Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 59

The Advent Part 51

Acts 2:19-20, “I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and notable day of the Lord.”

Within the context of Joel’s prophecy we not only see the advent of the Holy Spirit and the outpouring thereof, but we are also shown the signs that will occur both in heaven and on earth before the coming of the great and notable day of the Lord.

When it comes to these sings, the blood and fire and vapor of smoke the sun being turned into darkness and the moon into blood, the household of faith is divided into two distinct camps. First, is the camp that believes we will be here to see these things unfold, as God would have had no reason to include them in His Word if we, His children, those given to understand the mysteries of the Book would not be here for these events, and second the camp that believes we will be caught up before the first hint of trouble and the first signs preceding the great day of the Lord are fulfilled.

Although some of you disagree, and might I add vehemently so given some of your correspondence in the past, it is no secret that I believe with all my heart that we will be here for at least some, if not all the signs preceding the great and notable day of the Lord. Do I want to believe that we will be here to see these things unfolding? No, I don’t want to believe that we will see with our own eyes the sun being darkened and the moon being turned into blood, but what I want to believe, and what I have to believe because the Word makes it abundantly clear are two separate issues.

In all matters having to do with the Spiritual we must defer to the Word of God and submit to its authority. Yes, the flesh would love to believe that of all the generations that have come before us, we will be the only one which God will treat with kid gloves, the only generation which God will spare from seeing His judgment be poured out upon the rebellious, the only generation whose faith will not be tested, and whose steadfastness will not be proven. What the flesh would like, and what the Word tells us however are in diametrical opposition to one another, and only one of the two can be right. Personally, I choose to believe the Word of God, and will do so time and again, because flesh has proven itself both evil and deceptive in perpetuity.

There is no partiality with God! Of this we can be certain because it is a running theme throughout the Word. Now if there is no partiality with God, why would we think, even for a second, that we will somehow be spared those things which no other generation of believers throughout the history of the church has been spared?

When we consider the end times, when we consider the signs that will accompany them, we fail to understand what seeing these signs will mean for us as children of God, as those who have been saved, redeemed, and sanctified in Christ. When we see these things begin to happen, the message we are supposed to take away is that the return of our Lord is imminent. These signs ought not to be a reason for fear, they ought not to be a reason for desperation, but rather a reason for hope because all that our Lord said would happen is happening, and if the veracity of these signs are self-evident, then the promise of His return is likewise true.

Luke 21:28, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

So what are these things that Jesus speaks of that will begin to happen? The selfsame things that Joel prophesied: the signs in the sun, in the moon, in the stars, and on earth distress of nations.

Since this is a study on the Holy Spirit, and an exegetical excursion into the first two chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, I will refrain from further discussion concerning the sings of the end times, and the signs that will take place before the great and notable day of the Lord, but I would be remiss if I did not point out one more thing.

The reason a right and true belief as to whether or not we will be here for the events that Joel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, and even Christ foretold is crucial, is because depending on what we believe, we will either be caught by surprise, unprepared and unequipped for those days, having believed that we would be long gone, or we will be found prepared, having purposed in our hearts that come what may we will remain faithful to Christ Jesus our Lord, and stand even when all others have fallen by the wayside.

If I live with the expectation of having to suffer persecution for the cause of Christ, then when the expected persecution arrives, I will be neither shocked, angered, nor perturbed, but rather having prepared myself spiritually, having lived with the knowledge that all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, I endure until the end. This is why the issue is important; this is why it requires consideration on our part, and not because of denominational dogma or other irrelevant disputes. Prepare your heart as though you will have to endure, prepare your heart as though you will have to suffer, prepare your heart as though you will have to lay down your very life for the cause of Christ, and if God sees fit that these things not be visited upon you, then glory be to His name. There is no drawback or downside to spiritual preparedness, because it leads us to maturity in God, and dependence on Him.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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