Summary: Throughout the ages, God has and is pouring out His Holy Spirit
On all Flesh
Reading: Joel 2:18-32
When reading the scriptures as a whole, seeing them in relation to world history and events, one is soon to see that God is indeed in control. He raised up and laid down leaders and nations in order to bring about His purposes. Heathen leaders were called the Lord’s anointed because they were used to bring about what He wanted. Nothing was left to chance; it was and is planned down to the finest and last detail. The timing of Christ’s first coming was we are told "in the fullness of time." The world was ready for him, ready intellectually, the Greek philosophy had developed to an extent that many of the truths we hold so dear, could now be grasped with the enlightening of God. The relative political stability of the day enhanced the spread of the message; the common language had a similar effect, and many other factors. God was saying to the world that he was going to fulfill what he had been saying for many hundreds of years.
One of the signs of the near return of our Lord, to set up His Kingdom, is that of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.. "On all flesh" From the very outset of the Church, there has been opposition in one form or another. God Himself has said that He will equip His people for the task that is before them. In the last two thousand years there has been three significant moves of the Holy Spirit.
On the first day of Pentecost.
This move proved beyond any doubt that God was to move on all Flesh, regardless of office or function, nationality or station, God moved upon those who were His. Lip until this time the Holy Spirit came upon an individual for a special task, then withdrew. Now however the Holy Spirit was to dwell within. The day of Pentecost was the launching of the Church into the world scene with power and might, and signs following. The Church grew for a few hundred years before slipping into the dark ages. That was when the church became respectable and the political force of the known world. The depth to which the church fell is and dragged the world with it is seen by the name of the age.
The Dark Ages.
After about a thousand years the flickering light of the Holy Spirit was to flare up again. Men such as Huss, Martin Luther, John Calvin etc, were to be captivated with the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and empowering. From this time on we see the rebirth of the Church. The inextinguishable blaze was on the move. Later the strange warming of John Wesley’s heart was to see God move once again. In the 26th century we find the Holy Spirit moving at will around the world. In this country such people as Alexander Body and the Jefferies Brothers are used of God in might and power. This same Holy Spirit is here today; God has said "I Will Pour Out My Spirit On All Flesh." This promise is for all His children, and not the selected few. In Joel we see that the promise contains, Sons, Daughters, Old men and young men, Men servants and maid servants and so on. Why? So that ever facet of the body of Christ will have the power and ability to serve Him in the last days. From the smallest hair to the most vital organ, from the small toe to the head, from the sense organs to the power muscles, might know the taking up by God, when the hearts of the early apostles were failing Jesus had said to them "you shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you." Who can receive this..? Anyone who is child of God!
Notice how that the Church was ready on the day of Pentecost. Three things standout that applied then as well as today
(i) They were united. "They were with one accord."
Here was the most critical time, a most decisive time for the plan of God. This was going to be the foundational time, get this wrong and the building that was to be built, would be built upon a faulty foundation. Jesus had now gone from them, he had left instructions for them to stay in Jerusalem, the very place where they had seen Jesus crucified, and they were frightened and like all sheep in danger of being scattered. The strong characters such as Peter could have just pushed off. But they were faithful to the words of Jesus, they were with on accord. With one purpose and intention to see and meet with the Lord God. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, they had been divided. Thomas was but one of the signs of that. Now however, they came as one. There was the common danger to them all, there was the common salvation to them all, they had all come to the same Lord, the same baptism, they had all heard the same words. They were as one.