Who Did Not Receive The Promise?

Who Did Not Receive The Promise?

This may seem like a weird question but I would like to pose this because there are people who did not receive the promise. What is the promise you say? Let us look at some verses for this study.

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. Joel 2:28-29 KJV

The prophet Joel said these words about the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. Later we find out this prophecy was fulfilled when Peter spoke to 3000 people on the day of Pentecost. This was when the church began.

We read Peter tells the people about the promise God would send upon his people. What he did not know at the time was that this promise was poured out on the world not just the people of Israel. He finds out this truth in the book of Acts when he was instructed in a vision to minister the Gospel to a man named Cornelius and his family who were not Jews. They were Roman.

 17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, Acts 10:17 KJV

44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 10:44-45 KJV

So if the people who hear the Gospel receive the promise, it sounds like it is a matter of simply hearing the good news and the person would receive the gift. But as we continue to read we will discover there are people who did not receive the promise. Peter tells us the promise is for all, so who could be missing?

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. Acts 2:39 KJV

Peter may have understood the jews and their children would receive the promise but it appears he did not know it was for EVERYONE in the world, Jews and gentiles alike. He noticed this truth when the Holy Spirit fell upon the house of Cornelius. 

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: Acts 10:34 KJV

At this moment Peter understood the promise of the Holy Spirit was for all including those who were not jews. We are told many did not receive the promises of God even if they died in faith. If we recall the Israelites who were held captive by the Egyptians wandered in the desert for 40 years looking for the promised land. Many of them died without entering. Only the next generation was trusting God enough to enter. We are told many of the Old Testament jews believed but died before receiving.

* Hall of Faith *

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Hebrews 11:13 KJV

In the book of Hebrews in chapter 11 we read about the many who died in faith and did not receive their promises. If these people did not receive the promises it would sound like God did not uphold his end. But we know God is not a liar and if he promised he will fulfill his promises.

39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40 KJV

These veterans of the faith received a good report about their faith but still they did not receive the promises of God. We, as modern day Christians have the Bible, and we know the end so we know there will be a New Jerusalem. But what about the promise of the Holy Spirit. When will they receive this promise? We can find this answer from the apostle John in the book of Revelation. 

* They Were Sealed *

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Revelation 7:4 KJV

Some may read this and ask, but how do we know what they were sealed with? Good question! The concept we have to remember is God wants us to know him and understand his written Word. The Lord always uses two or three witnesses and in our case, we would focus on scriptures to confirm his word. Someone who has an intimate relationship knows this because when we are learning to hear the Lord speak to us personally or through the Bible we start to see this connection. As a baby Christian he teaches you using simply the written word and as you mature he can speak to you in various ways. If you wake up hearing scripture you know it is the Lord speaking to you and drawing your attention to his Word.

As the apostle John graphically describes what he saw in his vision we read 144,000 were sealed. If you wonder what would they be sealed with you will know God is sealing them with the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit only rested on certain selected people, accomplished the assignment given and then returned to heaven. But now as they (the Old Testament saints) will descend to earth in their incorruptible bodies, they will be facing the enemies of God before the millennial reign is established. They will have their turn to be sealed with the Holy Spirit. There is a spiritual battle that is about to take place and the wrath of the Lord will be displayed. Those who are not covered will experience his judgment. 

4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. Revelation 9:4 KJV

It would be a good time to point out that they will be sealed in their forehead. This is different than the sealing of the gentiles and appears to be reserved only for them. They are the chosen people of God and they have always been different than the rest of the world. God reserves this right to do as he pleases.

You may wonder, why would it be necessary to seal them if they will be living with the Lord for a 1000 years? We must remember the Lord has not destroyed all of the Father’s enemies yet. How do we know this? Because the scriptures say he has only bound satan and silenced him for a short while, then he will be released at the end of the Lord’s millennial reign. He will be allowed to influence people to side with him again.

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, Revelation 20:7 KJV

Before the 144,000 descend they will be sealed with the presence of God (Holy Spirit). When a person has the spirit of God and his soul he can still make his own choices. Adam and Eve had the spirit of God and they still made choices. Remember their disobedience caused a separation and Jesus’ obedience brought restoration. It will be no different regarding choices during the millennial reign. We will still have free will. He has not taken that away from us. The difference in this age will be the people have their incorruptible bodies. But it is good that the Lord will place those who think like him into positions of leadership and governance for that time period. Those positions are part of the rewards he gives to his faithful followers.

This is a good place to pause for now. Make sure to pray and study this out and let the Holy Spirit open your eyes to see more. He loves it when we dig into his word to find revelation. If you are blessed by these studies prayerfully consider to partner with Logos Ministries to help reach other people. Thank you! Until the next time, be blessed!