Posted by: thenonconformer | November 19, 2008

The last days outpouring of the Holy Spirit

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He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And 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: And I will shew 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 that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” –Acts 2:16-21.

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

“”The last days” is a Bible term clearly defined in Joel 2:28-32, quoted in Acts 2:17,21:

“And 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 it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

According to Bible terminology, “the last days” is that period of time beginning with Pentecost and continuing unto the day of the Lord– that is, until Christ’s personal return to reign. The term, “the last days,” is often (even deliberately) misused these days even by fundamental Christians. “

“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Romans 10:2-3. Luke 13:3, 5 3, 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

The last days It is the Holy Spirit gospel age. It coincides with the time with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit scope of the Great Commission. (Luke 24:49 KJV) And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.. And Jesus was to be with them in power and blessing–unchanged until the end of the age. (Heb 13:8 KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

(Mark 16:17 KJV) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

It is “The last days.” These are the days beginning with Pentecost and will continue with increasing blessing until the end of the age. These last days are to be marked by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit for the preaching of the Gospel and for witnessing by Spirit-filled sons and daughters, servants and handmaids. It is the age when “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” the age of revivals, the age of “whosoever will.” “

1 Corinthians has five key chapters about the Holy Spirit. In that epistle the early Christians were clearly described as being baptized into the Holy Spirit, and their lives transformed by the Baptism, the Power of the Holy Spirit. For these Christians membership in the church community was also not defined by being placed, accepted merely on a Church list but rather their visible exercising the gifts of the Spirit in the church community.

It is important for every Christian not only to correctly understand what is this baptism in the Holy Spirit so as to be able to explain it to others correctly, but also to actually experience this baptism in the Spirit, and thus enter into a dimension of life full of the power of God. Christians need the power that comes with the Baptism in the Spirit in order to do their part in continuing the supernatural ministry of Jesus Christ.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the bestowing of the believer with power to be an effective witness for Christ. This experience is distinct from, and subsequent to, the New Birth; is received by faith, and is accompanied by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is an experience only for Christians. It is the Holy Spirit coming upon believers and filling them in order to energies and empower them for service. to wittiness, to do good to others. Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”(Acts 10:38 KJV) How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Power = Gk Dunamis – miracle working power, abundance of strength.

Power to witness, Acts 1:8.

Power to do the works that Jesus did and even greater works, Jn 14:12.

Power to speak God’s Word boldly.

4:31, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”

The Disciples themselves received two distinct and separate workings of the Holy Spirit.

After Christ’s Resurrection. John 20:22, “He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit”. This is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that every believer receives at salvation.

At Pentecost. (An experience subsequent to regeneration.)

Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance”. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.

Jesus made reference in Acts 1:5 that what they received in John 20:22 wasn’t the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. That would occur a few days later. What is clear however is that they were already saved.

They belonged to God, Jn 17:9-10.

Their names were written in heaven, Luke 10:20.

They had eternal life, Jn 10:27-29.

(Eph 5:18 KJV) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Evidences of being spirit filled, empowered include a clear reliance on the Holy Spirit for, in all things. We have learned to surrender quickly to the Spirit’s voice, not trusting our own minds, nor caring about our own reputation. When we make mistakes, we receive correction meekly. When we have success, we do give all the glory to God. The Holy Spirit lreads, gudes us, speaks to us, and He teaches us to pray .(Rom 8:26 KJV) Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (1 Cor 14:15 KJV) What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.It is also ironic that the Pentecostals are often criticized by the fundamental evangelicals for their supposedly false doctrines on the Holy Spirit and yet it is the Pentecostals who are still one of the most active groups in winning souls for Christ today

(Acts 17:27 KJV) That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Colo 1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Luke 11:9 says, “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened to you.”

Luke 11:13, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him”.

If the Christians also had the power. anointing of the Holy spirit there would be no reason for Jesus telling them to ask for it.

(John 14:12 KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

(John 14:13 KJV) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Luke 11:13, “If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

“Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?” (Galatians 3:2-3).

“The kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (14:17).

Zech 4:6, “…Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts”.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you . . . He will guide you into all the truth” (John 14:26; 16:13; see also 14:12).

Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said unto them, 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 Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

It is one thing to have the Holy Spirit, but something else for Him to have us – to fill our whole being and to empower us to live as Christian men women. Christian men and women and to be precise, all Christian need not only the “life of Christ” within, but the “power” to express that life and power of God.

It is possible for Christians to have a relationship with Jesus as our “Savior” and still be very weak Christians. Christians need spiritual life and spiritual power. The Bible shows that the Holy Spirit is the source of power. Jesus asked His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. Earlier John the Baptist had said that Jesus would baptize us in the Holy Spirit and fire ((Luke 3:16 KJV) John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:).

WHY WAS IT NECESSARY FOR JESUS TO SEND THE HOLY SPIRIT?

Three good reasons:

1. Jesus was in one place at one time because of His humanity. Now He is omnipresent through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is often compared to the air. He is the breath of God. Jesus breathed on the disciples. He is everywhere.

2. If Jesus stayed, God’s message would be imperfect to us. Why? It would be limited to language. Now God can commune with all the peoples of the world through the Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus said greater things than He did would we do ( John 14;12). We can do more through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself needed the power of the Holy Spirit to live on the earth ( Luke 4:18).

Therefore He said it is to our advantage to go away and send the Holy Spirit ( (John 16:7 KJV) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.).

SOME WORK THE HOLY SPIRIT ACCOMPLISHES

Among New Christians ( (John 16:8 KJV) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. )

You may be surprised to know that the Spirit is involved in the unsaved world. He works among the unsaved world always. Do you have any idea what the evil world would be without the Holy Spirit? His omnipresence is like an envelope of righteousness – a living invisible restraint. He is the spiritual policeman who after convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, arrests them. E. G. The example of Saul’s ( Paul’s) conversion; your own example – how He arrested you, etc.

Among Christians ((John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.) The Holy Spirit takes the Scriptures and makes them clear to us ( the ministry of illumination). He also takes circumstances in which we find ourselves and He gives us insight into them. He takes pleasures and predicaments then uses them to mature us. He nurtures us. He comforts us when we are overtaken by fear. He tells us there is hope when we cannot see the end of the tunnel. He fills us with power and perseverance to stay on.

>HOW ARE WE EMPOWERED?

THROUGH THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
As a believer, He is already indwelt by the Spirit. Now in Spirit baptism, you allow the Holy Spirit to take control of you and empower you ( (Acts 1:8 KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.). Spirit baptism is the occasion when “one is immersed and soaked in the environment, influence, power, and essence of the Spirit of God”. Spirit baptism has been called “the beginning of a great adventure in the Christian living – Life in the Spirit.” Spirit baptism is the opening of the door to a whole new Christian experience particularly in relating to the believer to the living Christ.

Please note that God desires the Holy Spirit baptism for all who have been saved. It is not a special gift for a privileged few. It is what should automatically accompany salvation. ” Does the man who has been baptized with the Spirit have more of the Spirit than the man who is not?” No rather, the Spirit has more of some Christians than He does of others.

The Holy Spirit Baptism is an initiation into power. Jesus, while speaking to His disciples in Luke 24:49 said ” And behold, … the scripture was fulfilled in Acts 2;4 ” and they were all filled… they were empowered for service. After the baptism, the disciples never looked back. Peter spoke with power and boldness. Many convictions were accomplished.

(Luke 11:13 KJV) If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

NEXT BEYOND A SHADOW OF DOUBT ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE ABLE TO AGREE THAT GOD DESIRES THAT WE BE CONTINUALLY RE- FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT..

(Gal 5:22 KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW.. NO PRECONDITIONS.. after confessing your are a sinner, asking for personal forgivness, then just ask God by faith to also let the fruit of the Holy Spirit be manifested in your personal life…

The end result of this next is we will by the Holy Spirt’s help subdue the flesh, not by our own effort.

(Gal 5:24 KJV) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

We also do have to choose to continue to walk in the Holy Spirit…..

(Gal 5:25 KJV) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

We can next hinder, stop the flow of the Holy Spirit by sin such as by unrepentant personals sins.. even such as

(Gal 5:26 KJV) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

(Eph 5:18 KJV) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

(Eph 4:30 KJV) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

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Responses

  1. [...] The last days outpouring of the Holy Spirit [...]

  2. I enjoyed the information that you have submitted which has revived my soul . ESpecially after sorting through and reading so much of the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit from other web sites. I am looking forward to a great revival that is much needed for this generation. Even though some are praying for it I don’t think they are ready for what will happen to the order in the church when the Holy Ghost is allowed to take over.

    • Revivals do often happen, and can happen in any church as well.. it is conditional on weekly, regularly praying for it, and seeking God with a whole heart as well.. but unfortunately when I have seen revivals, I love them too, I have seen many of them but often I have also seen the wheat and the tares coexisting at these revivals.. some of people continually attending the revival who refused to be changed themselves, even some of the leaders now too.. I had a particular acquaintance of mind attended church for hours even 5 days a week even during a revival with no change is his life.. when I prayed about it God said he allowed the person to see the kingdom of heaven from afar but he will still not enter into it next… I have often encountered such typical interested only persons.. sad.

      Personal revival is what God wants first.. that begins in our daily, home, life with him too.

      (Eph 5:27 KJV) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

      (1 Pet 1:19 KJV) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

      Remember in the book of Act first revival, Pentecost, the next some people died, were judged by God.. I made a study of historical past revivals and wars , cause had noted revivals often had came first and serious large scale wars came next.. and many were killed in the wars who had refused to be spiritually revived before the war.. frightening .. God is not mocked what a person sows he reaps.. some people have approached the Lord’s table unworthily and next suffer for it..

      To me a sad clue for a still unspiritual person is reflected by the amount of time he or she actually goes to a prayer meeting.. I have known of many a persons who have been professing Christians for decades and yet never went to a Wednesday night prayer meeting.

      One thing that really, really bothers me when so many Churches cancel some of their services for the summer holidays, or to allow people to be with their families.. no wonder many of these churches are dead next still..

      I am also bothered when I see the women outnumbering the men in the church and I ask where are the husbands and why are they not there? After all the Bible clearly says that a good Christian wife can influence, change her husband for the good by her own good behavior.. and why hasn’t she yet? (1 Cor 7:14 KJV) For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
      1 Peter 3: 1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
      3 And let not your adornment be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

      5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. 6 Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

      ” Peter surely forbids a wife to nag her husband with the gospel. This can be blatant or subtle, but it is nevertheless something the husband is keenly aware of and strongly resists. Proverbs indicates that this tendency to nag is one which tempts us all, but especially the wife.
      A foolish son is destruction to his father, And the contentions of a wife are a constant dripping (Proverbs 19:13).

      Second, Peter forbids debate. While nagging may be one method one might use to persuade another, arguing is another. Nagging, by my definition, is simply trying to wear another down by repeating the same things over and over (some folks even try this on God in their prayer life, see Matthew 6:7). Debate is the effort to change another’s mind by continually approaching the discussion from a different point of view, by trying any and every line of argument.

      Third, Peter forbids those subtle forms of persuasion which may produce natural responses but fail to produce supernatural conversion. Jesus warned about carefully prepared presentations of the gospel rather than a reliance upon the Holy Spirit (Luke 21:12-15). The apostle Paul is especially sensitive to human forms of persuasion, which he sees as contrary to the way the Spirit works to convince and convert the lost (1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 4:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

      In 2 Timothy, 2 Peter, and Jude, we are warned about false teachers who appeal to fleshly lusts rather than the impulses of the Spirit. I believe a woman may have an even greater danger in this area than men. Women may seek to use flattery to persuade and may even employ seductive wiles on her husband.

      To deliver you from the strange woman, From the adulteress who flatters with her words (Proverbs 2:16).To keep you from the evil woman, From the smooth tongue of the adulteress (Proverbs 6:24).

      Delilah’s seduction was the downfall of Samson. One does not seduce another into the kingdom of God, though some most certainly seduce others into error (see Revelation 2:20-22). Using this kind of speech may not be offensive to her husband, but it is certainly inconsistent with the gospel.

      Peter’s instruction is not merely negative, forbidding Christian wives to verbally pressure their husbands to come to faith in Christ. Rather, in place of her words, wives are to witness to their husbands through their works. Husbands should be able to observe that their wives are different than they were before they came to faith. They should especially be characterized by a behavior which is chaste and respectful. The remaining four verses spell out the meaning of these words, but let us at least come to a preliminary definition of them.

      The word “respectful” is literally “fear” as the marginal note in the New American Standard Bible indicates. The “fear” called for here seems to be the wife’s “fear” or respect for her husband rather than her fear of God, though both are certainly required of her (see 1 Peter 1:17; 2:17; Ephesians 5:33).

      The word “chaste” is employed a number of times in the New Testament, often with a meaning broader than just sexual purity.89 However, here I believe sexual purity is a prominent part of Peter’s meaning.90 A wife may influence her husband in many ways to control or at least manipulate him. Making your husband jealous is one way which is often considered not only clever but acceptable. Chastity is pressed beyond its limits when this form of manipulation is practiced. In some cases, the wife may not wish to control her husband as much as to gain the attention and admiration or another man. This is also clearly out of bounds. The wife’s feminine charms are for the glory and enjoyment of her husband and no other. Peter calls the wife to live by the highest moral standards, not merely by those of the culture in which she lives.

      The Ultimate Beauty (3:3-4)
      3 And let not your adornment be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;91 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

      The problem of looking on outward appearances is not restricted only to women:

      But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God [sees] not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

      And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15; see also Matthew 6:1ff.).

      In both the Old and New Testaments, however, outward adornment became an obsession and therefore a matter for rebuke and instruction:

      16 Moreover, the LORD said, “Because the daughters of Zion are proud, and walk with heads held high and seductive eyes, and go along with mincing steps, and tinkle the bangles on their feet, 17 therefore the Lord will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs, and the LORD will make their foreheads bare.” 18 In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of [their] anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments, 19 dangling earrings, bracelets, veils, 20 headdresses, ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, 21 finger rings, nose rings, 22 festal robes, outer tunics, cloaks, money purses, 23 hand mirrors, undergarments, turbans, and veils. 24 Now it will come about that instead of sweet perfume there will be putrefaction; instead of a belt, a rope; instead of well-set hair, a plucked-out scalp; instead of fine clothes, a donning of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty. 25 Your men will fall by the sword, and your mighty ones in battle (Isaiah 3:16-25).

      9 Likewise, [I want] women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; 10 but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness (1 Timothy 2:9-10).

      In the days in which Peter lived, those with the means to do so went to great extremes in dress, cosmetics, and hair styling to look good to others:

      Ornate hairstyles were prevalent in the high society of the Roman world:

      ‘Curl climbs on top of curl and over the forehead there arose something which at its best looked like the chef d’oeuvre of a master pastry cook and, at its worst, like a dry sponge. At the back the hair was plaited, and the braids arranged in a coil which looks like basketwork.’92

      While outward appearances affect every believer, male or female (see Matthew 6; and 23:5-6), Peter particularly instructs married women about their priorities concerning true beauty. There is nothing wrong with dressing in a way that pleases one’s mate. It is no sin to be well-dressed (see Proverbs 31:22). But it is wrong to be preoccupied with outward appearances at the expense of inward beauty. A beautiful woman who lacks inner beauty and character is, according to Proverbs, like a pig with a gold ring in its nose.

      [As] a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, [So is] a beautiful woman who lacks discretion (Proverbs 11:22).

      Not only is it wrong for a woman (or a man) to place too high a value on external appearances, it is likewise evil to seek man’s approval rather than to strive to please God. That which pleases God is a “gentle and quiet spirit.” This is hardly the contemporary estimate of the ideal woman. Our culture teaches women to practice assertiveness and aggressiveness and outer beauty, rather than to acquire a gentle and quiet spirit.

      Why is modest apparel and a “gentle and quiet spirit” pleasing to God? What does this have to do with submission, the major topic of our text? Biblical submission is more than most Christians think. Many Christians are resistant to the biblical teaching of the submission of the wife to her husband. And even those who accept this teaching may think of submission primarily in terms of obeying their husband, of following his leadership.

      The submission of the wife to her husband certainly includes honoring him and obeying him, whether this is popular thought or not. But the submission of the wife to her husband is much more than this. Creation requires the submission of the wife to her husband (1 Corinthians 11:7-12), as does the fall (Genesis 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:12-15). It is necessitated by the picture marriage is to portray about the relationship between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:22-33). It is to demonstrate the headship of Christ over the church (1 Corinthians 11:2-16).

      The headship of Christ involves more than His authority and rule over the church. It includes the fact that He is the source of the church, that the church was brought forth through Him. It also involves the supremacy and preeminence of Christ. The glory is to be His, not ours. We are here for His glory. The glory of God must be one of our guiding goals and principles (1 Corinthians 10:31).

      When the woman ceases to act with a “quiet and gentle spirit,” she begins to promote herself and bring attention to herself. Rather than being the glory of her husband, she steals the glory from him. The same is true of her attire. She may never utter a word publicly, but she may dress in a way which causes every eye to be fixed on her. To do so is to cast aside the headship of her husband and the submission required of her. No wonder Peter and Paul speak of a woman’s dress and demeanor.

      But a woman can attract just as much attention to herself by looking sloppy and unkempt as she can by being “dressed to kill.” Whenever a woman attracts attention to herself rather than to her husband, she has failed to grasp and obey the biblical teaching on submission.

      23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells [them,] And supplies belts to the tradesmen. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. 26 She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband [also,] and he praises her, [saying:] 29 “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, [But] a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates (Proverbs 31:23-31).

      The Example of Holy Women of Old
      (3:5-6)
      5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. 6 Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.93

      A “gentle and quiet spirit” is totally the opposite of the spirit of the contentious wife of Proverbs (see Proverbs 21:9, 19). The spirit or disposition which underlies submission is of crucial importance. Peter turns our attention to the “holy women of old,” not to remind us of how they dressed but to point to their submissive spirit, their source of true beauty. Notice these women were submissive to their “own” husbands, not because their trust was in their husbands but because their hope was in God. They trusted God to work through their husbands and to work in spite of them. Their hope, like every Old Testament saint (see Hebrews 11), was not in this life but in the kingdom of God to come. Their hope was in God alone who would bring it to pass.

      Sarah is the one woman Peter identifies by name. Quite frankly, I would never have picked Sarah for she always seemed to be a kind of feminine counterpart to Lot. As I read Genesis 16 and 21, I find Sarah a little hard to like. She, like Lot and every other saint, was not a perfect saint. But she did exemplify the submissive spirit of which Peter speaks.

      Peter refers to Sarah calling Abraham “lord,” as recorded the one time in Genesis:

      9 Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “Behold, in the tent.” 10 And he said, “I will surely return to you at this time next year; and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. 12 And Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” 13 And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear [a child,] when I am [so] old?’ 14 “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 Sarah denied [it] however, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh” (Genesis 18:9-15).

      Sarah may have called Abraham lord at other times, but this instance is especially noteworthy. Peter has been contrasting inner beauty with outer adornment and the beauty of a “gentle and quiet spirit.” This passage in Genesis illustrates Sarah’s spirit.

      The angels have come to Abraham’s camp and been invited to stay for a meal. They then announce to Abraham that at this time next year Sarah will have a son. Sarah seems to have been eavesdropping, for when she heard the prophecy of a son, she laughed to herself. The words recorded in Genesis 18:12 are the words Sarah thought to herself. She did not speak them aloud, although the Lord was aware that she laughed inwardly.

      Most of us speak respectfully to someone’s face, even if hypocritically. But Sarah spoke to herself calling Abraham “lord,” indicating the way she really thought of him. In her mind, Abraham was not “the old man,” but her master, her lord. And she, as it were, was his servant. In her heart, she was submissive to her husband, which made her a beautiful woman and an example for all to follow.

      Abraham is sometimes referred to as the “father” of those who believe in Jesus Christ, whether Jew or Gentile by birth (see Romans 4:11-12; Galatians 3:7, 16, 29; Hebrews 2:16). Here, Sarah is called the “mother” of all those women who walk in her footsteps and who respect and obey their husbands: “and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.”

      If I understand the passage correctly, “without being frightened by any fear” parallels the earlier expression of a “gentle and quiet spirit.” Some Christian psychiatrists speak of the “typical hysterical female,” a characterization I am not certain I like. Peter talks about the godly Christian wife as being exactly the opposite. She is not hysterical or panic-stricken about the future,94 for her hope is fixed on God. She calmly and quietly submits to her husband,95 knowing God’s purposes will be achieved because of or in spite of her husband.

      Can you imagine leaving your homeland, your family, and all of your friends to go to a place God has not even yet revealed (see Genesis 12:1-3)? How many times did Abraham come to his wife to tell her God had instructed him to do what appeared to be foolish? As far as I can tell, Sarah was never present when God gave Abraham his instructions (except this one time in Genesis 18). It could have been a most terrifying thing to have been married to Abraham and follow him without being frightened by any fear. But Sarah did submit to Abraham, first in her spirit, and then on a day-by-day basis.96 For this, she became an example of godly submission to all of us.

      Conclusion
      A few years ago, I would hardly have felt the necessity of stressing a point which seems all too apparent, but in today’s culture I must stress it: God requires wives to submit to their husbands. The submission of the wife to her husband was established at the time of the creation of man and then at the fall. It is not merely an Old Testament requirement but a New Testament imperative. Paul taught it, and so did Peter. It is clear from our Lord’s practice that He agreed. The cross does not overrule or override the need for submission. In 1 Peter, the cross is not only an example of submission, it serves as the basis, the means and the motivation. Peter’s teaching on the submission of the wife to her husband follows immediately upon his teaching of the submission of servants to their masters, and especially of Christ to the will of the Father, which led to His death on the cross as the great “Suffering Servant.” As Peter addresses Christian wives, he begins with the words, “in like manner.” One cannot avoid the fact that in this age, as in all others of the past, the wife is to be in submission to her husband.

      Does our culture bristle at this thought? This is just one more way the Christian will stand apart from others and one more reason why our “doing good” will be evil spoken of by unbelievers. Submission to one’s husband is one of the many ways in which the Christian may suffer for the sake of Christ and to the glory of God. Such submission is required under favorable conditions, and even in adverse circumstances such as when the husband is an unbeliever and refuses to obey the gospel by submitting to Jesus Christ for salvation. The submissiveness of the wife to her husband may bring about his salvation which most certainly pleases God. Does submission appear to limit one’s happiness and fulfillment in this life? It may, but the Christian wife has her hope in God, and she willingly accepts suffering in this life assured of the glory to come.

      While this may not sound all that good in theory, I assure you it is even more difficult to practice. More often than I wish to admit, I find Christians turning their backs on Peter’s teaching. They believe a wife should not have to put up with an abusive husband. When they do so, they are thinking according to the mold of our culture rather than the mind of Christ.

      Suppose one of your very good friend confides that her husband is cruel and “abusive” to her. She is a Christian; he is not. She wonders what she should do and asks for your advice. Do you turn to the Bible, or do you give “your opinion?” And if you turn to the Bible, is this text one of the first you show her? It should be. It calls on the Christian to suffer unjustly, to the glory of God and for the salvation of those who are lost. Is a “dysfunctional marriage” pleasant? No. Is it an excuse to bail out? Peter gives us the answer, although it is not one we want to hear. Who of us wants to suffer?

      Peter’s words about submission and suffering should give us a different perspective on suffering. We are a generation of so-called “victims.” The very excellent book entitled, No God, But God, contains a chapter by Os Guinness entitled, “More Victimized Than Thou.”97 We have become a generation of victims, not victors. Peter will have none of this “victim” mentality. I used to say our culture sought to replace HOPE with HYPE. That is no longer the case. Now, our secular culture seeks to redefine HOPE so that it becomes nothing more than COPE. We are not called to be “copers;” we are called to suffer for Christ’s sake so that we will be overcomers. Let us shed the victim mindset as something which comes from the pit.

      This passage cuts to the heart of a growing crisis in America—the disproportionate emphasis on appearance. Peter does not sanction a blatant disregard for good health and caring for one’s body, and neither does Paul (see 1 Timothy 4:7-8). Physical appearance has become the dominant driving force in the lives of many women. I cannot help but think the epidemic of eating disorders is rooted in a failure to understand and apply the principles Peter lays down in this text. Skinny women “feel” fat, and so they refuse the nourishment their bodies need. They are never skinny enough to fit the image of the perfect body, and yet often little attention is given to the inner beauty of which Peter speaks. Let us see Peter’s words as very relevant to our thinking and conduct, for they are.

      Peter certainly challenges us to think more carefully and precisely about evangelism. We think of evangelism as being virtually synonymous with our speech. We must proclaim the gospel, for men and women are saved only as they hear and respond to the good news of salvation in Christ. And yet Peter makes it clear that there is a time to be still. We do not convert people by wearing down their resistance. We do not convert people by our persuasive powers. Our lives are to be consistent with the gospel we preach. After the lost have heard of Christ, they must see Him in us. That is the connection which Peter makes between the “Suffering Servant” in 1 Peter 2:21-25 and the suffering of His servants in this entire section. It may very well be our suffering rather than our success in speaking which God uses to draw the lost to Himself. If this is so, it is consistent with the experience of others such as the apostle Paul (see 1 Thessalonians 1 and 2).

      Our lesson has primarily been addressed to those who have already trusted in Jesus Christ. Peter has been speaking to Christian wives. He has made it clear that those who have come to Christ must live like Christ. Just as He suffered for us, we are now called to suffer, as He did, to God’s glory and for the salvation of others. But just as it is true that coming to Christ often results in suffering, it is also true that suffering may bring us to Christ. Listen to these words spoken by our Lord at the outset of His ministry:

      1 And when He saw the multitudes, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 2 And opening His mouth He [began] to teach them, saying, 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:1-6).

      Has suffering brought you to the end of yourself? Has it caused you to look to the Lord Jesus for salvation? Jesus came to minister to those in need. If that is your plight, then there is hope—in Him. He suffered and died so that your sins could be forgiven and so that you might have eternal life. May God open your heart to trust in Him, who turns suffering to joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:6-8).”

      http://bible.org/seriespage/word-wives-1-peter-31-6

      PS: do see the great Bible versed wallpapers at http://mccainvrsobama.wordpress.com/

  3. [...] . http://comeholyspirit.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/the-last-days-outpouring-of-the-holy-spirit/ [...]

  4. Hi I liked reading this but I was saved long after I believed on Jesus……I believed in Jesus when i was 6 years old through my church (roman catholic) but I was not saved until I was invited to a church that did an alter call at 15 years old ( non denominational ) I heard the call of the Lord (John 10:27.Heb 4:7) sitting in that pew I obeyed (acts 5:32 Gal 3:14 1 pet 1;22 ) when I walked down that aisle and got on my knees and confessed Christ as Lord I saw those scales drop and when I got up I knew I was no longer alone. So what I understand about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the same as what scripture teaches John 14:17 the spirit whom the world cannot receive because it seeth him not but ye know him because he dwelleth with you and shall be in you…..the Spirit dwells with us as with everyone Heb 4:2 not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. As it did with Paul who was on his way to bind all who called on Jesus name until the intercession of Jesus (Gal 1:15,16 immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood ) the spirit was with him and then in him as it was for those who were sent by Cornelius (go doubting nothing for I have sent them) Acts 10:19,20 So I guess I see the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was only by the laying of Hands in my life as Heb 11:40 – Heb 12:1 teaches what being made perfect can only come by his witnesses in the world ( How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! ) the Only way there will ever be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the day as born again believers we come to understand that we ARE his witnesses and to go into the world to bring power and demonstration (1 Cor 2;4,5) of it… as Heb 11:40 – 12:1 shows God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. wherefore seeing we are encompassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses ( these people know who was involved in their being made perfect ) the hand of a preacher! The Holy Spirit was not in me until that day I heard that call as it only can be…..the preacher who is indwelt with the spirit…..preaches by the Holy Spirit to the lost soul who has the spirit with him…. he hears and obeys (Acts 5:32, Acts 15:8 and is baptized!! Peace!!!

  5. [...] The last days outpouring of the Holy Spirit [...]


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