Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
June 29, 1998
Last Updated :
May 2, 2018
How And Why: Point People To God's Word, God Withdraws His Spirit, Will God's Judgments Soon Fall?, A Spiritual Vacuum, Beware Of The Wiles Of The Devil, Misinterpretation Of The Prophecy of Joel, Promise Of The Coming Comforter, Our Dark And Evil Times, There Is No Coming Day Of Pentecost Event, Holy Spirit Available To All Believers, Gospel Is Preached, Changing Tide And Persecution Of Christians, Rise Of Islam, Is Promise Of Revival A Control Mechanism?, The World Vision
At this point, you may be wondering what all of this has to do with being "slain in the spirit". As my regular readers know, my approach to researching and answering an issue, is to build my case one step at a time. I want to make sure that you fully understand how and why I arrive at particular conclusions. It would be very easy for me to tell you what I believe without going into all of the details, but how is that going to help you? This is what some Christians writers do. They tell you what they believe, but they don't tell you why they believe it. They don't point you to the Word of God. In my view, this is what being a Bible teacher is all about. It isn't about uplifting the man, or the man's words. It is about lifting up the Lord and His Word; for as King David wrote:
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
Psalms 138:2, KJV
So allow me to join all of these different thoughts together. Contrary to all of these false American prophets who talk about a great revival, and a tremendous outpouring of God's Spirit during a second Pentecost which will result in an Endtime Elijah, as well as in many other great Apostles and Prophets rising to the fore, I believe the exact opposite is predicted in the Scriptures. In like manner, while some of them predict peace, prosperity and safety for the United States of America, based upon her many crimes against God, against humanity, and even against the Earth itself, I can't possibly see how these deluded people can make such claims.
We have already seen through the Scriptures, that prior to, and during judgment, God does not outpour His Spirit. He does the exact opposite. He withdraws it, Himself, and His Divine Protection. You will also find this topic discussed in "The Children of God and Politics", as well as in "The Fruits of Disobedience". Personally, I believe that this is the point at which we are at with both the United States of America, as well as with the world in general. Like many other Christians, I suspect that God is poised to let His judgments fall, and possibly very soon. While the little boy has already been sent to his room in order to think over the matter, he is by no means in a state of repentance!
I am reminded of something I have shared in articles such as "Nature of the Alien: ETs, Demons or a Government Plot?" and "The Battle is Not Yours Alone!". It is important that we all understand that when people begin to reject the Lord in their lives, whether as individuals, or as an entire nation, they create a spiritual vacuum. Under normal conditions, a vacuum cannot remain a vacuum for very long. It must be immediately filled with something else. Just as God's Spirit will not go where it is not wanted, Satan and his demons will indeed go where they are not only wanted, but where they are in fact consciously invoked by those people who are foolish enough to do so through various means.
However, the alarming part is that this may even include people who are young in their Christian faith, who don't really know how to differentiate between the Voice of the Lord's Spirit, and the voice of Satan or one of his evil cohorts. I have warned my readers many times in my articles that Satan is one deceptive fiend. He, his demons, and his worldly children, are much wiser than most of us could ever hope to be. That is why Jesus even said the following:
"And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light."
Luke 16:8, KJV
It is only by staying close to the Lord, and by faithfully studying His Word, that we can possibly hope to recognize the wiles of the devil. For as the Apostle Paul wrote:
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV
As I briefly mentioned in part two of this series, some of the key verses which are used by these people who talk all about a revival and a great outpouring of God's Spirit in America during a second day of Pentecost, are the following, which are found in the Book of the Prophet Joel:
"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 also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."
Joel 2:28-32, KJV
For quite a long time, I also believed -- perhaps mistakenly so -- that these verses were referring to a final outpouring of God's Holy Spirit in the Last Days. Of course, even the meaning of the phrase "Last Days" is really open to debate. However, taking into consideration what I believe the Lord has shown me in recent years, I began to wonder if this was truly the case. In other words, is it possible that just as some people have misinterpreted the time frame of the verses in the Book of Malachi, so that they erroneously believe in an Endtime Elijah, that the above verses from the Book of Joel have also been misunderstood? What if the phrase "the great and the terrible day of the LORD" is not referring to our current times at all, but rather to an event which occurred two thousand years ago? I discuss this event in considerable detail in the series entitled "Jesus Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?".
If we are truly honest with ourselves, we must admit that this is a distinct possibility. Due to the lack of a complete record of the events which occurred back then, we honestly do not know what celestial or earthly signs the Lord may have performed. The Sun being darkened, and the Moon being turned to blood, could easily have been a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse during that age. Additionally, deliverance did in fact come from Mount Zion and Jerusalem; not only because Jesus preached in the very Temple, but because it was also there where He was crucified; and it was from there that His Apostles began to spread the Gospel message. Regarding this deliverance of which Joel speaks, when Jesus began His public ministry, one of the first things He did was to quote the following from the Prophet Isaiah:
"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
Luke 4:16-19, KJV
These are not the only things which cast doubt upon this belief in a second day of Pentecost, as is proposed by the Latter Rain people and quite a few other charismatic groups. The Apostle Peter's words in the Book of Acts also indicate that the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled on that day when there was a great outpouring of the Lord's Spirit on all of the Disciples in Jerusalem; exactly as Jesus had promised a short time before. As you read the following verses, bear in mind that Peter had just received the Holy Ghost. Thus, he was speaking by the power and influence of God Himself. He was not leaning to his own understanding when he said these things. After His Resurrection, Jesus even opened up the Old Testament Scriptures to His Disciples; so I don't see how Peter or anyone else could have been mistaken when he said that this was the fulfillment of the prophecies of Joel. Consider now the following verses:
"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Acts 2:14-21, KJV
"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"
Luke 24:25-32, KJV
Notice that we are specifically told that Peter stood "up with the eleven". I don't know how you understand these words, but I understand them to mean that they were all in unison with Peter. This act of standing up together was a sign that, doctrinally speaking, they were in agreement with Peter. That is, they agreed that the words of the Prophet Joel were being fulfilled that very day. They had no doubt about this whatsoever. They had all seen Jesus after His Resurrection. He had opened up the Scriptures to them. They knew exactly what they were talking about. They weren't mistaken. They weren't deceived. They hadn't misunderstood the Scriptures. According to Jesus' own words, which were in fact a repetition of what is found in the Old Testament, they were establishing a principle doctrine of our Faith. Consider the following verses:
"But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."
Matthew 18:16, KJV
"This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."
2 Corinthians 13:1, KJV
"Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,"
Romans 16:25, KJV
"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
1 Peter 5:10, KJV
Despite this clear affirmation by the Founding Fathers of our Faith, today there are many spiritual leaders who make the false claim that the words of the Prophet Joel have not yet been fulfilled; or else they twist them and say that it is going to happen again. If you are one who believes in this idea of a second day of Pentecost, or in the coming of a second Prophet Elijah and other great Apostles and Prophets, then I ask you to please seriously consider the following.
As many of you will know, that particular day of Pentecost in Jerusalem was an extremely important part of God's Plan which greatly contributed to the spread of, as well as the survival of, our Christian faith. It was so important, that during the course of His ministry, Jesus made mention of the coming promise of the Comforter -- that is, the Holy Ghost -- on a number of occasions. Following are some of the key things He said about it:
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
John 14:16-17, KJV
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"
John 15:26, KJV
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV
Now let me ask you something. If the Lord had planned for a second day of Pentecost in our present day, doesn't it seem likely that He, and His Apostles, would have made mention of it somewhere? Doesn't it seem likely that Jesus would have surely mentioned it in some of His sermons? Doesn't it seem likely that Peter, James, John or Paul would have mentioned it in one of their Epistles? Despite all of these false claims by these modern spiritual leaders, no one, not even the Lord Himself, made mention of such an important event. If not, then we are forced to ask ourselves, "Why not?".
To me, the answer is rather obvious. As I stated in the third part of this series, rather than pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh in some great, final American revival as some of these deluded religious leaders would have us to believe, it seems to me that the Lord might actually be withdrawing His Spirit from the Earth, as more and more people turn away from Him in rebellion, sin and disbelief in our dark times. Isn't this the true pattern that we have seen throughout the Bible? I have clearly supported this view with many Scriptures.
Tragically, that is not the end of the story. Let me remind you of a point I made earlier. When God's Spirit is removed -- thus creating a spiritual vacuum -- something else must come in to take its place. While neither Jesus, nor His Apostles, spoke of an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh, or of a wonderful appearance of many Prophets and Apostles who will perform mighty miracles during our current times, the New Testament abounds with verses which clearly describe and warn us about an extremely evil and totally deceptive presence upon the Earth. Following are some of the key verses which ought to wake up some of you to the real Gospel truth, whether you can receive it and believe it or not:
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Matthew 7:15-20, KJV
"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Matthew 24:24, KJV
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
1 Timothy 4:1, KJV
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away . . . But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13, KJV
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:13-15, KJV
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
2 Peter 3:3-4, KJV
This evil, deceptive presence has been on the Earth for the past two thousand years, and even before that. However, it is clearly evident from political and social developments in the United States, and around the world as well, that this force of darkness is becoming bolder by the year. In fact, it doesn't even try to hide itself anymore. We can see it in the attitudes of so many people today who openly defy and rebel against God, and who engage in all manner of wickedness. They may think that it is funny, but God is watching and taking it very seriously, I have no doubt. As I mentioned earlier, we can only wonder how much more time will pass before the Lord reveals His wrath from Heaven.
This is the real picture of our current times. It isn't this phony, pie-in-the-sky scenario which is being preached by these false prophets of peace who talk about a revival and another outpouring of the Spirit. Why does there even need to be a second Pentecost? Did God's Spirit just run out, or run low somewhere during the past two thousand years so that we His children now need a refill? Hasn't the Holy Spirit been freely available to us ever since the day of Pentecost almost two thousand years ago?
Isn't this whole idea of a second outpouring of the Spirit starting to sound contrary to the Scriptures to you, not to mention being rather silly as well? These misguided people who preach these things are in essence saying that the Holy Spirit is not currently available to us. They are basically saying that this is why we need another outpouring of the same. Well, I am sorry to disagree with them, but that isn't what Jesus Christ taught by any means. Quite to the contrary, He said the following:
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
Luke 11:13, KJV
The Scriptures make it very clear that while the Holy Spirit had previously been limited to selected people whom the Lord could trust with it, such as Moses, Aaron and his successors, King David, the many Prophets of the Old Testament, Mary, Elizabeth, Ana, Simeon and John the Baptist, following Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross, and the day of Pentecost, exactly as the Prophet Joel had written, it became freely available to all flesh. That is, to everyone who accepted the Lord Jesus Christ; beginning first in Jerusalem, and then spreading out to all around the world. We see this throughout the Book of Acts. Consider the following examples. There is no doubt in my mind that the Spirit was indeed poured out upon all flesh exactly as had been prophesied by Joel:
"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
Acts 2:4, KJV
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Acts 2:38, KJV
"And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."
Acts 4:31, KJV
"And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him."
Acts 5:32, KJV
"Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:"
Acts 6:3-5, KJV
"Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
Acts 8:14-17, KJV
"And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost . . . Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,"
Acts 9:17, 13:9, KJV
"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Acts 10:44-45, KJV
"And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost."
Acts 11:15-16, KJV
"Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord."
Acts 11:22-24, KJV
"And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost."
Acts 13:52, KJV
"And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;"
Acts 15:8, KJV
"And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."
Acts 19:6, KJV
Now, if God truly stopped pouring out His Spirit somewhere along the way since the day of Pentecost, so that we need a new outpouring, I would like to ask those of you who believe in this totally unScriptural doctrine, to tell me exactly when and where this occurred. Furthermore, since I have now conclusively shown that the words of the Prophet Joel have indeed already been fulfilled, and continue to be fulfilled to this present time, what other verses can you point to in order to continue supporting this wayward belief? Because of the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost so many centuries ago, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has in fact been preached for the past two thousand years. Not only that, but due to the technological innovations of our modern times, the Good News of God's Kingdom is being preached more, and further, than ever before.
Anyone who pays close attention to the news and to different evangelical endeavors, can readily tell that the Gospel has indeed been preached to the entire world by many different means. If anything, I would dare say that the world has been glutted with the Gospel. In fact, world evangelism has been so successful, that in our current day, it appears that the situation is now in reverse. From the stories and reports I have read, it seems that Christian missionaries are being persecuted to some degree, and even killed, in more nations than ever before.
As different nations succumb to fanatical religious elements within their societies, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being less and less welcomed in some of these countries. This is particularly true in countries where Islam is the predominant religion. It is now claimed that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today -- even in the United States of America -- and not Christianity as one may be led to believe. The tide is truly changing. As the Light of the Gospel slowly extinguishes, spiritual darkness will prevail in the vacuum.
This poses a very interesting question. Considering the true state of Christianity today, and the true state of the world in general, why is it that some of these charismatic leaders continue to express belief in this outpouring of the Spirit of God? While I cannot prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt, could it possibly have something to do with the fact that some of these powerful leaders, who have set up themselves as Apostles and Prophets in some of these churches and organizations, need a reason to keep their followers under their control?
Consider this possibility. By promising them some kind of a revival, and a coming baptism of the Holy Spirit in which their flocks will also be wonderfully transformed into great Apostles and Prophets just like their leaders, these people give their followers a reason to keep believing in them as anointed shepherds of the Lord, whether they truly are or not. In other words, the idea seems to be, "Keep believing in us, because it is going to happen! A great outpouring of the Spirit is coming!"
As I have already clearly shown, the problem with this is that it has already happened; and it has continued to happen for the past two thousand years. God has been pouring out His Holy Spirit upon His evangelists, missionaries and other faithful servants for almost twenty centuries now, in order that they might take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the Earth. This is precisely what Jesus said the Holy Ghost was for, and this is exactly what has happened, as we see by the following two verses:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
Mark 16:15, KJV
"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV
Please go to part five for the continuation of this series.
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