THE OUT-POURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN
RELATION TO THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“In My Father's House are many mansions: If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and make a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14: 2-3)
The return of Jesus Christ at a specific predetermined time in the future is a given! It is destined to happen because Jesus said so. We would not expect anything less than the TRUTH from our Master, Lord and Saviour, because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14: 6)
His return will be in real time - sudden, actual and visible - because God's Word declares it. The exact time of His coming is known only to Almighty God and will not be revealed to anyone either through revelation or intuition.
Jesus said: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven , but My Father only”. (Matt. 24: 36). While we cannot KNOW the day nor the hour when Christ shall return, we can, however, know by observation when it is near!
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye KNOW that summer is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, KNOW that it is near, even at the doors.” (Matt.24: 32,33)
There are two Greek words for KNOW: One meaning that you can KNOW by intuition or revelation, the other that you can KNOW by observation!
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE LAST DAYS!
The Bible says: “And as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming and the end of the (age) world?” (Matt.24: 2).
The Master outlined many things that would precede His Return, including the destruction of the temple, severe persecution, false prophets, wars and rumours of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, deception, backsliding, gross sinfulness and finally, the declaration of the Gospel as a Testimony to all the nations of the world!
Jesus Christ promised that He would return, and all the signs point to the nearness of His Coming! Hundreds of ancient prophecies have been fulfilled and we are presently living in the very shadows of His Return! It is our belief and hope that He will return SOONER than later. Christ's promise to return was made nearly 2,000 years ago and it still holds true, secure and more precious than ever!
He said: “In My Father's House are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN, and receive you unto Myself.” (John 14: 2,3)
There is a close correlation in the Holy Scriptures, tying the Return of Christ with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon His Church in the Last days! When the Holy Spirit fell on about 120 believers in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, A.D. 33, St. Peter stated:
“But this is that spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the LAST DAYS, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit ... And on My servants and on My handmaidens, I will pour our in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophecy.” (Acts 2: 16-18)
After the great miracle of the healing upon the crippled man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, the Apostle Peter preached a powerful message that brought the multitudes to their knees. Again he tied the Return of Christ to the Holy Spirit Revivals which would continue even until His coming:
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the TIMES OF REFRESHING shall come from the presence of the Lord. And He shall send Jesus Christ, which was before preached unto you Whom the Heaven must receive until the Times of Restitution of all Things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3: 19-21)
According to this prophecy, God would pour out His Holy Spirit upon spiritually hungry souls in great Revivals which will continue until 'the restitution of all things' and then Jesus will return for His Church! He will return when we have fulfilled our duty of preaching the Gospel in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the END COME.” (Matt 4:14)
MOCKERS IN THE LAST TIME!
One of the signs of the 'Last Days' is the smug, irreverent and mocking attitude of the “Enemies of the Cross” who love to ridicule and seek to discredit the Word of God and the Promises of Jesus Christ! We see it in immoral books defaming Jesus Christ, blasphemous movies that denigrate our Saviour and perverted Rock and Roll music that glorify Satan, drugs, sexual perversion and violence!
The Bible says: “And Enoch the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the LORD COMETH with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them all of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.
“But beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. How that they told you there should be MOCKERS in the LAST TIME, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they that separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST.” (Jude 14-20)
Here again we see the connection between the long awaited Return of Jesus to JUDGE sinners and the MOCKERS who separate themselves from the believers, as well as the recipe for readiness to prepare for His coming by spending quality time PRAYING in the Holy Spirit!
This proves that the Blessed HOLY SPIRIT will be very active strengthening, inspiring and blessing God's people in the midst of a wicked, corrupt and godless world, as we wait patiently for our Lord and Saviour to arrive in the Rapture (harpazo, gr.).
St. Peter gives a similar warning about those who would mock the holy things of God in these last days: “Knowing this first that there shall come in the Last Days SCOFFERS, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His Coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3: 3,4, 8,9)
St. Peter said there were two reasons why the Lord had not returned at that time. No.1: The Lord does not reckon time as we do. One thousand years with us is like one day to Him and No.2: He isn't willing that any should be lost, so He is waiting and waiting for more souls to be saved, by His grace and through His precious blood!
BEHOLD I COME QUICKLY!
Speaking to St. John on the Isle of Patmos, our Lord Jesus stated: “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is He that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.”(Rev. 22:7); “And behold, I come quickly: and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Rev. 22:12); “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.”(Rev. 22:20)
The word, 'quickly' is an old English word, meaning a 'lively coming'. There are three better translations, namely, “Soon, at Once and without Delay”. According to the way He reckons time, since He is God and not subject to time, He has been gone less than two days! And that isn't long, is it?
Those two reasons are valid today, as well. I have one more reason: I believe that He will return when He is ready. It is His prerogative to come whenever He wishes to come and not a second sooner! Here is another reason: Just maybe, He wanted you and me to be included. I'm glad He waited, aren't you? Amen.
Note: To be continued.