Pour Out My Spirit

Dear Brethren,

The greatest gift that anyone could ever receive is the gift of God's Holy Spirit. With His Spirit comes the promise of salvation and eternal life. "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." (Acts 2:17-18)

The Bible records that the Feast of Pentecost has been a day of incredible events and great miracles, both for the Old Testament Church in the wilderness, and for the early New Testament Church. The Ten Commandments were presented to the Israelites at Mount Sinai amidst fearsome smoke, thunder, lightning, the sound of trumpets, and the shaking of the mountain. All of the Israelites entered into a covenant with God that day to live according to His law.

In 31 AD, Pentecost marked the beginning of the New Testament Church. The apostles and brethren, who had gathered together to observe the Feast day, heard a loud sound like a strong wind, and then what appeared to be tongues of fire sat on each of them. At that same moment they were given God's Holy Spirit. Approximately three thousand saints were added to the Church of God on that day, and the Church grew rapidly. The true Church, established by Jesus Christ, was mighty and strong for a few decades, but then began to weaken, and then decline to only a few scattered brethren.

"Stir up the gift of God, [the Holy Spirit], which you received by the laying on of hands, for God has not given you the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2Timothy 1:7) This advice is as valid today as it was in the first century Church. Now is the time that we must exercise God's Holy Spirit within us. We must look past the troublesome times we are living in, and draw closer to God in humility and faith. We must be living our faith, i.e., serving God by serving our fellow man. Pentecost is a picture of the Church growing into spiritual perfection.

Pentecost pictures us, the firstfruits, imbued with God's Holy Spirit. We are the first spiritual harvest - those of the better resurrection. Pentecost has a number of names - the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Firstfruits, and the Feast of Harvest. Pentecost pictures the firstfruits who are being prepared for the Kingdom of God. "The feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labors, which thou hast sown in the field." (Exodus 23:16) "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." (1Corinthians 15:20)

Jesus Christ is the first of the firstfruits. We, the called out saints, are also to be firstfruits - represented by the smaller spring grain harvest. Those who will be in the second resurrection at the Great White Throne Judgment are represented by the larger harvest of autumn - they are the latter-fruits. We, the elect of this time, are to be the firstfruits of the first spiritual harvest into the Kingdom of God. "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." (James 1:18) "Not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (Romans 8:23)

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." (Acts 2:1) When we received the gift of God's Spirit, we were placed into God's salvational process. Our sins, in violation of God's holy law, had made us worthy of death. But, upon our repentance and acceptance of Jesus as our personal Savior, God gave us a part of His Life and Spirit, the gift of the characteristics of His mind - hope, mercy, righteousness, forgiveness, love, and power - to name but a few. "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 Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

Only through God's Holy Spirit are we able to overcome sin. God's Spirit in us sets us apart, that is, makes us holy, because by His Spirit we have put on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We have received the ability to grow in wisdom and understanding. "We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." (1Corinthians 2:12) When we received His Holy Spirit, with the laying on of hands, God literally became our spiritual Father - a state of existence more real than our physical being. Our Father has given us His Name, and He has given us of His Spiritual Life.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...Beloved, now are we the sons of God." (1Peter 1:3, 1John 3:2) This unique spirituality makes possible our future resurrection to eternal spiritual life in the very family of God - our ultimate salvation. Jesus Christ has set in motion this salvational process. Our bodies have become the dwelling place for God to live in us. God the Father and Jesus Christ live in us in Spirit. Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23)


Sermon:  "Pour Out My Spirit"