When the Spirit is poured out

Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 14 Jun 2015

Joel 2:28-32

28 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:

29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and 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: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.

Here the Lord says that He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh in the last days. That includes everyone, black and white, all nations. We live in an evil time. It’s as if the devil is let loose, and pours out his filth on everyone. It’s as if the spirit of immorality and prostitution is let loose. It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah.

But even though things are like that, it’s wonderful that God promises that He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh. And it continues to say that your sons and daughters will prophesy. There are things in the Bible which confuse people. Like the word prophecy is misinterpreted as being like fortune telling, saying who made your child sick, or who cast a spell on you, etc. But that’s not prophecy; that is occultism. Prophecy is to publicly expound the Word of God. So you need to discern the difference between prophecy and fortune telling.

God promises that the young men and women, who once spoke of evil things and used foul language, will now speak godly things and expound the Word of God through prophecy. And they will dream godly dreams. Now some dreams are straight from the devil. Other dreams are meaningless, because you’ve eaten too many potatoes before you went to bed. But there is also such a thing that God speaks to you through a dream. Remember how God spoke to Joseph through a dream to take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt and he obeyed and the Child was saved from being murdered by Herod (Matt 2:13).

The young men will also see godly visions, like Daniel and his three friends. And not defile themselves by watching TV and looking at filthy things. So when God’s Spirit come upon people they are filled with heavenly things. They forget about the things of the earth. It’s wonderful when God works through His Spirit, when young and old are changed and have godly fellowship together.

Some people complain that they’re just servants and are poor while others are wealthy and live like kings. But those differences disappear when God’s Spirit is poured out on you, for rich and poor can receive the greatest of gifts, the Holy Spirit. Even if you think that you have to work like a slave, that won’t be your focus anymore when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Maybe you say that you are nothing and have nothing. But if you have the Holy Spirit you are rich beyond imagination. God comes to poor people, sinners, and transforms them and pours out His Spirit on them. Very often those who are poor in earthly things are rich in heavenly things.

We also read of the signs and wonders God will show in the heavens above and the earth beneath, before the great and terrible day of God’s Judgement. Yes that great and awesome day is coming, when God will judge all people. Now if you repent and call on the Name of the Lord, then you need not fear that Day. But if you do not repent, that day will be terrible, like hell.

Just think of all the damage alcohol does to you even physically, and the damage smoking is causing you, where they destroys your lungs and your liver, and brings you to an early painful death. Just look in the world today and see all the diseases and illnesses people bring upon themselves because of disobedience to God. Just think of all the drug-related diseases, like krokodil, where your flesh is consumed from your bones while you’re alive, so that your bones can be seen sticking out!

When God’s Spirit speaks to you, obey. It’s better to cut off your hand if it offends you and enter heaven than to enter hell with both hands (Mark 9:43). God’s Word says some people are born eunuchs, others make themselves eunuchs for the sake of heaven (Matt 19:12). Rather be an eunuch than not being able to control yourself and end in hell. That great and awesome day is coming to everyone. Many ignore it to their own damnation. You will be helped by one thing, and that is to call upon the Name of the Lord.

Cry out like that man in Rom 7, “who will deliver me from this wretched body of death” (Rom 7:24). But he ends up saying, “but thanks be to the Lord who saves me and delivers me” (Rom 7:25; 8:1,2).

May no one hardens his or her heart, but cry to the Lord to save and deliver you.

German translation

French translation