Posts Tagged oil

The Promise of the Spirit

Joel 2: 28 – 29

It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

This is the leading Old Testament verse which told about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Here God promises to, not only send the Spirit, but to pour out the Spirit on all humanity, even those of no rank or position. Even the servants and those of the lowliest station are entitled to this special gift from God.

There is so much rich text and meaning in this verse that we could mine from it for a week. However, there is one word in it that I want to bring to your attention. It is the word “pour.” God has promised not a trickle, not a drip but rather a continuous pouring out of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is represented in Scripture as a river or flowing waters. John 7: 37 – 39 is a good example of this, “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit.’” The flowing river of living water is the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is apropos that God should pour out this living water upon us.”

The anointing in the Holy Spirit is reflective of the Old Testament anointing which was accompanied by oil being poured over the anointed. Again, this spiritual gifting is represented by a pouring out.
The Old Testament saints did not know the Spirit as the poured out one as New Testament believers do. They knew him as a promise. In fact, few people knew anything about him other than him being a promise from God. Interestingly, of the 248 or so scriptures about the Holy Spirit, only about 44 are from the Old Testament. However, God was speaking to His prophets about this pouring out. It may interest you to discover that there are six more Old Testament scriptures which specifically address the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (See list below).

The significance of this pouring is distinguishable from a onetime gift or offering. God doesn’t just give us the Spirit one time. He continually pours out to those who continually seek Him. Don’t forget too, that we can seek more of the Spirit just as we seek the Father because they are both God.

Every person has a measure of the Spirit of God. When God breathed life into us, a piece of His Spirit was deposited within us. We are able to receive much more than that now, however. The Spirit is no longer a promise. He has been poured out. What the Old Testament prophets foretold, we now behold. The initial pouring out is described in Acts 2: 1 – 4, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” This is the fulfillment of that which was promised in Joel 2: 28 -29. Everyone who wishes can now be filled by the never ending pouring out. It can be compared to a water fall. The water continually pours over and onto anyone who chooses to stand in the flow. You can stay in that flow just as long as you wish. It is God’s delight to give you more and more. He is pouring. Are you receiving?

See Also: Isaiah 32: 15, Isaiah 44: 3, Ezekiel 36: 27, Ezekiel 39: 29, Proverb 1: 23, Zechariah 12: 10).

 Believers?

John 2: 22

When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had spoken.

Believing Jesus; believing in Jesus, ultimately should bring a person to believing the Scriptures.

We are called “believers”, but what do we believe. There are some basic tenets of the Christian faith which we are all expected to believe: the virgin birth, the resurrection, etc. surprisingly, one of those basic tenets isn’t that Jesus is the Word of God. people are taught to believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God but if you listen to them, most do not actually believe what they read in the Bible.

Once, when I was a guest at a church, I heard a sermon on Jesus feeding the 5000. To this day I almost regret that I did not stand up and shout, “Blasphemy!” The pastor taught that feeding the 5000 was not a miracle of Jesus. Instead, he posited that women in the crowd fed the people. The women in the congregation appreciated his comment because good church women, especially from the south, do feed the multitude. None the less, can you see that this Pastor is not truly a believer? He does not believe what he reads in the Bible. I wonder, sometimes, how that church is doing. If the pastor teaches unbelief, what expressions of faith can you expect from the congregation?

I want to challenge you to read the Bible and then to believe what you read. Third, I want you to believe that what you read there can happen today and can happen in your life. Do you need food? Read 1 Kings 17. Do you need money? Read Matthew 17: 27. Then believe what you read. Believe that what God did for someone else, He is willing to do for you. Believe the Word of God.

Saved, Anointed, Blessed

Psalm 20: 6

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed.

Who are the anointed of God? These are his saints. God has separated you unto himself. You are a chosen people, a holy race. God sent Jesus into this earth in order to make it so. That is what it took to separate you into a holy and secure place in the Lord. It took no effort on your part other than that you receive his anointing; receive his gift of salvation. When you did, you became set apart unto him. With that comes all the blessing of being his chosen. You have been anointed in the blood of Jesus rather than in oil. This was God’s will for you. It is the fulfillment of his desire so that he may care for you; so that you could partake of all of the blessing that inures to the anointed of the Lord. You, no matter how insignificant you may sometimes feel that you are, are the anointed of the Lord. You are highly favored and chosen so that he may show his goodness to you. You, though, must receive it. He prizes you highly above all things. He desires you and longs to be in deeper fellowship with you. You, though, are the captain in that relationship. He has saved you by his righteous right hand and will walk with you in all things.

Empty Vessels

Philippians 2: 5 -7

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

There is a whole bunch of theology tied up in this verse but I wish to focus on a more narrow aspect of this verse today and suggest a way it applies to each of us.

This scripture tells us that Jesus emptied himself. It is talking about his removing the robe of his deity and taking on the garment of human flesh. I am taken aback by this idea of him emptying himself. What shall we imagine; perhaps a container of some sort? Let’s picture a clear 2 liter bottle. Imagine the bottle full of green liquid. Now pick it up and pour out half of the contents. Half of what that bottle knew and contained is now gone. However, the bottle is not empty is it? So, pour out all but one drop. Okay, the bottle is effectively empty. Most of what it held and what gave it the biggest part of its value is now gone. Still though, the bottle is not completely empty is it? So, let’s pour out the last drop and for argument’s sake all you physicists, let’s not consider the air that rushes in to fill the void. The bottle was a container for green liquid and now that the last drop has been poured out the bottle is truly empty.

Have you ever felt the way that bottle must feel at this point? Have you felt empty? If you have then you would likely say it is not a feeling you would pursue. None the less, Jesus emptied himself of everything he was and everything he knew in order to be the lamb we required. That had to be a pretty intense experience. Here you are part of the Godhead and then you become empty.

So, here is my point. I believe that we are supposed to, in like manner, empty ourselves so that we can be renewed in his image. We shuck off the old self and put on the new person which has been made in the image of Christ himself. It is sort of the reverse process that Jesus went through. He put on flesh and we must crucify our flesh and take on his nature. It seems to me that we can only be renewed into this new creation which is our right and our destiny to the degree that we empty ourselves of the old person. The more we empty ourselves, the more we can be filled. We like to hold onto the familiar, but this I believe, we will be much happier, more successful, and more fulfilled the more we pour out ourselves unto him. Empty vessels are good. Just ask the widow in 2 Kings 4: 1 – 7. When we present God with empty vessels He fills them with oil. Be filled today!