|Topical Bible Study||July 1961|
The Holy Spirit Series—Lesson X
The Spirit on all Flesh
THE Prophet Joel, in foretelling the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the church at Pentecost, explained that “afterward” God’s Spirit would be poured out upon all flesh. (Joel 2:28,29; Acts 2:17,18) The foretold pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the Lord’s servants and handmaidens and “afterward” upon “all flesh” is stated in the prophecy in the reverse order of the sequence in which it actually occurs. This was probably designed by the Lord to obscure the great truth of his future blessing for the world until the time neared for it to be realized.
In pouring out his Holy Spirit upon the church of this Gospel Age, God arranged that the first to be benefited were the Jewish believers at that time. Subsequently, it was also poured out upon the Gentiles who desired to be in harmony with and to serve God. The Scriptures indicate that this same sequence will be observed by the Lord in the pouring out of his Spirit upon all flesh. The first to have the opportunity to be blessed by his Holy Spirit will be the re-gathered Israelites in Palestine.—Ezek. 39:27-29
One of the important functions of the Holy Spirit during the Gospel Age has been to enlighten the Lord’s people with respect to the will and ways of the Lord. The same will be true during the kingdom age, when a knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea.—Isa. 11:9
During the Gospel Age the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit reaches the Lord’s people through the prophets, the apostles, and our Lord Jesus, as their combined teachings have been made available through the written Word. So, during the Millennial Age, the influence of God’s Spirit will reach the people through God’s representatives, who will also be the representatives of the spiritual phase of the kingdom; namely, the Ancient Worthies.—Matt. 8:11; Micah 4:2
The Scriptures assure us that the Lord will, during the Millennial Age, communicate his truth to the people, and it will be by this means that they will have the opportunity to learn of and to serve him. (Zeph. 3:9) One of the symbols used to illustrate this thought is the opening of a book.—Isa. 29:18,24
The Holy Spirit of truth during the Gospel Age reveals the opportunity of entering into a covenant of sacrifice with the Lord. But the Millennial Age will not be an age of sacrifice. Then, beginning with Israel, the people will have the opportunity of entering into the New Covenant, a covenant in which the law of God will be written in their hearts and in their inward parts. (Jer. 31:31-34) When all the willing and obedient shall have entered fully into this New Covenant, the teaching of the Lord will no longer be necessary, for all shall then know him, whom to know properly, and to obey, will mean life eternal.
One of the witnesses, or evidences of possessing the Holy Spirit now, is the persecution which comes to those who let their light shine. But this will not be true in the Millennium. Then the righteous will flourish, and the Lord will take away the rebuke of his people from off the whole earth.—Ps. 72:7; Isa. 25:8
Which of God’s holy prophets foretold that the time would come when the Lord would pour out his Spirit, upon all flesh? Explain the significance of the word “afterward” in this prophecy.
Who will be the first to benefit when God pours out his Spirit upon all flesh?
What will be one of the important functions of the Holy Spirit during the Millennial Age?
What method will the Lord use to impart a knowledge of his truth to the people during the Millennial Age?
What is one of the symbols the Lord uses in the Bible to illustrate the making known of truth during the Millennial Age?
How does the Bible describe the covenant into which the Lord’s people will be led during the Millennium?
Will those who receive the Holy Spirit during the Millennium be required to suffer for righteousness’ sake?
“The Atonement Between God and Man,” pages 217-222.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
The pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the world will result in the enlightenment of the people, even as the Holy Spirit has enlightened God’s people during the Gospel Age. This will be accomplished through divinely appointed channels, even as now.