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  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3
   
 

The Outpouring of the Spirit

 

Promise of and Preparation

           For Pentecost

 

For what did Christ, just before His ascension, tell His disciples to wait?

 

“I am going to send you what the Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed from on high.Luke 24:49.

 

With what did He say they would be baptized?

 

“For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:5.

 

Note – John the Baptist had foretold this baptism. “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Matthew 3:11.

 

For what work was this baptism to prepare them?

 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8.  

 

Results of Pentecost

 

What were some of the results of the preaching of the gospel under the outpouring of the Spirit?

 

‘When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brother what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and fort all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” Acts 2: 37-41. “The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.” Acts 5:12-14. “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”

Acts 6:7.

 

How did persecution affect the preaching of the gospel?

 

“On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. Those had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” Acts 8:1-4.

 

Note – “Persecution has only had a tendency to extend and establish the faith which it was designed to destroy…. There is no lesson which men have been slow to learn as that to oppose and persecute men is the very way to confirm them in their opinions, and to spread their doctrines.” – Dr. Albert Barnes, on Acts 4:4.

 

A Latter-Day Outpouring

 

What prophecy was fulfilled in the Pentecost outpouring of the Spirit in the time of the apostles?

 

“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raise his voice and addressed the crowd. “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people, Your sons and daughters will prophesy, young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” Acts 2:14-18. (See Joel 2: 28,29.)

 

What expressions in the prophecy of Joel seem to imply a double fulfillment of this outpouring of the Spirit?

 

“Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. Joel 2:23. (See also Hosea 6:3.)

 

Note – In Palestine the early rains prepare the soil for the seed sowing, and the latter rains ripen the grain for the harvest. So the early outpouring of the Spirit prepared the world for the extensive sowing of the gospel seed, and the final outpouring will come to ripen the golden grain for the harvest of the earth, which Christ says is, “the end of the world.”

(Matthew 13:37:39; Revelation 14: 14, 15.)

 

For what are we told to pray in the time of the “latter rain?”

 

Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone.” Zechariah 10:1.

 

Note – Before the apostles received the baptism of the Spirit in the early rain on the day of Pentecost, they all “continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” (Acts 1:14.) During this time they confessed their faults, put away their differences, ceased their selfish ambitions and contentions for place and power, so that when the time for the outpouring came, “they were all wit hone accord in one place,” ready for its reception. To be prepared for the final outpouring of the Spirit, all sin and selfish ambition must again be put away, and a like work of grace wrought upon the hearts of God’s people.

 

The Call of Revelation’s Angel

 

How is the closing gospel work under the outpouring of the Spirit described by the revelator?

 

“After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.” Revelation 18:1.

 

What does the angel say?

 

“With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. Verse 2.

 

Note – The religious world will have become a one-world government during this time much like the same condition, as was the Jewish nation after it had rejected Christ at His first advent. (See 2 Timothy 3: 1-5.)

 

What did Peter on the day of Pentecost tell the hearers to do?

 

“With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Acts 2:40.

 

What similar call and appeal will be made under the final outpouring of the Spirit?

 

“Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are plied up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.” Revelation 18: 4, 5. 

 

Note – A great work will be accomplished under the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Many voices all over the earth will sound the warning cry. The 144,000 servant- prophets will be using signs and wonders to help those believers who are honest in heart make the right decision as at Pentecost, and thousands will be converted in a day. Those who fail to heed this final gospel call during the third and fourth angel’s message, like the unbelieving Jews, will be doomed to destruction and will have taken up sides with Satan and have taken the mark of the beast. After the seventh trumpet has sounded in heaven, the last seven plagues will overtake the wicked, as war, famine, death, and destruction overtook the Jews, who, not believing in Christ, failed to heed His call to flee, and shut themselves up in Jerusalem to their doom. Those who heed the call of the first, second, and third angel’s message and believe and come out of Babylon and separate themselves from the wicked will be saved by God’s grace.    

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