Prophecy on Mount Olivet
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Go Out to Meet Him
Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.”
But the wise answered, saying, “No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.” (Matthew 25:7-9)
All ten virgins arose, all trimmed their lamps, all possessed oil, but only the five wise virgins possessed an extra supply of oil. And because the five foolish virgins did not possess this extra supply of oil, their lamps, at a particular time seen in the text, began to go out (the words in the KJV, “. . . our lamps are gone out” [v. 8] should literally read, “…our lamps are going out [a present tense verb denoting something in progress],” showing an initial supply of oil but not the extra portion to keep the lamps burning).
The ten virgins represent those to whom the kingdom of the heavens was offered following Israel’s rejection of this offer, following the removal of this aspect of the kingdom from Israel, and following the house of Israel being left desolate (Matthew 21:33-44; 23:37-39).
It was at this time, following the kingdom being taken from Israel and the house being left desolate, that the kingdom of the heavens is seen “likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom” (Matthew 25:1).
Thus, the ten virgins can only represent those forming a house separate from the house of Israel during the time that the house of Israel lies desolate (Matthew 24:40-51). And “ten,” the number of ordinal completion, points to all the recipients of the offer of the kingdom of the heavens during the time when God deals with this separate group of household servants, which can only be identified as all Christians throughout the present dispensation.
“Oil” is used in Scripture to symbolize the Holy Spirit (ref. Chapters 12, 13 in this book); and, brought over into that which is taught in the parable of the ten virgins concerning Christians, the possession or non-possession of “Oil” would have to present a dual truth:
1) Every Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 1:13).
2) Every Christian though is not filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
That is, within the framework of the parable of the ten virgins, every Christian possesses a vessel with Oil, but not every Christian possesses a vessel with an extra supply of Oil. And apart from this extra supply of Oil, a Christian cannot pass safely through the time of this world’s darkness.
Such a Christian will experience spiritual disaster in his pilgrim walk during the present time; and, relative to things pertaining to the kingdom of the heavens, such a Christian will experience rejection in the Lord’s presence yet future.
All Arose, Trimmed Their Lamps
The midnight cry caused all ten virgins to arise and trim their lamps. This cry concerned judgment awaiting all of the virgins, all Christians, at a time immediately following the present dispensation. That is, all ten arose and trimmed their lamps with a view to judgment out ahead.
In the parable it is assumed that all heard the midnight cry, with all acting on this basis. This is the central message that is to be proclaimed to all Christians during the present dispensation. And the fact that all heard, pointing to all Christians hearing, reflects on an interesting thought in the light of that which is occurring in Christendom today.
The manner in which this is presented in the parable renders it unthinkable that Christians would not hear this message — a message concerning the coming kingdom, which all Christians are supposed to hear, for it is the central message within the instructions that the Householder left with His household servants.
This thought is similarly set forth in the parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:3-8. In this parable, which would appear to be all inclusive, as the parable of the ten virgins, all heard the “word of the kingdom” (cf. vv. 18-23).
The parable refers to four types of individuals sown out in the world, with a view to their bringing forth fruit for the kingdom. Each heard the message concerning the coming kingdom; but three of the four brought forth no fruit, corresponding to the five foolish virgins who heard the message concerning impending judgment but failed to make the necessary preparations.
In other words, the matter is presented from a far more positive position in these parables than the situation that actually exists in Christendom today. Matters are presented from a position that would have been seen in first-century Christianity, but not in Christianity today.
The vast majority of Christians presently filling pews in churches throughout the land have never really been exposed to the message concerning the coming kingdom, which is to say, these Christians have never been exposed to the very purpose for their salvation.
And the manner in which these parables present the subject matter at hand renders it unthinkable that this would ever occur.
After an individual has been saved, he is then to hear the message concerning the purpose for his salvation. God has placed evangelists and pastor-teachers in the Church to proclaim the complete panorama of the good news (Ephesians 4:11ff) — the good news concerning the present grace of God, to be proclaimed to the unsaved, and the good news concerning the coming glory of Christ, to be proclaimed to the saved (Acts 20:24-28; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Ephesians 2:8-10).
(The words “pastors and teachers” in Ephesians 4:11 refer to one group of individuals, not two groups. They are pastor-teachers, not “pastors and teachers,” as translated in many English versions.
This is seen in the structure of the Greek text. There are two nouns in the same case form, connected by kai [and], with a definite article preceding the first noun but not repeated before the second noun. In a structure of this nature, the second noun [didaskalos, “teacher”] is seen as simply a further description of the first noun [poimen, “pastor,” “shepherd”].
The pastor [shepherd of the flock] is to be a teacher [teacher of the flock]. He is to lead the flock through the proclaimed Word.)
When distinguishing between the offices of evangelist and pastor-teacher, the message of an evangelist would be seen as centrally to the unsaved, though not to the exclusion of the saved; and the message of a pastor-teacher would be seen as centrally to the saved, though not to the exclusion of the unsaved.
(The word “evangelist” is a translation of the Greek word, euaggelistes, a noun form of euaggelizo, the word translated “gospel [‘good news’]” in the New Testament. The word euaggelistes [evangelist] simply means, “a proclaimer of good news,” which could have to do with good news proclaimed to either the saved or the unsaved.
Thus, it is not really correct to think of the ministry of an evangelist as always having to do with the unsaved. This would be the case with some evangelists but not necessarily the case with others.
The preceding though would not be true of a pastor-teacher. He has a flock that the Lord has entrusted to his care, and his ministry is centrally to this flock, leading those in the flock from immaturity to maturity in “the faith.” Thus, his message is centrally to the saved.
Ideally, the evangelist would be the one to reach the unsaved, for he doesn’t have a flock in the same sense as a pastor teacher, requiring his constant attention. And the possession or non-possession of a flock is the only real difference in the message and ministry of the pastor-teacher and the evangelist. Both are to proclaim the complete panorama of the good news, where the Lord has placed them, as the Lord leads.)
The evangelist is to go out into virgin territory and proclaim the gospel message to the unsaved. He is to announce the good news that Christ has died for man’s sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). After an individual has been saved, he is then to be placed under the ministry of a pastor-teacher, with a view to growth from immaturity to maturity, beginning with milk and progressing on to food [KJV: meat] and solid food [KJV: strong meat] (cf. Hebrews 5:11-14; 1 Peter 2:1, 2).
The object of growth in the Christian life centers around the purpose for one’s salvation, which has to do with the coming kingdom (Hebrews 6:1ff). Individuals have been saved (by and through hearing the good news concerning a vicarious death, with its associated shed blood); and they have been saved with a view to their one day ascending the throne and reigning as co-heirs with Christ in the kingdom (good news concerning the coming glory of Christ, which they are to hear following their salvation).
The former message, ideally, is to be proclaimed by an evangelist and the latter by a pastor-teacher. However, situations in ministry often require changes from that which might be considered ideal. Regardless though, the important thing is that the person is to hear the full panorama of the good news — both the good news of the present grace of God and the good news of the coming glory of Christ.
The thought of all the virgins arising and trimming their lamps, brought over into Christianity, presupposes that pastor-teachers have proclaimed the message concerning a midnight meeting with the Bridegroom. However, a proclamation of this message by pastor-teachers and Christians subsequently making the necessary preparations for meeting the Bridegroom are entirely different matters, as is evident in the parable of the ten virgins.
Preparations for meeting the bridegroom on His threshing floor, at midnight, may or may not follow the proclamation of the message. The ten virgins arising and trimming their lamps shows nothing beyond the fact that these were saved individuals who had heard the message concerning events at the judgment seat. Preparedness or unpreparedness for impending judgment is shown in subsequent verses.
Lamps Continuing to Burn, Going Out
The lamps carried by all ten virgins were burning; otherwise there could be no trimming of all the lamps or a going out of some of the lamps. The distinguishing difference between the wise and the foolish was shown in their either possessing or not possessing an extra supply of oil. The wise “took oil in their vessels with their lamps [an extra supply in separate containers].” The foolish though “took no oil with them [they carried no extra supply in separate containers]” (vv. 3, 4).
An interesting point to be noted is the fact that the lamps of the foolish began going out following the midnight cry. Their lamps had apparently burned up to this point. The initial supply of oil, from all appearances, had apparently proved sufficient until preparedness for the Bridegroom’s return was introduced. Then, the necessity of possessing an extra portion became evident as the lamps of the foolish began going out.
The thought set forth is evident. It is the same as that set forth in the context leading into and following Ephesians 5:18 — the command to be “filled with the Spirit [possess the extra supply of Oil].”
Prior to this command, Paul had exhorted Christians to “walk worthy” of their high calling (4:1ff). He then dealt with the necessity of having “pastor-teachers” in the churches (4:11-16), the necessity of putting off “the old man” and putting on “the new man” (4:22-25), and he referred to an “inheritance” lying out ahead (5:1-5; cf. 1:11, 17, 18; 3:6).
Following the command to be “filled with the Spirit,” Paul, by and through instruction concerning wives, husbands, children, servants, and masters, illustrates the filling of the Spirit in various individuals’ lives.
“Wives” filled with the Spirit will be submission to their husbands (5:21-24, 33), “Husbands” filled with the Spirit will love their wives (5:25-33), “Children” filled with the Spirit will be obedient to their parents (6:1-4), “Bondservants” filled with the Spirit will be obedient to their masters (6:5-8), and “masters” filled with the Spirit will show proper treatment to their servants (6:9).
The preceding then leads into an exhortation to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (6:10), followed by a discourse dealing with a warfare emanating from the heavens and the command, in view of this warfare, to properly clothe oneself with “the whole armor of God” (6:11-18).
A spiritual warfare is presently being waged, and it is one between men upon the earth and fallen angels in the heavens:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly places [the heavenlies] (v. 12)
And the revealed primary requirement for the warfare, before ever attempting to clothe oneself in the proper armor, is being filled with the Spirit, possessing the extra supply of Oil.
If a Christian has become engaged in and expects to be successful in the battle at hand, he must possess a work of the Spirit beyond the Spirit’s initial work at the point of salvation. He must not only be indwelt by the Spirit but he must also be filled with the Spirit.
This is what is taught in the parable of the ten virgins as well as numerous other places in Scripture (e.g., as previously illustrated in the overall structure of the latter part of the book of Ephesians). Without the “extra portion” a Christian will be powerless in the battle, for the battle is not actually his, but the Lord’s (1 Samuel 17:47; cf. Ephesians 6:10).
Spiritual weapons must be used against that which is spiritual within Satan’s kingdom in the heavens (cf. John 4:24).
The battle from Ephesians 6:12 doesn’t really begin in earnest until one makes his move relative to the heavenlies in which Satan and his angels reside. That is, until a Christian begins moving out into that area surrounding the purpose for his salvation, which has to do with an inheritance in the heavenlies as co-heir with Christ, there is really little or no spiritual warfare in the true sense of the word. But once this move is made, the warfare quickly begins in all its fury.
And whether or not the Christian is properly prepared will rapidly become evident. This is the point where the filling of the Spirit, the extra portion of Oil, enters into the matter. This is why the lamps of the foolish virgins began going out at a certain time. They arose and trimmed their lamps with a view to the midnight cry; and not having the extra supply of Oil, their lamps naturally began going out when they moved into an area where the spiritual warfare began to rage.
Christians need to face reality concerning that which is clearly revealed in Scripture. Christians have a calling that involves their one day ascending into a heavenly realm and replacing the incumbent rulers. Christ will occupy the position presently held by Satan, and Christians will occupy positions presently held by angels ruling under Satan. Christians will occupy these positions as co-heirs with Christ, seated with Christ on His throne.
The present sons of God are about to be replaced by an entirely new and different order of Sons — Christ and His co-heirs (cf. Romans 8:19; Hebrews 2:10). Satan and his angels know what is about to occur, and that’s what the warfare is about.
Christians are the destined possessors of positions of power and authority in the heavenly realm; and knowing this, Satan is amassing all the forces at his command, seeking to retain his hold on the present kingdom of the heavens.
Satan and his angels have ruled over the earth from this realm since time immemorial, since time preceding the creation of man. But a change is in the offing. The “world to come [‘the inhabited world to come’]” has not been committed to angelic rule, but rather to that of man (Hebrews 2:5); and when Christians manifest an interest in this realm, the “so great a salvation” of Hebrews 2:3, Satan begins to marshal his forces. The spiritual warfare then begins in all its fury, and woe to the Christian who moves into this realm unprepared to face the enemy.
This is the point where it becomes very evident whether one possesses or lacks the extra supply of Oil, the filling of the Spirit. This is the point where the lamp either continues to burn or begins going out, producing victory on the one hand or allowing for defeat on the other hand.
(For additional information in the preceding realm, refer to the author’s book, The Spiritual Warfare.)
Go and Buy for Yourselves
When the five foolish virgins realized that their lamps were going out, they requested extra oil from the five wise virgins. Extra oil though was not to be obtained after this fashion. The foolish were told by the wise, “No. . . but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves” (v. 9). They were to go to the source of supply, and they were to go themselves.
The five foolish virgins were to obtain the extra supply of oil in the same place and manner as the five wise virgins had obtained their extra supply. There were exchangers who provided the oil, for a price; and the price was extracted, and the oil was dispensed on a personal basis.
Each person had to go to the exchanger himself and pay the price. The oil would then, accordingly, be dispensed into the purchaser’s personal vessel.
Brought over into the thought of Christians being filled with the Holy Spirit, going to the source of supply on a personal basis would be perfectly in line with the Christian experience. Every Christian must himself personally appropriate that which God has for him, and it is to be appropriated from the proper source, from the Lord Himself.
The thought of “purchasing” in relation to the filling of the Holy Spirit may at first sound strange, but it shouldn’t. There is a price to be paid, and every Christian going to the Lord to have his earthen vessel filled with Oil must pay that price.
The price though is not money. The price is time spent with the Lord in His Word. The means set forth in Scripture to effect the filling of the Spirit is the same as that set forth to effect the transformation, the metamorphosis, in Romans 12:2. Both the filling of the Spirit and the metamorphosis occur simultaneously in the life of a Christian, and they are so inseparably related that it would really be impossible for one to occur apart from the other.
The filling of the Spirit and the metamorphosis occur together in a progressive fashion as a Christian receives “the implanted Word [that which is compatible with and natural for his new nature]” into his saved human Spirit. The indwelling Holy Spirit then takes this Word and progressively does a work in the person’s life, resulting in the filling of the Spirit, the metamorphosis, and ultimately the salvation of his soul (cf. Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:10; Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:10, 16, 17; James 1:21 [ref. Chapter 12 of this book; see also the author’s book, Salvation of the Soul, Chapter 4]).
The Lord has so established the matter that the price required for the filling of the Spirit can be paid by any Christian. The price though, in one sense of the word, is rather expensive. It involves, in its complete analysis, denying oneself, taking up one’s cross, and following Christ. It involves losing one’s life for Christ’s sake (Matthew 16:24-27).
This is one reason for the Laodicean state of Christendom in the world today. Very few Christians are willing to pay a price of this nature.
Though the price is expensive, the end result so far offsets the price incurred that one cannot even be compared with the other. Paying the price results in the filling of the Spirit, which results in the Christian being empowered to overcome in the spiritual warfare at hand, which will result in the Christian finding himself in a position to one day hear the Lord say,
Well done, good and faithful servant . . . .” (Matthew 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17, 19).
Not paying the price though is rather expensive as well. Such will result in the Christian not being filled with the Holy Spirit, not being empowered to overcome in the spiritual warfare at hand, and being left in a position where he can only hear the Lord one day say,
“You wicked and lazy servant . . . .” (Matthew 25:26; Luke 19:22).
A Christian should view the matter in a similar manner to the way Christ viewed the sufferings associated with Calvary in relation to that which lay out ahead. We’re told in Hebrews 12:2 that Christ,
. . . for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The word “for” in this verse — “for the joy” — is a translation of the Greek word anti, which refers to setting one thing over against another. The “joy” was set over against the “shame.” He considered the ignominious “shame” associated with Calvary a thing of little consequence in comparison to the “joy” which lay ahead. The ignominious “shame” was no small thing, but the “joy” was so much greater that, comparatively, Christ could only look upon the former as of little consequence.
The “joy” set before Christ had to do with that coming day when He, along with co-heirs taken from among those being redeemed at Calvary, would rule and reign over the earth (cf. Hebrews 1:9). Events of that coming day so far outweighed events of the present day that Christ considered being spat upon, beaten, and humiliated to the point of being arrayed as a mock King things of comparatively little consequence. He then went to Calvary, paying the price for man’s redemption, so that even the very ones carrying out His persecution and crucifixion could one day find themselves in a position to participate in “the joy set before Him.”
Redeemed man has been called into the highest of all possible callings, and only a very foolish person (a moros [a ‘moron’], remaining within the framework of the parable of the ten virgins) would fail to properly prepare himself in view of that which lies out ahead.
A properly prepared Christian will be able to overcome on all fronts in the battle with the enemy from above. The enemy though will use those here below (invariably, other Christians) in the battle. This is the reason Scripture states,
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
(2 Timothy 3:12)
As the battle rages, persecution, along with anything else the enemy may throw the Christians’ way, should be considered a thing of comparatively little consequence in view of that which “God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:6-10).
We’re living very near the end of the present dispensation, immediately preceding Christ’s return. The Laodicean state of the Church, as it was prophesied to exist during these latter days, is evident on every hand. The leaven that the woman placed in the three measures of meal has produced the present state of affairs and is now doing its final, most damaging work of the entire dispensation (Matthew 13:33).
Satan knows full well that his time is short. He knows that the period that God has set aside to call out the rulers who are to reign as co-heirs with Christ during the coming age is almost over. And Christians can rest assured that Satan is not standing idly by. To the contrary, he can only be active as never before. Knowing the nearness of the approaching hour, when “He who is coming will come and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37), could lead Satan to only one course of action: At all costs, he must thwart God’s plans and purposes, for this is the only way that he can continue to occupy his present position on the throne.
The retention or forfeiture of “the kingdom of the world” (Revelation 11:15, ASV), ruled from the heavens, is the great issue at hand. Satan’s attack upon Christianity since the inception of the Church has always had only one end in view — retaining his hold on the kingdom.
He is attacking the very ones called into existence to one day constitute powers and authorities in the very kingdom that he presently rules, and his attack is neither an afterthought nor the work of a novice. It is a well-planned attack, executed by the “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).
Satan’s method, which was set forth very early in Scripture, never changes. When he approached Eve in Genesis chapter three, he approached her in a deceptive manner and he used the Word of God (vv. 1-5). This is the method he used to bring about Eve’s fall, resulting in Adam’s fall; and this is also the method he has used during the intervening six thousand years since that time.
Today, Satan continues after this same fashion. He approaches the Christian in a deceptive manner and he uses the Word of God, resulting in Christians being deceived and defeated on every hand.
In view of the reason for Satan’s attack and the time in which we presently live, note something and note it well: As previously stated, the only Christian really in a position to withstand the onslaught of Satan is one in possession of the extra supply of Oil, one filled with the Holy Spirit.
The battle is spiritual; it is fought in the power of the Spirit, and apart from the filling of the Spirit there can be no spiritual power for victory in the conflict. This is a teaching drawn from Scripture that Satan would fully understand; and it would only logically follow, since this is the only way his defeat can be effected during the present time, that he would do all within his power to prevent Christians from being filled with the Spirit.
Understanding how the filling of the Spirit is brought to pass, understanding that being filled with the Spirit is the only way a Christian can be victorious in the warfare against Satan and his angels, and understanding Satan’s present objective in the warfare, will cast a completely different light upon several things occurring in Christian circles today.
1) Conditions in Christendom
Within the confines of the lukewarm Laodicean church, spiritual victory is relatively unknown. Christianity has become very religious. There is little conflict, for there are few warriors properly equipped to engage in battle. In this respect, Satan has the vast majority of Christians exactly where he wants them. Saved? Yes! But they are completely unequipped for the warfare, allowing Satan to be the victor.
Satan has worked for two millennia to make certain Christianity existed in its present decadent condition at the close of this dispensation, rendering the movement as a whole incapable of resisting spiritual powers and authorities. The only hope for those in the Laodicean church is found in Revelation 3:18, 19. Christ, speaking to this church (speaking to Christians in the Church today), said:
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
Christ is then seen standing at the door of the Church and knocking, promising any Christian who opens the door (any Christian who heeds His words given in vv. 18, 19),
“I will come in to him [come inside the Church, to that individual] and dine with him, and he with Me” (v. 20).
An overcomer’s promise is then given (v. 21), which would necessitate the Christian becoming properly equipped for the warfare with Satan and his angels:
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Certain Christians within the confines of the Laodicean Church during the latter days will heed Christ’s words and respond accordingly, but the Church as a whole will remain in its present decadent, powerless condition. Thus, the only battle really being fought is not one between Satan and Christendom in general but one between Satan and properly equipped Christians within Christendom.
The vast majority of Christians are neither in a position to engage in a spiritual battle against Satan and his angels nor in a position to win in the race of the faith (which has to do with victory in the spiritual warfare, a warfare in which they are not really engaged). Satan has the vast majority of Christians exactly where he wants them. Thus, he can simply leave them alone, with their pseudo-spirituality within their man-made programs and ways of doing things.
2) A Counterfeit
Aside from the general condition in which Christendom finds itself at the end of the present dispensation, there is another major problem that is perhaps even more dangerous. This problem has developed during recent times (particularly during the past one hundred fifty years) but has only come fully into the forefront, moving across all denominational lines, during the past several decades. The filling of the Spirit is being counterfeited.
This is being accomplished (by Satan) by and through those advocating a restoration among Christians of the power and work of the Holy Spirit as it occurred during the opening years of the present dispensation, recorded in the book of Acts. The central focus and emphasis of their message is upon a work of the Spirit in the lives of Christians (usually called the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”) similar to and in keeping with the experience of the one hundred twenty on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:2-4.
A purported present work of the Spirit after this fashion is often referred to as “a renewal” of what is called Pentecostal power, even though such is not at all in keeping with the filling of the Spirit by comparing Ephesians 5:18-20 with Colossians 3:16, 17.
The erroneous concept being taught concerning the work of the Holy Spirit during the closing days of the present dispensation results from a failure to understand that Acts 2:2-4 cannot, within a framework of sound exegesis, be understood as a norm for Christian experience today. This section of Scripture has to do with the Jewish people in connection with Joel’s prophecy.
This is a prophecy that has to do with the Spirit being poured out “upon all flesh” (Acts 2:16-21), referring to conditions that will be brought to pass in the camp of Israel (not in the world at large) during the Messianic Era (cf. Joel 2:28-32).
Joel’s prophecy began to be fulfilled in Acts chapter two, in connection with the opening message of the re-offer of the kingdom to Israel; and had Israel followed Peter’s command to the nation in Acts 2:38, relative to the question asked in verse thirty-seven, not only would the kingdom have been restored to Israel but there would have been a complete fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. Christ would have returned, the Messianic Era would have been ushered in, and the Spirit of God would have been poured out in accordance with Joel’s prophecy.
Although about three thousand responded to Peter’s command, the nation continued as before — unbelieving and unrepentant. The offer of the kingdom then remained open to Israel for about twenty-nine additional years (from 33 A.D. to about 62 A.D.), and this is the reason why similar experiences relative to the work of the Holy Spirit can be found in other parts of the book of Acts, covering events that occurred during the re-offer of the kingdom to Israel (cf. 4:8, 31; 9:17; 10:44-47; 13:9; 19:5, 6).
Once the re-offer of the kingdom was withdrawn though (about 62 A.D.), the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy was set aside. This was followed shortly thereafter by the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.) and the subsequent scattering of the Jews throughout the Gentile world to await “the fullness of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:25).
Joel’s prophecy cannot be fulfilled today, even in part. The present work of the Spirit among Christians, rather than being in accordance with that seen in Acts 2:2-4, can only be in keeping with that which is taught in Ephesians 5:18-20 and Colossians 3:16, 17.
(The Greek word consistently used for the “filling” of the Spirit in Acts is not the same as the Greek word used for the “filling” of the Spirit in Ephesians [pletho and pleroo are used respectively]. Two different works of the Spirit are in view; and one of these two works, the one in Acts, cannot presently occur [though Satan can, and has, substituted a counterfeit].
For a discussion of the difference in how the words pletho and pleroo are used in the Greek New Testament, refer to Chapter 12, pp. 192-194, in this book.
Also, for more information on Satan’s counterfeiting work of the Spirit in connection with a present-day counterfeit having to do with signs, wonders, and miracles, refer to Chapter 6 in this book.)
Thus, the counterfeit message and work of Satan pertaining to a present filling of the Spirit — which would, of necessity, involve supernatural power (the work of spirits [demons], not the Spirit) — exists because of a misinterpretation of Scripture. Those involved in what is called a “renewal” have been deceived by ministers of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) by and through their use (actually, misuse) of the Word of God. Resultantly, an experience has been substituted for a reception of “the implanted Word.”
Deception in this realm is rampant in certain quarters; and since there can be no victory over the heavenly principalities and powers apart from acquiring the extra portion of Oil, which a pseudo work of the Spirit does not provide at all, this would have to be looked upon as one of the deadliest of all deceptions.
A counterfeit work of this nature leaves the recipients in exactly the same position as the ones seen in Matthew 7:21-23 — deceived by Satan’s counterfeit to the extent that they believe the supernaturalism in which they have become involved is a work of the Lord performed through the power of the Spirit, when neither the Lord nor the Spirit has had anything to do with these works (ref. Chapter 6 in this book for comments on Matthew 7:21-23).