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Sabbath School Lessons on Holy Spirit
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About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 13: The Holy Spirit in the Last Days *
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!
- God's Approach to the End of Time
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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?
- What kind of army can "leap over mountains?" (God has
an airborne army that staggers the imagination.)
- Read Joel 2:6. What is the reaction of the world to the
Second Coming of Jesus and His invading army?
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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
- Read again Joel 2:29. What gender is primarily used for
the work of the Holy Spirit in the last days?
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Are you ready for a church like this? A church were it
seems that most everyone is a prophet?
- 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.)
- 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.)
- What can we do to influence the coming of the rain?
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Read Revelation 3:14-16. What is wrong with the people in
the Laodicean church? (They have lost their "heat," they
- What gives believers "fire?" (Read Romans 12:11.
Spiritual fervor is our "fire." These people are low
on the Holy Spirit.)
- 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
- 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,
- 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
- 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?
- 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
- 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.)
- 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!
- Next week we start a new quarter of studies on the gospel, 1844
* Copr. 2006, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.