Imagine sustaining a relationship or deep friendship with a person who was incapable of lying! It stretches the grey cells a bit doesn’t it? Try and step into the scenario of making a business arrangement or some kind of financial deal with somebody you knew who would never, could never and not even think about lying. We are talking of somebody who would do everything literally as they spoke, promised or even joked about. You would know that if this person says something, no contract is needed, no witnesses, no recording or legal warning was necessary – the actions, motives, and intentions both long term and short term were exactly to the letter as this person would announce.
Can you imagine? No lawyers would ever be needed with such people. No safeguards would be needed. This person would be as solid as the rock of Gibraltar.
Before paper contracts and legal systems were put in place, covenants were the norm. They still are in some parts of the world. The most binding covenant was a blood covenant. It was taken for granted that when a person cut a blood covenant that the bond, the agreement, the “contract” was set in eternity and was never to be broken. To break such a covenant was seen as scandalous and evil in the times and places where covenants were a social lifestyle and an integral part of the national culture.
Get hold of this: “My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips” (Psalm 89:34). That is God talking. God is making a point that all Middle Eastern people of biblical times would agree with. It says in essence, “If I have ever made a covenant with anybody about anything, I will never break it.” The word of a covenant of any kind should naturally be inviolable, sacrosanct and utterly uninfringeable.
But God takes this statement further. He doesn’t just maintain a rock like stability when making a formal covenant, a thing He only condescends to help fallen man understand how serious and truthful He is. The full statement he makes is (my paraphrase) “If I ever make a covenant you can totally put your life on the line concerning my dependability, because I will put my life and reputation on the line for you. BUT even if I do not make a covenant and I simply make a statement without any vow, oath, covenant or promise you can depend on what I say as if it was the most solem of vows, oaths, covenants or promises. Just depend on me for whatever I have said.
That’s God for you! Was there ever a greater premise that could engender trust in what He says?
The promise today is, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.” (See Joel 2:28-29 and Acts 2:17). An Old Testament prophet predicted this day when all flesh would know of the experience of receiving God’s Spirit. The Jews just filed this away in the scriptures and theological theories and got on with life. After the resurrection of Christ and just prior to His ascension to heaven, Jesus Christ commanded the followers who were there with Him to wait in Jerusalem for something. They were forbidden to preach, witness or testify to the claims of Christ until they had waited in Jerusalem for a while. “For not many days hence,” said Messiah, “You shall be baptised in the Holy Spirit.” Added to these parameters were, “You shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”
Ten days later, still hiding from the world, there was wind, things that looked like tongues of fire on them all, and a noise of languages which none of them had ever academically knew. It was powerful. These people in the midst of the kafuffle went out onto the streets. Peter stood and announced that “This is that, which the prophet Joel promised.” After a long quotation from Joel, to verify, validate and label what had just happened, Peter said, Joel predicted this when he said, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.”
There are those that claim that because it happened here in Acts 2, it doesn’t need to be repeated anywhere else. God has, via the occurrence of Acts chapter 2 poured out His Spirit upon all flesh. Others say that the verse is verified when anybody receives Christ. This writer has an opinion of such viewpoints and perspectives. I call them total and utter tosh!
The disciples who had obeyed Christ and waited in Jerusalem had received a supernatural experience. “This is that,” which Joel had predicted i.e. the experience that the Jerusalem religious public were audience to in the disciples of Christ. It wasn’t just a loud bang of a visitation from God that was to be followed by 2 millennia of quiet silent unidentifiable reproduction. The Holy Spirit is God’s active Person on planet earth. Where He is, dynamite and power are not only manifested but engrafted into believers characters and personalities.
God is eager and willing to fulfil this promise in the heart and life of every Christian believer on the planet that has ever lived since the days of Acts chapter 2. Has it been fulfilled in your life?