Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 May 2016 Joel 2:28

Joel 2:28.   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 then it was the first day of the week – Sunday – the Lord’s Day…Glory Hallelujah! That means it’s time to get our weekly God-fix! And that’s meant in a positive manner.  It’s time to hie thee to the Lord’s sanctuary and raise the roof, or if it’s outdoors raise heaven’s roof, with songs of praise and worship, of adoration and awe and reverence to our wonderful Creator! 

And the good thing about all that is that it’s not a one way street. In return we will receive God’s peace and confidence, His encouragement and assurance, His strength and steadfastness so that we can successfully face the workday world for another week. 

And all God’s children gave out a delightful and grateful shout of ‘All praise and thanks be to our awesome God, who was, who is, and who always will be! Bless His holy name! Amen.’ 

And friends, today is a special day in the life of believers; it spells the formal beginning of Christ’s church; it’s the day of Pentecost, when the beginning of God’s promise in our Bit was fulfilled. ‘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.’  

Before this, the Spirit of God worked from the outside, came upon believers individually, temporarily, often to perform some special work. But after that, the Lord’s Spirit was going to work internally, in a permanent manner. It would come upon each and every believer and dwell within them as soon as they believed; accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. 

And that promise from Joel was also renewed by Jesus just before His ascension, when He told the disciples: ‘And, behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry (stay) ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.’ (Luke 24:49) 

And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘24:49. Here is the source of strength for effective evangelism. The promise of my Father stresses that the Spirit’s coming is not an afterthought, but an integral part of God’s eternal will. Endued conveys the picture of one being clothed with God’s enablement. Waiting is part of necessary preparation for the reception of God’s guidance and sanction.’  

And that is exactly what the disciples did; they waited in Jerusalem until they were clothed with God’s Holy Spirit, His enablement!  

Now listen to Luke describe the Day of Pentecost: ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose or mind) in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  

And there appeared unto them cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ (Acts 2:1-4) 

Oh how great is our God, my brethren! For as Jesus also told the disciples before His ascension: ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ (Acts 1:5) And so said, so done! 

Now let me see if I can paraphrase an important distinction made here by the scholars. ‘2:4. Though verse 4 mentions only the filling with the Spirit, both the filling and the baptism occurred. Christ promised that the baptism would occur (1:4-5) and Peter later affirms that it did happen at Pentecost (11:15-16). 

The filling and the baptism are two different works performed by the Holy Spirit. Note their contrasts: (1) Following Pentecost every believer receives the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor.12:13); hence the New Testament never commands the Christian to receive it. But the filling of the Spirit is not experienced by all believers, and so is commanded (Eph.5:18). 

(2) The baptism is permanent, happening but once and for all. The filling is ongoing, occurring continuously as seen in the present tense imperative of Ephesians 5:18, that is, “Keep on being filled.” The verse commands: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (riotousness): but be filled with the Spirit.” 

The filling of the Spirit is the controlling influence of the Spirit within the believer. Such control is neither universal or unending, thus it must be commanded and does recur within the believers (cf.4:8,31) The baptism is the act by which Jesus, through the Spirit, at conversion brings the believer into relation with Himself and makes the believer part of God’s people, the church. The filling is the continuous experience within the Christian whereby the Spirit, who already indwells him, keeps control over his life.’ 

Ah mih people, I know that sounds somewhat confusing, but if you take your time and read it, you will eventually understand what it’s all about.  (smile) 

And we’ll conclude with some of what happened after the Holy Spirit came upon the early church. ‘And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad (this sound occurred), the multitude came together and were confounded (confused) because every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? 

And how hear we every man in our own tongue (language or dialect), wherein we were born… Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt (perplexed), saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.’ (Acts 2:5-8, 11-12) 

Oh my fellow believers, that must have been a rather tumultuous day in ole Jerusalem! When you hear a bunch of uneducated Galileans speaking about God in your own language, it must give you pause for wonder. And you can’t blame those who thought that the Christians were somewhat inebriated either.  

So today, please, let’s sit and ponder what the Holy Spirit has done, is doing and has promised to do in our lives. And above all let’s try and keep our souls continually filled with Him, and thus let Him control us, for that is the epitome of wisdom! Have a blessed day of Pentecost! Much LOVE!

…what’s there to control and baptize us and keep us filled with Christ…the Holy Spirit…


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