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What does God mean when He says in the last days He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh?
Thank you for your question about the Holy Spirit. Questions in this area can be tricky, and can be looked at with quite a lot of depth. However I will try and explain simply what "in the last days He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh" means.
The most recognised placed where this phrase is used is in the book of Joel 2:28 and in Acts 2:17. In the Old Testament book of Joel it is important to look at the context so we understand what the phrase means in Joel 2:28.
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions".
The main theme of the book of Joel is God’s judgement on both the Jews, who were God’s people, and on the other nations. But God gives an opportunity to repent, to turn our lives around and live the way He wants us to live. God will keep the promises that he has made, and He will dwell with His people. And How will He dwell with His people? Through Jesus and His "Spirit" who will be poured out on "all flesh".
God’s people were the Jews, God had chosen them which can be seen in Deuteronomy 7:7: "It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples".
But as your question states, His Spirit will be poured out on all people.
Before Jesus had ascended to heaven, He promised that he would give another "Helper" (John 14:16) that would be with us forever. That promise was fulfilled at Pentecost which can be seen in Acts 2. This, at Pentecost, was God keeping his promise and pouring out His Spirit on all flesh. This isn’t just for the Jews but all nations. Galatians 3:28 says there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Also, if you are confused about the "last days" comment that basically is the period of time between Jesus ascending to heaven and Jesus' second coming. That is to say that we are in the last days now.
So, all this means that now all God’s people will receive the Holy Spirit, whether they are young or old, male or female, and now the Holy Spirit is needed to build the church before Jesus returns.
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Joel 2:28
- Acts 2:17
- Galatians 3:28
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*All Scripture references are taken from the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
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