“THIS IS THAT”

Acts 2:16-21

INTRODUCTION: On the Day of Pentecost Peter experienced a first for him — “the enduement of power and anointing of the Holy Ghost.”

      A. Under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Peter declared that what the people witnessed was the beginning of two important prophecies being fulfilled:

            #1. The outpouring of the Holy Ghost they had witnessed was in direct fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, and would include “all flesh”, which he quoted from Joel 2:28-29.

            #2. The time pre-determined for the beginning of the last days had begun.

                  a. A time in which God would give: 1the last revelation of His Divine will, and 2the last revelation of His grace.

      B. Peter interpreted the events of Pentecost as the “afterwards” of Joel 2:28.

            1. He indicated that the revelation had ushered in the dispensa-tion, known as the “last days” which embodied the “messianic era.’”

                  a. “Last days” was a phrase which was understood among the Jews as “the time of the Messiah”.

            2. In his statement, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel”,Peter declared not only that the prophecy which Joel delivered so long ago was, at that time, beginning to be fulfilled;

            3. It was also proof that Jesus, whom they had crucified, was the Messiah and that He arose from the dead and was alive and at the right hand of God in Heaven as man’s high priest and intercessor with the Father.

      C. Peter’s expression, “This is that” seems to indicate his limited understanding of what had transpired.

           1. BUT, He was about to witness and to experience the “dunamis (dynamic) power” that Jesus had promised in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8.

           2. Had they asked the question “What meaneth this” months later, Peter’s sermon would have been more extensive than what it was on the Day of Pentecost.

            3. We now know that Joel’s prophecy held wonderful promises for believers as well as a solemn warning concerning the last days. Let us consider first:

I.  THE WONDERFUL PROMISE – “I will pour out My Spirit.”

      A. “Pour out?”  How is this possible?  He is the Third Person of the Godhead.  How can such an expression apply to the Person of the Holy Ghost?

            1. The Spirit of God is not only “personality” He is the”energy” and “power” of God.

            2. “Pouring out His Spirit” is a pouring out of the mysterious personal energy and power of God.

            3. “Pour out” in scriptures conveys the idea of “communicating largely or freely,” as water flows abundantly and freely from a fountain. 

                  a. In reference to the Holy Ghost, it means that God will bestow large measures of spiritual energy and influences upon believers.

Luke 24:49 “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued [Grk. clothed upon (in the sense of sinking into a garment)] with power from on high.”

                4. To “endue” also means to “endow somebody or something with an ability or quality.”

Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”

            5. “Power” [Grk. wd. “dunamis] meaning: miraculous power; ability, abundance, meaning, might / (worker of) miracle (-s), / power, strength, violence (explosive), mighty (wonderful) work.

                  a. Same word we get our English word “dynamite” from.

            4. Jesus promised to endue “clothe” the Church with [explosive, dynamic] power; power to animate and activate with ability, authority, and strength.

      B. Does the church lacks this animating power today. Is this the reason it’s not active? Have we lost sight of its availability, and our need of it?

John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained [given authority] you, that ye should go  and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

            1. In order for the church to carry out its God appointed task, Jesus not only ordains us, He empowers us.

            2. He does so in order to make us dynamic and enterprising for Him.

            3. It is then that we can obey His command to “go” and make disciples, and then teach them to observe all things whatsoever He commanded.

      C. In the Old Testament period the Spirit of God came and rested (sat) upon His chosen servants, as the situation required.

            1. It was the miraculous power that activated Samson, David, Daniel, Gideon, and many others with ability, authority and strength for their God appointed work.

            2. Beginning with Pentecost and continuing throughout the last days, the Spirit is to be “poured out” in abundance upon “all flesh” (believers, regardless of nationality).

                  a. This includes the poor, un-informed, unlearned and not, as the Jewish rulers taught, “Just upon the wise, the privileged persons and classes of Jews.”

      C. Just as Jesus poured out Himself without measure for man’s re-demption, God has poured out His Spirit without measure for all be-liever’s enlightenment, guidance, and enduement of power for service.

II. THE EXTENT OF THIS OUTPOURING – “UPON ALL FLESH”

      A. All types of humanity – black, brown, red, white, and yellow. There is no respect of persons with God, with the exceptions of the unsaved and unsanctified.

2 Tim 2:20-21 “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

1 Thess. 4:7 “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”

Acts 2:39 “The promise is to you and to your children, and to as many as the Lord our God shall call.” To your “sons and daughters, old men, young men, servants, and handmaids.”

            1. Acts 2:39 is what prompted Paul to ask the Ephesian believers (Gentiles) “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” (Acts 19:2)

      B. The results predicted — a carrying out of that which cannot be done apart from the operation and power of the Holy Spirit of Promise.  SUCH AS:

            1. “Your sons and daughters shall prophesy.”  Prophesy means: The uttering of words and thoughts by Divine inspiration, either fore-telling or forth-telling.

                 a. Forth-telling (witnessing) whether in a pulpit, coal-pit, in the home, or in the factory; Whether on the street, in the store, or in the sanctuary.

                 b. This is how decades ago, believers with less education and natural ability than you, and I, effectively reached their generation with the gospel message.

            2. “Your old men shall dream dreams.”  The old men may not be able to take part as previously in the fore-front of spiritual warfare, BUT God has ways of bringing refreshing to their weary hearts and receiving service and praise through them.

                  a. In the ministry of the Holy Ghost the elderly are not cast off because of their age. 

                  b. There is a place for them.  Thanks be unto his Name.  I don’t want to quit, nor do I intend to, even when I get old (older)!!

            3. “Your young men shall see visions.”  Young men who have received Christ, yielded to His call, and received the Holy Ghost should expect to have marvelous visions of possibilities in the world-wide harvest field.

                  a. This in spite of having no knowledge, experience, or under-standing of Divine things; just a vision of the potential of being used of God.

                  b. Have you had a vision of your potential, or your possibilities in the harvest?

Joel 2:28 “And upon the servants and the handmaids will I pour out my Spirit.”

                  c. The servants and the handmaids are not to be exempt from this spiritual endowment.  This means increased productivity and spiritual effectiveness in every sphere of spiritual work in the Kingdom.  Example:

Acts 6:3 “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 (serving tables).”

                  d. The Holy Ghost came to put a new and higher value upon all our activities in the Kingdom of God.  Has He yours??

      C. Questions: Have you have received the Holy Ghost? Have you been empowered by the Holy Ghost, and used of Him beyond your own abilities?  Can you testify about the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in our time or to the fulfillment of Joel 2:28-29?

            1. If so, your testimony and the infallibility of the Word confirm, and assure that the “Prophetic Outlook” in Joel 2:30-32 will also be fulfilled in these last days.

Joel 2:30-32 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into dark-ness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered:..”

            2. In Joel’s Prophetic Outlook for the Last Days there is given:

III. A SOLEMN WARNING.

Joel 2:30 “I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth…before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”

      A. There is coming a great day (for Christ and His Church) and a terrible day (for sinners and unbelievers) which shall be ushered in with:

            1. Signs and wonders in heaven, and earth, — blood (violence and bloodshed), and fire, and pillars of smoke (brought on by drought, food shortages, riots, oil wells burning, and war).

                  a. The turning of the sun into darkness and the moon into blood refers to a blocking of the sunlight and moon.

            2. The great and terrible Day of the Lord will come just as surely as the outpouring of God’s Spirit did on the Day of Pentecost.

            3. The Day of The Lord will be very different from this day of grace.

                  a. Now is the merciful day of the Lord, then will be the terrible day of the Lord.

            4. Listen to God when He speaks to you by His Spirit. Answer His call, repent, and be saved.

                  a. In these last days it boils down to “Get Right or Get Left!” Get in or be shut out!!

      B. If you have answered His call, sanctified yourself, and you’re filled with the Holy Ghost, then pray for a vision of being used of the super-natural power of God. 

            1. Regardless of your age, dream of God using you before it is too late for yourself or someone else.

                  a. Dream of being a dynamic and enterprising witness for Him.

Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 

            2. It is our responsibility to get people to call upon the Lord that they might be saved. Isn’t it time you prayed and sought God that you might receive the “dunamis power” to be able to do so.  Tell God that you want all that He has for you, so that you can do all that He want you to do for Him.                  

3. If you’re not right with God, then “Get Right or Get Left.”

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