“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. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” (Joel 2:28-29, ESV).
On the day of Pentecost when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, Peter stood up and declared to all the Jews in Jerusalem who witnessed the event that this Spirit-filling was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (see Acts 2:16-21). So, the day of Pentecost was the beginning of the era that Joel was talking about–the last days–in which God pours out His Spirit on all His people.
Prior to this time it seemed God only filled certain people with His Spirit–prophets, priests, and kings–who heard from God and spoke His Word to the people. Now the promise was that God would fill all his people with His Spirit.
According to Joel, this outpouring of the Spirit will be so widespread and extensive that even sons and daughters will prophesy, even young men will see visions, even old men will have dreams from God, even servants will be filled with the Spirit. In fact, in the last days the outpouring of the Spirit will be so ubiquitous, says Joel, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (vs. 32).
Today, just as Joel prophesied, the Holy Spirit dwells in all God’s people, not just certain ones. The Holy Spirit dwells in us to make God personal to each of us and to empower us to live our lives like God wants us to live–Spirit-filled lives where we boldly proclaim that everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved!
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14, ESV)