Bible Study Series: Holy Spirit - Roles, Types and Imagery
The Holy Spirit in the coming Great Reset
by I Gordon
We come now to the last message in this current series on the Holy Spirit. I mentioned last time that I was going to close with a prophetic look forward at the work of the Holy Spirit in the close of this age and the one to come. So we looked last time at what scripture says about the Holy Spirit's work at the end of the church age and on into the coming tribulation. This study will look at the Holy Spirit in the coming 'Great Reset'. Now you might be thinking 'the coming great reset?' 'You mean what that Bond villain lookalike at the World Economic Forum is currently talking about and planning in connection with most governments in the western world?' No, not that one, That is man's attempt at gaining power and control at the expense of you and me. No, I'm talking about the real, soon coming, great reset. You know... the one that God does. This one will reset everything! It will see all governments on earth fall and the King of kings take His position and rule over the whole earth. It will see every part of life on this planet reset to how it was meant to be. It will see the planet itself freed from the curse and brought into the glorious liberty as it was meant to be. It is not wishful thinking but has been prophesied about throughout the Bible and we can see the shadow it casts in the signs of our current age. It is the Messianic Kingdom and, according to scripture, it will be a glorious time when the Spirit is poured out on the earth.
So... what shall we look at today?
- We'll have a brief look at the names and hope of this coming Kingdom
- We'll explore the prophecies of the work and presence of the Holy Spirit in this age
- We'll conclude by contrasting of the heaviness of today with the glory of tomorrow
Time to get into it!
The Coming Kingdom
The Old Testament prophets, Jesus and the Apostles all spoke of a time when everything would be put right. Maybe you have heard of it as the Messianic Kingdom or the Millennium. I have always liked a title that Jesus gave to this time when he said:
Mat 19:28 "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
I have spoken about this before1 (and will likely do so again!) because I really like the imagery given in the word 'regeneration'. It is from the Greek word 'paliggenesía' which is derived from two Greek words: Palin, meaning 'once more or again', and Genesis meaning 'the beginning'. So Jesus was encouraging His disciples saying that a time was coming when the conditions on earth would be like Genesis again. Things would be restored to how they were in the beginning once more, before the fall. And it will be a time when believers will rule and reign with Christ in His Kingdom. Did you know that your life today is preparation for that time and that position to come? How you live today certainly matters and your faithfulness to the Lord will be rewarded accordingly! Now Peter also spoke of this time coming in his sermon to his fellow Jews in the early part of Acts saying:
Act 3:19-21 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, (20) and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,  (21) whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
You will note that Peter called this coming age the 'times of refreshing' and the 'times of restoration of all things'. I don't know about you but I long for such times. I long for the 'days of the king'. I long to see God worshipped. I long to see Jesus enthroned. I want to see Satan bound and judged for all he has done. And I long to see creation restored and brought into the liberty that even it longs for (Rom 8:19-21). It is 'the times of the restoration of all things'... and it is not far off! I love how C.S Lewis describes it in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:
“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Until then, we await the Lord's coming and desire to live faithfully in fellowship with Him2. And as I said at the start, man is currently working on his own plans to reset financial, governmental and social life on this planet. Their plan begins by destroying the current structures and, in their words, 'building back better'. Bible prophecy tells us it won't end well. But the Lord sits in heaven and actually laughs in derision at mankind's feeble attempts at power and rebellion. He has His own plans which will not be stopped. And along with His plans to restore all things, one of the amazing things about this coming time will be the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. So let's focus on that now.
Prophecies of the Spirit outpoured
In the last message we saw that the Prophet Joel spoke of a time when Israel is restored and he specifically went on to say this:
Joe 2:28-29 And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. (29) Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
You will note that it says 'And afterward'... With the context being the time of the restoration of Israel at the end of the Tribulation, the time of Jacob's trouble, the prophet Joel said that there will be a great outpouring of God's Spirit on all people who go on into the Messianic Kingdom age. Noted prophecy bible teachers have spoken about this. One such example is from the late great teacher John Walvoord (Pastor, teacher and former President of Dallas Theological Seminary) who wrote:
"The millennium will undoubtedly be the most glorious of all the dispensations. There will be the fullest display of righteousness, and universal peace and prosperity will characterize the period. Christ will rule all the earth, and every nation will acknowledge Him. The knowledge of the Lord will be from sea to sea... It is manifest that in such a period the Holy Spirit will have a ministry which exceeds previous dispensations in its fullness and power... The filling of the Holy Spirit will be common in the millennium, in contrast to the infrequency of it in other ages, and it will be manifested in worship and praise of the Lord and in willing obedience to Him as well as in spiritual power and inner transformation..."
This lines up with several scriptures that speak of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at this time. So let's just do a little homework and run through some of these scriptures. First let's start with Ezekiel. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of the general plan of God for the Jews as follows:
Eze 36:24-27 'For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. (25) I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. (26) I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
So note the progression given here:
- God will take the Jews out of all the nations that they were dispersed to beginning in 70AD.
- He will bring them back into their own land once again. This was fulfilled in 1948 when Israel became a nation once again and the continual drive, even today, for jews to return to their homeland continues this prophecy.
- God will then 'sprinkle clean water' on them to cleanse them and give then a new heart. While individual Israelites are turning to Jesus, as a nation this is still future, awaiting the end of the tribulation period.
- God will put His spirit in them and actively cause them to walk in His ways. This again is still future but will be fulfilled. There will be an outpouring of God's Spirit upon them when they come into the salvation planned for this nation.
This is focused on by the prophet Zechariah who wrote:
Zec 12:9-10 "And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (10) "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.
We see that at the end of the tribulation, when all nations have come against Israel, God will save them as they look to the One that they pierced. Now who on earth (or in Heaven) could it be that the Jews 'pierced'? Ok - no prizes here... It is Jesus, Yeshua, their Messiah! And look at what happens - God pours out His Spirit... but first it is the Spirit of grace and supplication. That is. it is the work of the Spirit in salvation producing repentance and supplication, even amongst intense mourning when the nation of Israel see what they did to their Messiah Jesus. God's response will be the Spirit of grace... pure grace upon those that didn't deserve it. What a day that will be! It is not an exaggeration to say that world events and human history are leading to this one climatic conclusion!
The prophet Isaiah also spoke of this time. Chapter 32 of Isaiah speaks of this Kingdom age still to come. It begins with 'Behold, a king will reign righteously And princes will rule justly.' (Isa 32:1) The King is Jesus. The princes could well be you and me! As we go further through the chapter it speaks of the nation of Israel being deserted and left for a long time, which a good part of the last 2000 years of human history attests to. But look at what it says happens when that time is over:
Isa 32:13-18 On the land of my people will come up thorns and briers, Yes, on all the happy homes in the joyous city; (14) Because the palaces will be forsaken, The bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever, A joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks-- (15) Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, And the fruitful field is counted as a forest. (16) Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, And righteousness remain in the fruitful field. (17) The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. (18) My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places...
Isaiah specifically says that judgement will come upon Judah and it will be deserted and abandoned. But there is an 'until'. He gives an event that comes after that - 'Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high'. That again is a sure sign of the Kingdom age when the 'wilderness becomes a fruitful field' when justice and righteousness dwell in the field and there will be peace, quietness and assurance forever. Of course it is at this time that the One who rules in the fullness of the Spirit will reign over the whole earth, just as Isaiah had spoke of earlier:
Isa 11:1-3 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (2) The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-- (3) and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; (4) but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth...
A year, a day and a thousand years
Now I know that we are jumping through quite a few scriptures but there is another that I'd like to mention as we draw things to a close. This is a familiar scripture because Jesus started His public ministry by quoting it. Well, part of it. Let's read the first three verses in Isaiah 61:
Isa 61:1-3 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, (3) To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."
You may have seen that there are three distinct periods of time spoken of in these three verses. Can you see them?
- The age of Grace - verse 1-2a: 'The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,' When Jesus stood up in the synagogue and read from this passage of scripture (Luke 4:16-19). He read from verse one and actually stopped mid verse. He got to the part that says He was proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord and stopped there. He then rolled the scroll back up and said that today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. This 'acceptable year of the Lord' continues today. It is another way of saying the age of grace.
- The Tribulation - Verse 2b: 'And the day of vengeance of our God.' The second part of verse 2 speaks of a day still to come. It is the 'day of vengeance of God'. This will occur at the end of this age and last 7 years, climaxing in the 'great and terrible day of the Lord' when Jesus will return to put down His enemies.
- The Kingdom - Verse 3: 'To comfort all who mourn, (3) To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; ' But this is the main focus of our study because this verse speaks of the blessing of the coming Kingdom age. It speaks of beauty instead of ashes, joy instead of mourning and praise instead of heaviness. All of this is the result of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon those blessed to enter this Kingdom. We saw in three earlier studies how oil is a type of the Holy Spirit, so when it speaks of the oil of joy being given in that day, it is a reminder of the wonderful joy of the Holy Spirit that will fill believers in that day. Bring. It. On!
Mourning and heaviness will be no more!
In contrast to what we have read about the coming Kingdom age, today there is ashes, There is mourning, There is heaviness. We live in a fallen cursed world and life is not easy. It was certainly a true promise that Jesus gave when He said that in this world you will have trouble. To give an example, I've been a little slow getting this message together and out. The reason is because I've been staying with my Mum to help her after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. While I've been with her someone smashed a hole in my window at home, next to the window catch, trying to get into the garage to steal my eBike. They were literally 30 seconds away from getting in and out with my bikes so something or someone must have startled them. Thanks to the Lord speaking to my Mum, I removed my bikes and probably just in time. Because I set up a wee trap/sign that they would spring if they came back and sure enough, they were back again a second time the same night... but thankfully finding nothing there! At the same time my 85 year old mother was gearing up to have her skull opened up for brain surgery... which she successfully had last week. Initially we were told that the tumor wasn't cancerous but we have now been told that it is... so that means possible radiation and/or further surgery await.
I say all this just to point out that life in this age often isn't easy. There can be heaviness and unease. There can be mourning and uncertainty. But God... But God is adequate in all things. As a testimony let me just say that God has been so very kind to my Mum during this time. I'm not just saying that because it is the Christian thing to say that. He really has. He has upheld her and strengthen her and allowed her to go through a trying time without fear or anxiety. And while we aren't out of the woods yet with this cancer trial, she is living with God's peace and strength (most of the time!3) through His Holy Spirit. And living in the sustaining hope of what is to come. Because “Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death, And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”
To conclude we have looked, albeit briefly, at a few different scriptures which have this in common: In the age to come the Spirit will be poured out in a new and fuller way. We experience His Spirit today but it shall be in greater measure in the age to come. The love of the Spirit... the joy of the Spirit... the peace of the Spirit... all without measure. Can you imagine it? Keep your eyes on the finish line and the glories to come! And just when you thought I had used up my collection of scriptures for this message I've got one more for you that relates to this. Let me end with this:
Rom 8:22-23 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (23) Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Scripture tells us that we currently have 'the firstfruits of the Spirit' - the fullness, like the full measure of a harvest compared to the firstfruits, is still to come. Until then we groan inwardly (with a few escaping outwardly!) longing for the day of full redemption. But that day, the day of the 'Great Reset' when God puts all things right, is coming and with it comes the fullness of His Spirit. This is the day we long for. Let me close with one last C.S Lewis quote from the last book in the Narnia series, the Last Battle:
"It is hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia, as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste... The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can't describe it any better than that: if you ever get there, you will know what I mean. It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried: "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia so much is because it sometimes looked a little like this.'
C.S Lewis, The Last Battle
Until that day, we still look to Him to sustain us in all that we go through and, through the presence of the 'Helper', the Holy Spirit in our lives, He is able to do so and will bring all of His children through to that glorious day. Keep looking up and run that which is left in this race well.