached in every place in "the habitable earth," where there is even one soul to hear it. Now this totally exposes the claim of these preachers who boast that their ministry has "gone all over the world" by means of radio and TV. Thousands of people today in various parts of the world, in spite of radio and television, have never even heard of the Lord Jesus Christ and have no idea who He is. But every single person left behind on the earth when the rapture occurs is going to hear about Him, for the 144,000 will see to it.
Yes indeed! There is a great soul saving revival coming on the earth. But it will be after the resurrection and rapture, after this present Dispensation of Grace is over, and we true believers living today will already be with our Lord in Heaven. Glory to God!
The Signs of the Times
The Lord Jesus Christ, in Matthew 16:1-3, sternly rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for not being able to "discern the signs of the times." Are the leaders of New Testament Christianity doing any better today?
The Lord Jesus, in the Gospels, and then throughout the New Testament, gave to His people "signs" to watch for, which would indicate that the time of His return was drawing near, Mark 13:33-37. If the readers have been obedient in "watching," we have seen one "sign" after another fulfilled since the end of the Second World War, and "signs" are still appearing today.
Because of these "signs," there is no question in my mind that 2018 will be the year of our Lord's return. Also.....
The observant reader will notice that throughout this study I underlined The Day of Pentecost. Now as I write, we are in the month of May, and the Day of Pentecost is just a few days away. If any reader has not received my study entitled The Month of May, 2018, just write or drop me an email, and I will send it to you.
I do not dogmatically claim that the Lord Jesus is going to return on Pentecost. I am well aware of what is stated in Matthew 24:36. The Lord may come on some other day, but the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit tells me that He is coming SOON. If the Lord does come on Pentecost, or even before, will He find you saved and ready, or will you be one of those left behind at the rapture?
Dear readers, YOU HAVE MY MESSAGE. Now what you do with it is between you and the Lord.
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Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
Those readers who would like to contact me personally should select one of the following methods:
Postal: Pastor F. M. Riley, 14275 County Road 8120, Rolla, MO 65401
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