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Before we close out our study of the return of the Holy Spirit, there is one question that may need to be answered for some of my readers. I have been speaking of the return of the Holy Spirit. Yet there are others who speak of something similar, a second sending of the Holy Spirit, and yet who connect it with the charismatic revival of modern days. This idea is often called the “latter rain,” and consists of the idea that the Holy Spirit that was sent at Pentecost returned in the manifestation of the charismatic gifts that started around 1901 at the beginning of the Pentecostal movement. So we will consider this question before we close our study. How does the second coming of the Holy Spirit relate to the “latter rain” idea that many set forth, especially in the charismatic movement?

The idea that is set forth by those who claim to be a part of this “latter rain” experience is that the “former rain” was the pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and throughout the Acts period, while the “latter rain” is the pouring out of the Holy Spirit that is being experienced now by those in the charismatic and Pentecostal movements. They claim this idea is found in Scripture, so we will examine the evidence found there. The phrase “latter rain” occurs in eight passages in the Scriptures, so it will be a simple matter to consider them all. Read the rest of this entry »

holyspiritfire02Another great verse from the Psalms speaking of this light from heaven, this word God sends into the world through the Spirit, is Psalm 76:8.

8. You caused judgment to be heard from heaven;
The earth feared and was still,

This verse is in the past tense, yet this is an example of an important Biblical principle: that God often speaks of those things that are not as if they were, or, as the New King James puts it in Romans 4:17, “calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” This does not mean that God says untrue things, but rather that God speaks of things that do not yet exist as if they already did. He speaks of things that have not yet taken place as if they had already taken place and were in the past. That is what God is doing here. He is speaking of what is going to happen in the future as if we were already beyond it and looking back on it from the future. Read the rest of this entry »

outpouring02We have been studying the great future event of the return or second coming of the Holy Spirit. He first came or was sent at the feast of Pentecost in Acts 2, and yet Scripture makes it clear that He will be sent again in the future, when the Spirit will be poured out on all flesh.

During His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus proclaimed both the first and the second comings of the Holy Spirit. In regards to His first coming, let us consider John 14:16-17.

16. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17. the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

The word translated “Helper” is the Greek word for a “Paraclete,” parakletos. While we do not use “paraclete” much in modern English, it is recognized as an English word at dictionary.reference.com, which defines it as an “advocate or intercessor.” The idea of the Greek word is of “one who comes alongside to help.” The Lord had been this up to now to His disciples, but as He is speaking in John 14 He is about to leave them, and so now He will pray the Father that He will send the Holy Spirit to abide with them for the outflow and be the advocate or intercessor for them. He defines this Spirit as “the Spirit of truth.” The world cannot receive this Spirit, for it neither sees Him nor knows Him, but the disciples know Him since they know the Lord Jesus, Who dwelt with them already. Yet when He sent the Spirit as their Paraclete, He would be in them. Read the rest of this entry »

We discussed in our last message that, even though we call two events Christ’s “first coming” and His “second coming” or return, these are not the only times Christ has actually appeared on earth. In the same way, when we speak of the “return of the Holy Spirit,” we do not mean to imply that the Spirit has only been sent twice, or even that He is not active on earth now. The fact is that the Holy Spirit has been active upon earth since the very beginning. The first time we read of the Spirit is in Genesis 1:2.

2. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

In the first appearance of the Holy Spirit in Scripture, He brought light to the world. Bringing light is one of the Spirit’s activities, and one of the reasons for which God sends Him. This brings us to an important principle about the Holy Spirit that we need to learn: when God sends Him, He always accomplishes exactly what God sent Him to accomplish, and nothing more nor less. Some people seem to have the idea that the Spirit always does the same thing when He comes upon people. Some think, for example, that when the Spirit comes upon anyone, that that person will always speak with tongues. Others think that when the Spirit comes, He will always make a person a flaming witness or a powerful speaker. Yet the Spirit can do many things when He comes upon people. He is not limited to only doing certain things. For a clear example of this, consider Exodus 31:1-5. Read the rest of this entry »

spiritfire02There is no doubt but that the return of our Lord Jesus Christ to this earth to be personally present for a thousand years is an extremely important and significant event in God’s future, prophetic calendar. This event is set forth most clearly in Scripture, and that it is a real, physical event is also clear. Acts 1:10-11, describing Christ’s ascension, makes this fact most clear.

10. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11. who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

In light of this most clear statement, all who claim to be Biblical should hold to and believe in the reality of the someday return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will yet come to earth just as He left it. If we truly believe the Scriptures, we cannot doubt this fact. Yet many make the return and second coming of Jesus Christ to be the central, if not the only, significant event in God’s future program. Moreover, they believe that His return is the event to usher in the Kingdom of God and bring all of God’s plans to fruition. Read the rest of this entry »

dove02I received the following question:

God uses the clearest words when HE reveals the most important thing which is the identity of God

Please from the Old Testamant ONLY
Show me a very clear verse saying the holy spirit is God.
Please show me a very clear verse from the Hebrew old testamant saying that the holy spirit is also God
regards

Why are you asking me these questions? You are not my college professor. Are you trying to get me to do your homework for you?

The fact that the Holy Spirit is God is not demonstrated by a clear verse saying that the Holy Spirit is also God, but by verses wherein His actions are said to be the actions of God, or wherein He is stated to be equal to God. As such, Isaiah 48:16 is one such passage: Read the rest of this entry »

lighttiger02I received the following question:

Dear Nathan, I was reading and meditating in Joel about God pouring out of His Spirit upon all flesh and it occurred to me that it may refer to all animal life as well.  I have never read or heard anyone suggest this before and wondered what you think?  We know that when God governs there will be peace and harmony in the animal world – the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, etc.  We know that Balaam’s ass spoke after an encounter with God’s Spirit so it’s not a crazy concept.  Would be interested to know if you have any thoughts.

I think you are on to something here. The most important pouring out of the Spirit will be on all of Adam’s race, but I do think that there will be significant results in the animal world as well. Since animals are put under the rule of Adamkind, they fell into many calamities when we decided to choose Satan’s way rather than God’s. They were brought down with us, and will be brought back up with us as well. We can see this clearly in Isaiah 11:6-9. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Hey Nathan, I was wondering if you could maybe offer me some thoughts on something in scripture I have been struggling to understand somewhat…In Luke 12:10, it says “…but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”  This is similarly echoed in Mark 3:29 “…but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”  Also in Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I will tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”  There may be other occurrences of things involving this, but none come to mind off-hand.  I guess I really don’t understand what “blaspheming the Spirit” means.  I thought maybe you could offer some thoughts.  I appreciate any help you can offer, and hope you are doing well.

I am doing well, thank you. I do think you have identified the three passages in question.

This matter of the “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” is one that is tossed around in Christian circles, and has been for a long time. A certain brand of evangelist is always looking for some way to scare people into coming to Christ, so that they can claim large numbers saved at their campaigns. This has the positive result of helping them raise money, as well as be invited more often to places to hold campaigns. In times past, hell has always been a favorite topic they will use to scare people to Christ, but when some people start getting used to wild statements about gold being poured down misers’ throats or wicked being stacked like bricks in a kiln, the evangelists would find that they needed new material. One that they used was this matter of the unforgivable sin. They would speak of this as some terrible thing that you never know but that you might have committed it, and warn people that they had better come forward and be saved lest they end up committing it. What exactly this sin was they were very vague about, however, and no one was really sure what it was. If it was really unforgivable and someone had actually committed it, you would have to question the value of that person coming forward at a campaign, but this detail did not seem to bother the evangelists. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

When John, in Revelation, talks about being carried away to places “in the Spirit,” does that say anything about whether he was taken in or out of the body?  Does something “in the Spirit” specifically bear reference to whether or not it is in the body, or are those two aspects exclusive of each other?

“In spirit” could mean “in mind,” or it could mean in the power of the Holy Spirit. Either one could be true. If he was drawn away in his mind, then you would assume that it was not in his body. If this points to the Holy Spirit’s power drawing him away, however, then it is neutral, and could refer to a vision “out of the body” or literally being taken there in body, either way. So I do not think that this statement is conclusive as to whether he bodily went there or not.