17 And it will be in the last days, says God,
that I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity;
then your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 I will even pour out My Spirit
on My male and female slaves in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will display wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below:
blood and fire and a cloud of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness,
and the moon to blood,
before the great and remarkable day of the Lord comes;
21 then whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
The prophecy from Joel addresses truths about the Holy Spirit. The promise was that in the last days, in which we now live and which began with the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God is poured out on the people. The word “pour” means to be spilled out, to fall like rain, a downpour. It is used to describe a generous, full pouring, not a sprinkle or a small amount. Two times he says, “I will pour out my Spirit.” This is the breaking open of heaven. The gates of heaven will open and the presence of God will descend on the people. God will no longer limit himself to one person, but he will pour himself out on all people. God’s Spirit will come out of heaven in abundance. He will come in fulness upon his people. He will bring all of himself to those who believe. He will enable them to see visions and dream dreams and prophesy. That is to say that the coming of the Spirit will enable God’s people to see the world as it is and as God desires it to be. To see their own lives as they are and as God desires them to be. To prophesy is to be enabled by the Spirit of God to understand and express God’s truth. Most prophecy today, as it did to Peter on the day of Pentecost, is understanding the truth of God revealed in scripture.
Just as God broke open heaven at Pentecost the same God opens heaven today so that we may experience the power and work of the Holy Spirit. When you receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal life by trusting in Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, the Spirit pours down from heaven into your life and fills you with his presence. You too, as a Spirit-filled Christian, will see visions, dream dreams and prophesy. God’s desire for you is not different that it was for those first century believers and his Spirit is the same now as he was then. He pours down upon you to make you into a witness for God. As he inhabits your life, the only evidence of His presence is what happens in your life from that point forward.