On the day of Pentecost Peter linked the baptism of the Holy Spirit to the prophecies of Joel. Yet those prophecies point to an outpouring when Judah and Israel are restored to their land in His Kingdom. Only now are we are beginning to see those prophecies being fulfilled. Therefore, we should not expect an outpouring of the Spirit based on past outpourings in the Church age. We should anticipate the Spirit’s mighty outpouring, in power and judgement, in the Kingdom age prophesied by Joel.
As we anticipate the Feast of Pentecost, we often look to the Lord for another outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I want to be careful, however, that our perception of what God is going to do is based upon the Scriptures rather than upon what we have experienced in the past. There have been phenomenal outpourings of the Spirit and tremendous revivals in Church history, which we thank God for. But I also know that the past can limit our thinking and take us into a focus that may not be what the Lord is looking to do in this day.
When the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and said, “this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel.” Yet when we read the prophecies of Joel, we must recognize that Joel is referring to an outpouring greater in expression and fulfillment than even what transpired on the day of Pentecost. Joel prophesied that God would pour out His Spirit on all flesh when He restores the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, a restoration Peter himself did not witness.
The baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost ushered in the Church age, and for 2000 years we have not seen the promised restoration proclaimed by the prophet Joel. But if you go to Israel today, you will see with your own eyes those prophecies being fulfilled. What was destroyed and desolate is coming back to life and the people are being returned to the land. And so, as much as we thank God for the revivals of the Church age, we anticipate the outpouring of His Holy Spirit in this day that will usher in the era of the Kingdom.
- Acts 1:2-5. “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
- Acts 1:6-11. “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
- Acts 2:1-7. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues.”
- Acts 2:14-21. “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel.”
- Joel 2:18-25. “I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.”
- Joel 2:26-27. “Then My people will never be put to shame.”
- Joel 2:28-32. “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind.”
- Joel 3:1-3. “In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem.”
- “Joel was speaking of something beyond what transpired at the day of Pentecost. And therefore, Peter was linking the baptism of the Holy Spirit to something that would transpire in the days of the Kingdom being restored to Israel.”
- “We’re coming to the day when the children of Israel, the Jewish people, will never again be put to shame.”
- “You better not be dividing up the land of Israel. It is God’s land and He is giving it as a gift to His people.”
- All these prophecies that we read in the book of Joel are happening in our time. Yet in the day Peter spoke of these prophecies, it was not a time of restoration. In fact, Jerusalem was getting ready to see its greatest desolation and destruction under the Roman army.
- According to the prophecies of Joel, an outpouring of the Spirit will come during the days of the restoration of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. In the prophecies the Lord calls the nations to account because they have divided up His land and His people.
- There is to come an outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh, not just for a Church manifestation of tongues and gifts and fruit of the Spirit. It will come upon all the nations and will include the judgments that God brings at the time He restores the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem.