Part 3 of 4 examining four positive prophetic promises that precede the second coming of Jesus!
During the summer of 2003, I began to experience the Holy Spirit’s presence in a remarkable way. I marveled at the nearness of God and was filled with an insatiable desire for the Scripture, for prayer, and a love for other people that was unlike anything I had ever known.
In the midst of this personal awakening, I was deeply troubled by the difference between what God promised us in Scripture and what most believers, including myself, were experiencing. Glorious things were spoken of the Church, and yet an impassable gulf separated our low level of experience from God’s promises. I remember reading the book of Acts and observing the dynamics of the early church and thinking:
“Our only hope is to have an outpouring of the Holy Spirit like what happened in the book of Acts.”
But could it be true? Could it be true that Acts chapter 2 was not a one off experience and that God was actually planning to pour out His Spirit again as on the Day of Pentecost?
During that summer of 2003, I poured over the Old Testament prophets and began to find many Scriptures that pointed to this unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit before the “Day of the Lord”. There was an incredible joy of discovery as the Scriptures came alive around this fact. As I studied church history, it became clear that Acts 2 was not just a one-time event, but something that had been repeated over and over again. God has poured out His Spirit, He’s pouring it out now, and He’s planning to do it again!
Over the years, I became aware that this view was held by many people, and for good reason. Joel 2:28 clearly states that “In the Last Days….I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh…” That process began at Pentecost, but since Jesus has not returned, we’re clearly still in the “Last Days” and operating under that Joel 2 reality. Many other Scriptures, such as Zechariah 12:10 and Habakkuk 2:14, speak about the outpouring of the Spirit in an eschatological context.
God’s plan is to prepare the way for His Son’s return by saturating a wayward earth with His presence. As in the First Creation, so it is with the New Creation. God is going to cause His Spirit to hover over the chaos of the nations (waters) before speaking His Word, His Son and bringing forth a New Creation where everything is summed up in Christ!
Jonathan Friz and Gregg Healey discuss their
hope for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Our Role is Key in this Fulfillment
God loves to partner with human beings. His appointed means to fulfill these amazing promises is us, the Church. It’s through our intercession, obedience, and faith that these incredible promises are going to come to pass. Grace always comes through faith.
And the Grace, or gift, God is promising is unprecedented—an outpouring of the Holy Spirit not just in one city (Jerusalem), but globally, affecting “all flesh”. We’re talking about global revival, glory, harvest, and unity at levels we just haven’t seen before. Our response in prayer needs to correspond to the glory of His promise. That’s why we’re calling people to unite and pray for 10 entire days not just once, but every year. That’s why globally there is an unprecedented movement of prayer growing stronger each year. God wants to do amazing things through partnership with His amazing people.
Are we prepared to inherit?
The promises we’re inheriting are very good. But they’re accompanied by a very real warning. In the parable of the ten Virgins, five are wise and five are foolish. The wise virgins took time ahead of the Bridegroom’s coming to stock up extra oil. The oil represents the Holy Spirit, but particularly the oil of intimacy and nearness to God. This took advance effort and forethought in the mundane moments before the excitement of the cry “the bridegroom is here!” The foolish virgins ran out of oil and because they hadn’t prepared adequately; they ended up being excluded from the wedding feast.
God is going to get the kind of partnership He desires from His people. That much is determined. But it’s a privilege to be a part of it, not an entitlement. Even now, we can redeem these evil days, we can get this precious oil. On the other hand, the reality is that there are people who are going to miss it because they don’t acquire this precious oil.
10 Days is an opportunity to get oil! I’m not saying it’s the only opportunity—far from it, but that is one of its functions—it’s a time of extraordinary prayer, intended to fill our vessels of oil to the brim and prepare us and the earth for an extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
This outpouring is coming—in fact, it’s already started. In light of these extraordinary promises from God, let’s respond in faith by entering into extraordinary prayer!
- Jonathan Friz