The prophesied work of the Holy Spirit in connection with His people Israel should be clearly understood if we would understand His work today in connection with the members of the Body of Christ. In Joel 2:28,29 God promised to supernaturally cause them to prophesy, etc., but in Ezek. 36:26,27, He also promised to supernaturally cause them to do His will:
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. AND I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, AND CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUTES, AND YE SHALL KEEP MY JUDGMENTS, AND DO THEM.”
Thus God would show that the only way in which even His own people can perfectly obey Him is when He takes possession of them and causes them to do His will. Indeed, He is still demonstrating this. Though we today have all the advantages and blessings of the dispensation of grace, and though we desire most earnestly to obey and serve God as we ought, we still continually fall short.
This is because, contrary to popular opinion, none of us has been baptized with the Spirit (See Acts 1:5 and cf. I Cor. 12:13). We must be careful to notice the immediate change that took place in the behavior of the Pentecostal believers, now that the Holy Spirit had come to take possession of them. Not only did they speak with tongues and prophesy and work miracles, but they all began living for one another.
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).
We have not observed this way of life among those who call themselves Pentecostalists today.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.