Introduction: Do you want Jesus to return and take you to heaven with
Him? Are you tired of living with sin, sadness, pain, grief and
conflict? The Bible tells us that special things will be happing in
the “last days.” One of those “things” is that the Holy Spirit will
be especially active. What will the Holy Spirit be doing? Will we be
ready? Let’s jump into our study of the Bible and find out what the
Holy Spirit will be doing!

  1. God’s Approach to the End of Time

    1. Read Joel 2:1-2. Why should we tremble at the coming of
      Jesus? Why should we sound alarms? Why is this a “day of
      darkness and gloom” as opposed to the best day of our
      life? (This warning is addressed to all people, and not
      just Christians. Everyone needs to take the Second Coming
      of Jesus seriously.)

      1. Why does God come with His army? (This gives us an
        extraordinary mental picture. Apparently, God is
        approaching “hostile territory.” The majority on
        earth must be hostile to the return of Jesus.)

    2. Read Joel 2:3-5. Focus on verses 4-5 which describe God’s
      army. Is it mechanized? If you were describing a tank, and
      you lived in the days before cars, when horses and
      chariots were the “cutting edge” military weapon, how
      would you describe the tank?

      1. What kind of army can “leap over mountains?” (God has
        an airborne army that staggers the imagination.)

    3. Read Joel 2:6. What is the reaction of the world to the
      Second Coming of Jesus and His invading army?

    4. Read Joel 2:12-13. What is the purpose of revealing the
      terrible military aspect of Jesus’ Second Coming? (This
      makes clear that the “military” is for those who have
      turned away from God. God does not prefer to approach us
      with an army. He prefers for us to accept Him as our
      Friend and God.)

      1. Often, people seem to have a negative reaction to the
        “hellfire and brimstone” approach to evangelism. Is
        that approach improper? (Using common sense and
        judgment is required, but in Joel 2 God uses the
        “give ’em a good look at the downside” approach to
        evangelism. We certainly cannot say it is wrong.)

    5. Read Joel 2:28-29. What else does God use to bring
      attention to His Second coming and the need to be ready?
      (The Holy Spirit is poured out on His people.)

    6. Read Joel 2:30-31. What else does God use to bring to the
      attention of the people the need to prepare for His Second
      Coming? (Dramatic events in the heavens.)

    7. As you consider the three approaches God has to get the
      world ready: warning of judgment, signs in the heavens,
      and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which of these
      involve a joint work with His people? (We can be involved
      in at least two aspects of this. We play an important part
      in the warning of a coming judgment and the Holy Spirit
      energizes us to convey God’s message for the end time.
      Compare Revelation 14:6-12.)

  2. Pouring

    1. Let’s look at the work of the Holy Spirit in more detail.
      Read again Joel 2:28. Who has the gift of prophecy? (A
      large number.)

    2. Read again Joel 2:29. What gender is primarily used for
      the work of the Holy Spirit in the last days?

      1. Why does Joel make the point that “both men and
        women” will be Spirit-filled? (He is making plain
        that both sexes have an important role as co-laborers
        with the Holy Spirit in the last day message.)

      2. What kind of economic success is required to be a
        Spirit-led Christian? (“Even on my servants” means
        that God does not exclude from His partnership those
        who lack “status” in this world. God is plainly
        telling us that the way we look for “helpers” is not
        the way He looks. Gender, social status, are not
        issues for Him.)

    3. Are you ready for a church like this? A church were it
      seems that most everyone is a prophet?

      1. With the Holy Spirit speaking so directly to us, will
        we need our Bibles then? (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21. Our Bibles will be more important than ever.
        With so many claiming to speak for God, we need to
        judge them (“test everything”) by the timeless
        standard of the Bible.)

  3. When?

    1. Read James 5:7-8. James compares our work to that of a
      farmer. How is the work of the Holy Spirit like rain? (The
      rain came in seasons to spur the growth of the crops.)

      1. What can we do to influence the coming of the rain?

    2. Earlier in this series of lessons we studied the Pentecost
      account in Acts 2. Let’s review a few verses now. Read
      Acts 2:1-4. Does this remind you of the Joel prophecy?
      (Read Acts 2:14-16. Peter specifically identifies this as
      a fulfillment of the Joel 2 prophecy.)

      1. How did the disciples prepare for Pentecost? (Read
        Acts 1:4-5 and Acts 1:14. Like the farmer, they were
        waiting. But, while they waited they were praying
        for the gift of the Holy Spirit. We should be doing
        the same thing.)

  4. Laodicea

    1. Read Revelation 3:14-16. What is wrong with the people in
      the Laodicean church? (They have lost their “heat,” they
      lack “fire.”)

      1. What gives believers “fire?” (Read Romans 12:11.
        Spiritual fervor is our “fire.” These people are low
        on the Holy Spirit.)

    2. Let’s skip down a couple of verses. Read Revelation 3:19-22. What does the Laodicean church represent? (It is
      thought that this list of churches represents not simply
      literal churches at that time, but also symbolizes the
      Christian church over time. Thus, because Laodicea is the
      last in the list, it would represent the church of the
      last days.)

      1. Is there any evidence in these verses to support the
        idea that Laodicea is the church of the last days?
        (The reason I skipped down a couple of verses is
        because Revelation 3:19-22 can be understood as Jesus
        waiting to come the second time and take His children
        back to heaven with Him. He says to the last church,
        “I’m waiting!”)

      2. Who is trying to break through to the Laodiceans with
        the message that they are needy? (“He who has an ear,
        let him hear what the Spirit says.” The Holy Spirit
        is working to break through the shell of our hard

    3. We have this picture in Joel of the church of the last
      days being on fire with the Holy Spirit. We have this
      symbolism in James about the Holy Spirit coming as the
      “latter rain” to prepare the harvest. Then we have this
      terrible picture of the church of the last days being
      lukewarm. How do you reconcile these three pictures to
      get a fix on the work of the Holy Spirit in the last days?

    4. Let’s pick up the verses that we skipped to find an answer
      to the previous question. Read Revelation 3:17-18. What is
      the solution to the condition of the Laodiceans? (To get
      new eyes to recognize their spiritual condition, to get
      gold fresh out of the fire and to put on the robe of

      1. How much of that is the work of the Holy Spirit? (All
        of it is “Spirit work.” We have this end time picture
        of a tepid church. It is rich and self-reliant. Out
        of that church arises a group fired by the Holy
        Spirit. As the “latter rain” comes, these are people
        who by the power of the Spirit realize their
        spiritual nakedness, and turn to God. The Holy Spirit
        fires them into this powerful group which has an
        extraordinary connection with the Holy Spirit. They
        have extraordinary spiritual power. This on-fire
        group brings in the last harvest in preparation for
        Jesus’ Second Coming.)

    5. Friend, do you want to be part of this on-fire group that
      prepares the people for Jesus’ Second Coming? The Holy
      Spirit calls to you to recognize your spiritual condition
      and turn to Him for fresh fire and clear sight!

  5. Next week we start a new quarter of studies on the gospel, 1844
    and judgment.