Terry R. Baughman
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18).
The experience of Pentecost is universally available and for all generations. The prophecy quoted here by the Apostle Peter indicated that sons and daughters, young and old, male and female servants, would all be the recipients of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,” the Prophet Joel declared long ago (Joel 2:28). This was a prediction that the prophesied event would take place in a future generation, but also expressed that the Spirit would be for both sexes, neither would be excluded. The phrase, “Your sons and your daughters,” might have been construed to mean it was just for their children. However, this was not a promise just for the young because he went on to include, “Your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.” All ages were included in the prophecy of the coming of the Holy Spirit!
Even servants were included in the promise. All levels in the socio-economic scale have the same opportunity. The NIV stated, “Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:29). From fathers to daughters, servants to kings, the aged to children, all have access into the Kingdom of God through the promise of the Spirit.
Peter further emphasized the generational aspect of the experience. He said, “The promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39). The Holy Spirit was not just for the Day of Pentecost or the first generation of the church, it is for your children. Once the Holy Spirit was poured out it continued to be available to the present day. It will continue to be experienced until the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
While the birth of the church occurred in the city of Jerusalem and upon the Jewish people, the intent of the outpouring was much broader than one location or a single ethnicity. It was Christ’s intent to deliver the gift of His Spirit to all the world. The promise of the Spirit and the provision of redemption was also for those who were foreign to “Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Paul goes on to say, “In Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:12–13).
Every nationality, every language group, every age, either sex, or those of any economic position can find Christ through the New Birth experience in obedience to Peter’s simple message, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). There is equal opportunity for all to experience the New Birth through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).