Quarter’s Theme: THE HOLY SPIRIT

Unit 1 Theme: Experiential Encounter With The Holy Spirit (Lessons 1-3)

SOUL WINNERS CROWN COMPETITION MONTHS

 

9/3/2014  LESSON  2

 

THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 56, 194

Devotional Reading: EZEK. 36:22-28

Topic For Adults

GOD IS ABLE TO FULFIL HIS PROMISES

Topic For Youths

THOUGH IT TARRIES, WAIT FOR IT

Scripture Lesson

JOEL 2:21-29; MATT. 3:16; LK. 24:49; ACTS 2:1-17

 

Memory verse:    And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29) NKJV

DAILY BIBLE READING

The Arrival Of The Promise

Acts 2:1-4, 14-18

God will not promise a thing and fail to fulfil it. He promised the coming of the Holy Spirit, to men it seemed delayed but to God it was not but orderliness. On the day of Pentecost, the long-awaited Holy Spirit came like a cloven tongue of fire and sat upon all the people at the Upper Room. No one was exempted. God proved His faithfulness. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and received power. Timid Peter became confident in the Lord and spoke to the people who gathered round about them to know what was happening. Right there and then, Peter declared to them that what has just happened was a fulfilment of God’s promise through Joel. Has this promise been fulfilled in your life?

Point of Emphasis:     God is a promise-keeping God.

Prayer Point:              Lord, let my day of Pentecost fully come today.

 

BACKGROUND

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was not something that
happened in secret. Though the people did not know the day and hour and the
how but they were well aware of His coming. This was because God had made the promise of His coming to the people. This week’s lesson focuses on the promise of the Holy Spirit both in the Old and New Testaments and how the promise was fulfilled.

NOTES ON THE TEXT

I.     THE PROMISE OF THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT – JOEL 2:21-29

The presence of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament was not permanent and universal as it is in our generation, hence the promise of His coming in the Old Testament. It was enshrined in God’s eternal plan that after His Son Jesus would have to come to accomplish His purpose on the earth and return to heaven, then the Holy Spirit would come down to the earth to dwell with all believers and to preserve the Church and oversee it until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are some prophets of the Old Testament that spoke about the promise of the Holy Spirit. The message of three of them would be considered here. The first was prophet Isaiah. Isaiah spoke about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit when he said “until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high and the wilderness be a fruitful field and the fruitful field be counted for a forest” (Isa. 32:15).  This promise of Isaiah means that when the Holy Spirit is poured (outpouring) out upon men, things would change for better, the blessings of God will follow and there will be spiritual awakening as barrenfields would be turned to fruitful fields.

Whereas Isaiah spoke of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, prophet Ezekiel spoke of the indwelling of the Spirit when he said “And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and you shall keep my judgment and do them” (Ezek.  36:27).

Towards the close of the Old Testament dispensation, the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit was not yet fulfilled when Prophet Joel also added his own promise of the latter day universal outpouring of the Spirit (Joel 2:28-29). We must note that some words used by the Prophets indicate to us that they are still anticipating the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. For instance, Isaiah said “Until” indicating something that has not yet happened. Ezekiel said “and I will” indicating something in future. The same thing for Joel when he said “it shall come to pass”, “afterward”, “I will pour”, – all these are pointing to the fact that the Holy Spirit will come in the future. And till the end of the Old Testament this promise has not been fulfilled.

II.    THE PROMISE OF THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT – MATT. 3:16.

Because the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit was not fulfilled in the Old Testament, the people in the early part of the New Testament dispensation were in anticipation and were repeating the same promise to the people. There were two prominent people in this regard.

The first person was John the Baptist. When he was baptising people in the Jordan River and because of the great works that God was doing through him, the people mistook him for Jesus. But John told them that he was not Jesus but that when Jesus shall come, though he was baptising them with water, He (Jesus) shall baptise them with the Holy Ghost and fire (Matt. 3:16). As at this time, even though John himself was full of the Holy Spirit right from the womb (Lk. 1:15), yet the promise of universal outpouring has not been fulfilled. He was pointing the people to Jesus’ time.

When Jesus also came, instead of the promise to be fulfilled, He too was just re-emphasising the promise and was still pointing the people to the future period. For instance, in John 7:39, the Bible says “But this He spoke of the Spirit which they that believe on Him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”. In Luke 24:49, Jesus told the disciple “…behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you but tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high”. Here Jesus referred to this forthcoming event as the promise of the Father from the Old Testament time through the Prophets. Also, in Acts 1:5,8, before His ascension, Jesus said, “John truly baptised with water but you shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…”

The above discussion indicates that the outpouring of the baptism in the promised Holy Spirit has not been fulfilled as at the time Jesus ascended to the Father in heaven, people were still awaiting it.

III.   FULFILMENT OF THE PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT – ACTS 2:1-17

The promise of the latter day outpouring or the coming of the Holy Spirit literally came to fulfilment on the day of Pentecost. As the disciples were gathered together in the upper room waiting in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit, suddenly they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Pentecost simply means fifthieth. This means that the coming of the Holy Spirit happened on the fiftieth day of Jesus’ resurrection which was the tenth day of His ascension. This also implies that the disciples did not have to wait for long before the promise of the Father, which was also promised by Jesus, that is Holy Spirit, came into fulfilment. When the comforter came, no one among about 120 disciples in the upper room was exempted from receiving the Holy Spirit baptism.

It also coincided with the Jewish  celebration of Pentecost which gave rise to the presence of people from about seventeen different countries that were in Jerusalem when the incidence happened. Some who did not know what was happening even accused the disciples of being drunk. But when Peter rose up to speak, he explained to them that what happened was the fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh. Here, God fulfilled His promise by giving the disciples the Holy Spirit.

CONCLUSION

The coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was not an accident, a chance or coincidence, it was the fulfilment of the age-long promise of God, echoed by the Prophets of the Old Testament and re-affirmed by John the Baptist and Jesus. Therefore, every genuinely converted believer can claim the fulfilment of the promised Holy Spirit in his or her life.

QUESTIONS

1.     The presence of Holy Spirit was not permanent and universal in the Old Testament. Explain.

2.     From the prophecy of Joel, who are to receive the Holy Spirit?

3.     From the prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel, what will the Holy Spirit do when He comes?

4.     Quote 2 New Testament Scriptures that reinforce the promise of the Holy Spirit.

5.     How and when did the promise of the Holy Spirit come to fulfilment?


 French

DIMANCHE 09/03/2014

L’ACCOMPLISSEMENT DE LA PROMESSE

ACTES 2 :1-4 ,14-18

Dieu ne fera pas de promesse sans l’accomplir. Il a promis l’avènement du Saint-Esprit ; pour les hommes celle-ci semblait retardée alors que ce n’était pas le cas avec Dieu mais plutôt des habitudes d’ordre. Le jour de la Pentecôte, l’Esprit-Saint tant attendu arriva comme des langues de feu séparées les unes des autres et se posèrent sur tous ceux qui étaient dans la chambre haute. Nul ne fut exempté. Dieu prouva sa fidélité. Ils furent tous remplis du Saint-Esprit et reçurent la puissance. Pierre jadis timide devint confiant dans le Seigneur et parla aux gens qui s’étaient rassemblés autour d’eux pour savoir ce qui se passait. De là alors, Pierre leur déclara que ce qui venait de se passer était en accomplissement de la promesse de Dieu faite par le prophète Joël. A-t-elle été accomplie dans ta vie.

Point essentiel : Dieu est un Dieu qui tient ses promesses.

Axe de prière : Seigneur, que mon jour de Pentecôte arrive aujourd’hui.

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