Tuesday: The Gift of God’s Spirit
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Read Joel 2:28-29 along with Acts 2:1-21. How is Peter interpreting the prophecy of Joel here?

Image © Bill Osborne from GoodSalt.com

Image © Bill Osborne from GoodSalt.com

On the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter announced that the Lord had fulfilled His promise, as given through Joel, regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Accompanying the outpouring of the Spirit, and as a visible sign of God’s supernatural intervention in the history of humankind, God will cause extraordinary phenomena to be seen in nature, both on earth and in the sky.

“In immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the Lord by the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation of His Spirit. Joel 2:28. This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; but it will reach its full accomplishment in the manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel.”—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. ix.

In the immediate context of Joel, repentance will be followed by a great outpouring of God’s Spirit. This will bring a wonderful renewal. Instead of destruction, God’s gift of blessings will follow. The Lord reassures His people that His creation will be restored and the nation delivered from oppressors.

The Spirit is poured out upon God’s people, just as the anointing oil was poured upon the heads of those who were elected by God for a special ministry. The Spirit is also a gift of power bestowed on the recipients so that they might do a particular work for God (Exod. 31:2-5Judg. 6:34). Only this time the Spirit’s manifestation assumes wide proportions. At that great point in history, salvation will be available to all who seek God. God’s Spirit will fall on all the faithful—irrespective of age, gender, or social status—in a fulfillment of Moses’ wish that all the Lord’s people become prophets and that the Lord put His Spirit upon them (Num. 11:29).

What are things you can do in your own life that can make you more receptive to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?

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Tuesday: The Gift of God’s Spirit — 12 Comments

  1. Moses is my favorit persona inOT. He that wishes that all Gods people were prophets. He that ask God to erase him from the Book of life if not spare Israelities. He is a little Jesus!

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  2. People tend to think about self and forget others. This is the evidence that the holy spirit not working in the heart.

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  3. Moderator's Note: "Please use full name when commenting. Thank you.

    I wish that day will come soon when there is revival..I am struggling with so many things right now. I wish that God will send His spirit soon and change my heart and my mind forever so that I serve Him.

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  4. Moderator's Note: "Please use full names when commenting. Thank you."

    In the last few decades, there has been a springing up of many 'Christian' denominations, many of which call themselves 'miracle-working' churches. They all profess to have a special spiritual gifts that allow them to perform miracles of healing, speaking in tongues, etc. How do we make the difference between the Spirit that Joel prophesied about and these other 'spirits'? I am aware of the text in Isaiah that says that if they do not speak according to this word, it's because there is no light in them. One may not uphold all of God's 10 commandments, especially the 4th one about keeping the Sabbath, is that an ultimate proof that one who professes to work miracles by God's Spirit has no light in them? What will be the sign that God's Spirit is poured out? Can we be in danger of missing it altogether (missing the latter rain Ellen G. White speaks about) like the Jews (Pharisees) missed Jesus's birth and are still waiting for the Messiah to come?

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    • Ephraim, you raise many good questions and some of them are not easy to answer. I can only speak for myself and how I relate to these issues. To me the main issue is whether or not we are willing to capitulate to a higher power or not and whether or not we are willing to follow and emulate God in our relationship to everything around us.

      The Corinthian church had a lot of problems and one of them was concerning spiritual gifts. In 1 Cor 12 Paul presents the gifts as a distributed assortment rather than a single gift given to all. Many denominations pick on one gift and proclaim that if everyone in the church doesn't have that one gift then they don't have the spirit but to me that is not what Paul told the Corinthian church:

      For in fact the body is not one member but many.
      15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body?
      16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body?
      17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?
      18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.
      19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
      20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. (1 Cor. 12:14-20 NKJV)

      Notice the context is not differences in people or their natural ability but differences in spiritual gifts. The variety of gifts come together to form the body of Christ. Jesus manifested all the gifts but each one of us have one or more gifts given to us by the Spirit "distributing to each one individually as He wills" (1 Cor. 12:11 NKJV) and when all of our gifts in the church are brought together and properly used Christ is manifested through the church as a whole.

      After dealing with the distribution of gifts Paul then goes on in 1 Cor 13 to say that if those gifts are used without love they are, in fact, useless.

      The commandments define how that love manifests itself. For instance, the fourth commandment determines how we relate to God as creatures He has made and how we relate to other creatures and the freedom we give them. That commandment just happens to be one of the most flagrantly abused and ignored of all God's commandments because people choose to go their own way. They choose to do what they want to do rather than what God wants them to do. It's the old Cain vs. Abel sacrifice problem set in a different environment. So whether we are speaking about the use of spiritual gifts or keeping the commandments love is involved and we use and obey according to God's direction because we have chosen to follow God's leading in all these things rather than our own.

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    • The most important miracle that can occur is the miracle of a changed life. Most of the so-called miracles happen in a moment of ecstacy and are little more than a "feel-good" experience that lasts for a day or two. Working on the miracle of a changed life takes persistent friendship with unchurched folk.

      It is interesting that you have also raised in this context the issue of Sabbath-keeping. Sabbath-keeping is largely legalism if it is not shared. All too often we have kept our Sabbath to ourselves rather than sharing the gift of God's Sabbath with others.

      The proof of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be when we catch a vision of sharing our experience with others. We are a bit like the child with a tub of ice-cream who tells everyone how good it tastes, but eats it all themselves. We should be following the advice of the Psalmist; "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!" Ps 34: 8.

      Invite others to the party!

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  5. Now is that we are in the last days God is trying to pour out his spirit. But are we ready?? We treat each other so badly we treat our young people so disgracefully they turn away from God. We need to encourage our young people more God has a might work for them we need to pray on them and for them.

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    • Eli Sante, to share in your question; God has promised in 1 Corithians 10: 13., He will not allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear. When God allow Satan to test His servant Job, Satan plagued Job with hurricane, fire, desease and destroyed all of Job's assets and his childrens. I've learned from biblical records, that disasters are brought about by the enemy (Satan) only when God allows it. Satan is so full of hatred towards God he is anxious to destroy mankind, but he is been restrained by God.

      This is evident of God still and will always in control of everything, though sometimes it seems like God is not intervening. This is why is so vital important for us to have not just the informative knowledge of God, but more important, an experimental knowledge of God. I thank God for His mercy and grace that we are so fortunately blessed with. He will also provide us with a way out of the temptations, trials and disasters. Seek to gain His knowledge and experience that knowledge of His will in our lives. Then the Holy Spirit will gift to us the power of discernment that will enable us to understand and remove the cloud of perplexity from us. May God richly bless you as you seek him daily. Cheers!!!

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  6. One of the gifts is to discerement of spirits. Spirit of servant is from God and spirit of selfisnes is not God because God is not living for himself but for others. I think that is a call for us to be first "for others" and than if it takes miracles than ok.

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  7. Hi I am really amazed at how this topic has raised other topics.
    I am really touched by Epharim's question on how to identify whether the outpouring of the Spirit is of God and linking it with Isaiah. The only way to see that someone does not have God's spirit in them can only be determined by the Holy Spirit, who guides us each and every day. It's not something that you can really have a check box for really. If lets say we look at Mother Theressa would you say that she would not be considered into heaven because she didn't keep the Sabbath. I mean there are those that don't know about the Sabbath and still live more faithful lives to God than we do and have the Spirit of God. The Armor of God which really protects us and guides us. And when it comes to other religions I have a lot of friends who go to church on Sunday. To me as a servant of God, I truly believe that He has given us the gift of Discernment to determine whether someone is genuine or not. If not it's something that we would need to pray about. With my walk with God concerning the anointing of the Holy Spirit, He has led me to live in Harmony with my fellow saints and most importantly is teaching me How to Love cause I believe that when you learn how to Love Unconditionally can you only but come close to understanding the beauty of the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon our Lives and how Prayer and Obedience plays a Huge role to that.

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  8. I think that E.W. wrote about the latter rain and revival inside Seventh-day Adventists and not in Christian denominations. She even writes about false revival in general Christianity led by Satan, to decieve even elected ones by great revival with miracles. Spirt of God is doing a job also: writing law on hearts.

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