The book of Acts and Joel's Prophecy



By Tom Gaston


                      The Book of Acts and Joel's prophecy
                                      "A closer look at Joel's prophecy"    
                                                   

Was Joel's prophecy fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost?  And is the lunar eclipse on April 4, 1015 the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy?

( Attention:  If any you want to skip my commentary here on Acts ( and read it later ), then you can scroll down to the title "Joel's prophecy" which is about 3/4's of the way down ).


Acts 2:12.13 ....."And they continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"  But others were were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine."

  
Those devout Jews who were living in Jerusalem from "every nation under heaven" witnessed one of the most incredible divine phenomenons ever displayed in their time. They heard the 120 Galileans speaking in their own dialects, or native tongues to which they had been born. 

In these verses we see two different kinds of responses.  The first response was "What does this all mean?", and the second response was "They are full of sweet wine."  The second group accused the 120 of being drunk.  The apostle Peter then responds in Act 2:14,15 which says: "But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them:  Men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem,  "Let this be known to you", and "give heed " to my words ( Notice that the message is only  to Israel )  For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is the only the third hour of the day"


Peter then comes to the defense of those whom the Holy Spirit had just descended upon in the upper room by quoting Joel's prophecy in Acts 2:17.  Lets go to Joel's prophecy in Joel 2:28-32.

(NASV)

(17) "And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;  And "your " sons (Israel's) and "your " daughters (Israel's) shall prophesy, "your " old men (Israel's) will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

(18) "And even on the "male and female servants, I will pour out My Spirit "in those days."

(19) "And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke."

(20) "The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, "before" the "Great and "awesome" day of the Lord shall
come."

(21) "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered."
    


First of all, Peter is using this portion of Joel's prophecy, NOT for the purpose of pointing to its fulfillment, but rather Peter is using this text for the purpose of "coming to the defense" of those whom the Holy Spirit had descended upon.  Peter was correcting these mockers who made the loose accusation that those in the upper room were "full of sweet wine."  In otherwords, "Drunk!"  (Acts 2:13).


Peter was very careful in Acts 2:14 NOT to say: "This is was the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy",  but rather he said "This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel." In otherwords, Peter was saying "this is that ", or "this is similar" to what Joel said would take place at the time when God pours out His Spirit upon on "All mankind " ( takes place at the end of the tribulation period, and at the opening the kingdom Age )


Remember that the Holy Spirit and His specially ministries of the "the Indwelling (1Cor.6:19,20), the filling (Eph. 5:18), the baptism (1Cor.12:12,13) and the sealing (Eph.1:13) which are seen as functioning and operating within the believer during the church age (age of grace) will "all cease" at the moment the church is completed (Rapture).  During the tribulation period Israel goes back under the Old Economy ( Old Testament setting ) in order for God to fulfill Israel's "last prophetic week of seven years" (Dan 9:27).


The tribulation saints will Not have the "indwelling" of the Holy Spirit, but will only have the "Abiding" of the Holy Spirit, as it was before Pentecost (John 14:16,17).  The "restraining" of the Holy Spirit will be removed at the time of the Rapture (1Thess. 4:13-18). The Holy Spirit will return once again at the "end " of the tribulation period, in order to indwell "all believers" who will be ushered into the Kingdom Age.  This is when Joel's prophecy will find its fulfillment, at which time the Holy Spirit will return and be poured out upon "all mankind ",  since all mankind, which will consist of all believing Jews, and Gentiles, "will be saved", and will be once again indwelt by the Holy Spirit at the opening of the Kingdom Age ( Jews and Gentiles alike )

 
At the "end " of Dan. 70th week, Christ will return and judge the nations ( Matt. chapter 24 and 25 ).  The Holy Spirit will at that time be "poured out upon all mankind ",  which is in reference to "all those Jews and Gentiles" who were saved during the tribulation period.  Only these righteous believers will be admitted into the Kingdom Age.  All the wicked will be put to death (Matt. 25:30, 41, 46). This is when Joel's prophecy will have its fulfillment.  The Holy Spirit will return once again at the end of the tribulation period, in order to indwell "all believers" who will be ushered into the Kingdom Age.


The apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians 1:13  that it is only those who have believed and trusted in Christ who possess the Holy Spirit, and thus are sealed.  This cannot be said of "all mankind ", either before Pentecost, or after, nor at the present time. It can never be stated correctly, accurately, nor scripturally that the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon "all mankind " until the second advent of Christ to the earth.  All those who will be admitted into the kingdom will be righteous.  Therefore they will "all possess " the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Only then can it be said stated that the Holy Spirit will have been "poured out upon all mankind" ( or all flesh ).  Not one unrighteous Jew, nor any unrighteous Gentiles will allowed to enter the kingdom age. 

Continiung:


3. The scripture text of Acts 2:2 shows clearly that the Holy Spirit only descended upon the 120 in the upper room, and "not upon all mankind " as some try and teach.  All whom the Holy Spirit descended upon were "believing Jews."  The Samaritans and the Gentiles did not receive the Holy Spirit until much later in the book of Acts chapters 8, 10, and 19, until they believed the gospel message which was delivered to them.  The descent of the Holy Spirit found His permanent place of residencey (John 14:16,17) "only " upon the 120 who were present in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, then later to others, such as the Samaritans, adn the Gentile races as the book of Acts unfolds.

Note: ( It is impossible for Joel's prophecy to contain a "partial fulfillment" as some try and teach, since Joel's prophecy is emphatically clear that at the time of its fulfillment the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon "all ", and not  upon "some", which was the case on the day of Pentecost (the 120 in the upper room Acts 2:2)


4. Peter himself "never said " that Joel's prophecy was "being fulfilled", nor that it was being "partially fulfilled."  Peters message, which he addresses to the nation of Israel on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-40), reveals "what " these devout Jews just witness-
ed,  and "why " they witnessed it.   When we answer these two questions of "what and why" which is explained within the text itself,  then you will see clearly that the nation of Israel did "Not see any fulfillment " whatsoever of Joel's prophecy, but that what took place on the day of Pentecost was a "type and shadow" of Joel's prophecy which will find its fulfillment at the time of Christ's second advent to the earth. 


Peter was only using Joel's prophecy to express, and show the "similarity " between the outward manifestation of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, which fulfilled Christ's promise to His apostles, to the "similarity " of Joel's prophecy which would be fulfilled yet in the future at the time of the establishment of God's kingdom upon the earth.  Peter was using Joel's prophecy as a "defense" against the gross accusation by those who suggested that those whom the Holy Spirit had descended upon were "filled with sweet wine", or in otherwords "Drunk" (Acts 2:13). 


Those devout Jewish men from "every nation under heaven" (Acts 2:5), who were the ( males of Israel / Ex. 34:22,23;  Duet. 16:16), were "Very familiar" with Joel's prophecy. The rabbis and laity of Israel were very familiar with Joel's prophecy, and they would "never say" the "out pouring of the HolySpirit " which Joel spoke was associated with a bunch of people who are "drunk on wine."    

  If I can paraphrase here for a moment. Here is what Peters was saying in essence....... "Brethren, what you have just witnessed was not induced by too much wine, but what you have witnessed here is very similar to what Joel prophesied would take place when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon on all mankind!"  


The Jews knew and accepted what Joel's prophecy stated.  And they also knew from the Scriptures that God was going to pour out His Spirit upon "All mankind " at the time that the Kingdom would be established (Is.32:15-18 Kingdom Age).  This will be at the "end " of the tribulation period.  This is exactly what the prophet Zechariah shows in ( Zech.12:9,10 ).

Peter in Acts 2:14-36 addresses the nation of Israel.  His powerful message brings to light the "truth" of what had just taken place before their very eyes.  Peter explains to the nation of Israel exactly what they witnessed.  In the next section below I will show you "exactly" what was being fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, and what was "not " being fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.


Christ's promise fulfilled


Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words; Jesus the Nazerene, a man attested to "You" by God with "Miracles and wonders and signs" which God performed through Him in your midst;  just as you yourselves know."


Here comes your answer to the "what " and "why "


What did they witness?   Acts 2:33..... "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,17;  16:7,8  Luke 24:49;  Acts 1:8 ), "He has poured forth "this " which you both "see" and "hear."

Notice that Peter said "Nothing" concerning Joel's prophecy being fulfilled in this verse.  If Joel's prophecy was being fulfilled, then Peter would have emphatically stated so by saying:....."He has poured forth "this" which you both "See" and "Hear ", according to the promise of the prophet Joel ( Or "according to Joel's prophecy" ).  If Joel's prophecy was being fulfilled here in this verse, then I guarantee you Peter would have made "abosolutely sure, and clear" that this is "exactly" what was taking place.


Now Peter instead points out the fact in verse 33 that it was the promise of the Holy Spirit being sent  which was being fulfilled,  that promise which the Father made through Christ to His disciples who were later His apostles (Acts 1:8).   Go read the scriptures listed above.  When Jesus promised His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to them, He "never ever once " pointed to, nor quoted, nor made any reference to Joel's prophecy, "not once", never in the gospels, nor anywhere in Acts chapter 1.  Jesus instructed His apostles "not to leave Jerusalem but to "wait " for what the "Father" had promised, Which, He said, "you heard of from Me:" (Acts 1:4) ( and not what Joel prophesied )


Here is your first answer folks!  Right there in the text of Acts 2:33.  This is what God was fulfilling on the day of Pentecost.  It was the sending of the Holy Spirit " according to the promise which Jesus made to His apostles by the Father, through Christ Himself, and "not " according to the prophecy of Joel.  This is what the nation of Israel was witnessing on the day of Pentecost! 
                                                   

Question: Was Peter a man who would be careless with the scriptures intentionally?
answer: aboslutely not!


Question:  Was Peter one of the 120 whom the Holy Spirit had descended upon in the upper room?
Answer:  of course he was!


Question:  Was Peter ingnorant, delirious, confused, and mistaken, concerning "when " Joel's prophecy would be fulfilled!
Answer: never!


Question:  Then why would Peter, who had just received the Holy Spirit, quote "out of context " Joel's prophecy which says that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon "all mankind " when he knew that the Holy Spirit was only poured out upon a select group of 120 who were in the upper room on that very day?  Peter being one of them!


Answer: Peter who was filled and indwelt by the Holy Spirit would never have used Joel's prophecy "out of context " knowing that the Holy Spirit had "Not " been poured out upon "all mankind " on the day of Pentecost, since he himself was a witness to this very fact!  Peter was quoting Joel for another reason, which is clearly stated in Acts 2:13 which says: "But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine."


Peter was using Joel's prophecy as a "defense" against this ludicrous accusation which was being suggested by those mockers who were in the crowd.  These mockers were obviously not thinking too well, since they should have known that if those 120 people were really "drunk on wine", then how was it possible that they were all speaking "clearly " in their "known languages" ( dialects ) which are listed in (Acts 2:7-11), and which they understood! 


It is miraculous enough that these 120 Jewish believers in the upper room were all speaking of the "mighty deeds of God " (Acts 2:11) with "clarity",  using all the languages of those "devout Jewish men" who were present from every nation under heaven (Acts 2:5).  But to "suggest " that all those whom the Holy Spirit had descended upon in the upper room were all drunk, and yet they spoke with clarity in different languages, "while Drunk",  is really unimaginable!   It would be quite an impossible feat to pull off whether they were "drunk."


Question:  When Joel used the word "all " in the text did he mean what he said concerning "all mankind ?"

Answer: of course he did,  otherwise he would have "never " stated it.  The word "all " is an adjective, which is describing the noun "mankind ", which according to Webster's dictionary means "the human race" ( or the whole world ).  Therefore the obvious shows that the Holy Spirit was NOT poured out upon "all mankind" on the day of Pentecost, but only upon the 120 in the upper room.


Question:  From the text then, is there anyway that Joel's prophecy could have been "partially fulfilled " on the day of Pentecost?

Answer: Absolutely not!  For the reason that Joel Himself who made no reference whatsoever to a partial outpouring,  but a "complete" outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon  all mankind .


Answering the "why ?"

Why did Israel witness this miraculous demonstration of the Holy Spirit?    Acts 2:36 ........"Therefore ( in otherwords, because of what Peter just stated in Acts 2:33 ) let all the house of Israel know  for certain " that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom "you crucified!"


Here is your second answer folks!  This is "why " they witnessed those miraculous signs on the day of Pentecost!  it was to show Israel that Jesus "was indeed the Christ ", and that He had sent the Holy Spirit just as He had promised His apostles, which descended not upon "all mankind, but only upon a select few, that is, upon the 120 Jewish believers in the upperoom (Acts 2:2).


The reason why God used an outward "physical manifestaion" of the Holy Spirits' descent as a violent, rushing wind (Acts 2:6) was so He could "Gather the males of Israel " who heard the sound, and who were there living in Jerusalem, and who were there for the purpose of observing the "Feast of Weeks" (Ex. 34:22,23;  Duet. 16:16).  This was for the purpose of "speaking to the nation of Israel" through the mouth of Peter concerning Jesus who was their messiah, whom they had rejected, and whom they had put to death on a cross by the hands of godless men (Acts 2:23).


This text from Joel chapter 2:28-32 is a "Tribulation text."  Joel's prophecy will be fulfilled at the end of the tribulation period.  Zech.12:9,10 says: "And it will come about in "that day " that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."  v 10. "And I will "pour out on the house of David " and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "the Spirit of grace and of supplication", so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced..."  (Zech. 12:9,10).


Notice in Joel 2: 28  "And it shall be in the last days, God says, that I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind;  And "your "sons ( Israel's sons ) and "your daughters" ( Israel's daughters ) shall prophesy, and "your young men" (Israel's young men ) shall see visions, and "your old men" ( Israel's old men ) shall dream dreams;  Isaiah 44:3 "........I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring ( Israel's offspring ), and my blessings on your descendants ( Israel's descendants ).  once again this takes place at the "end of the tribulation period."

( Joel 2:29 ) "And even upon My male and female servants ( Gentiles) I will pour out my Spirit in those days."

The "male and female servants" are the Gentiles who will "serve Israel " during the Kingdom Age.  Look at What the prophet Isaiah says about this in Isaiah 14:1, 2

( 1.) "When the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land ( Kingdom Age ), then the strangers ( the Gentiles ) will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob."

( 2.) "And the peoples ( Israel ) will take along and bring them along ( the Gentiles ) , and bring them to this place ( the land of Israel ), and the house of Israel will possess them ( the Gentiles ) as an inheritance in the Land of the Lord as "male and female servants"; and they ( Israel ) will take them as their captors, and will rule "over their oppressors" ( the Gentiles ).

  This prophetic text is in "complete harmony" with Joel's prophecy which speaks about the "male and female servants."  This will be fulfilled at the time of the close of the tribulation period, and the opening of the Kingdom Age.  Here are some other scriptures references ( Is. 49:22-23,    56:6,    60:10-14,     61:5 ).   In  Is. 49:23 it says that the Gentile kings and princesses will bow down to Israel with their faces to the earth, and "lick the dust of their feet."


Joel's prophecy!

Joel 2:31-33

(31) "And I will display wonders in the sky, and on the earth, blood, and fire, and columns of smoke."

(32) "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, "Before" the "Great and "awesome" day of the Lord shall come."


These two verses give a clear description of what God is going to do to the earth during the tribulation period,  as early as the "sixth seal " ( Rev. 6:12-17;     Luke 21:11, 25, 26;      Zeph.1:15-18;     Is. 24:1-6, 18- 23  ).

 
Jesus says In Matthew chapter 24:29 "But immediately "after " the tribulation of those days "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken."  What Jesus has stated here in Matt. 24 is in complete harmony with Joel's prophecy.


These signs will "climax " during the completion of the "bowl judgments" which take place throughout the last half of the tribulation period.  These bowl judgments are "Signalling" the Lords return to the earth. This is clearly seen in this text of Matthew chapter 24, an this is what Joel's prophecy is referring to.  It must be understood that the "great and "awesome" day of the Lord." (some translations say "terrible day" of the Lord ) is NOT ( as many of misunderstood ) in reference to the "opening" of the Day of the Lord, but rather it is a reference to the very day when Christ returns and every eye will see Him coming in the heavens ( Matt. 24:29,30 ).


Notice that Joel says that these judgments take place "BEFORE" the "great and "awesome" day of the Lord shall come."  In otherwords "Before" Christ appears in the heavens (Matt. 24:30),  which Joel is making reference to in His prophecy.  It is the VERY DAY of His appearing in the heaven as He returns to the earth.  And for all the wicked and unsaved, yes, that will be a terrible and frightening day for them, as they are spiritually unprepared to meet the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.


The "Day of the Lord " follows the Rapture of the Church.  The "beginning", or the "opening " of the "Day of the lord" must not be confused with the "great and "awesome" day of the Lord", which is the "appearance of Christ in the heavens at the time of His second advent to the earth.  This where many are confused and are mistaken. Jesus in Matthew 24,  and Joel's prophecy are in "complete harmony" with one another, and they are both showing that the "great and "awesome" day of the Lord is indeed Christ's appearing in the heavens during His second advent to the earth.

Note:  The following signs below that are mentioned in Joels prophecy were never fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.

1. wonders in the sky
2. blood, fire, and columns of smoke,
3. the sun will be turned into darkness
4. the moon into blood
5. the stars will fall from the sky,
6. the powers of the heavens will be shaken."   


When Christ appears in the heavens at the end of the tribulation period, then those who are left on the earth will be "awestruck, and terrified" at the display in the heavens as they see Christ returning on the clouds of glory with all the saints and the angels.  The wicked alive on the earth will be "shaking in their boots!"  But the righteous who are alive on the earth will be rejoicing!


Acts 2:20 ..... "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and "glorious" day of the Lord shall come." 

( The different translations of the Bible use the term.....Glorious,  terrible,  Awesome....in reference to the day of the lord )

It will be a glorious day, and an awesome day for some when Christ returns to the earth to restore His people and His creation, but for others it will be a "terrible frightening day" as the wicked will be spiritually unprepared.  The magnificent display which will take place in the heavens when Christ appears with all His angels and saints at the time of His second advent to the earth will be breathtaking to say the least.

Joel 2:32 "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, As the Lord has said, Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls."


In closing it is important to emphasize here once more that the "signs" given in Matt. 24:29, 30 and Joel 2:28 - 33 ( which are in harmony with one another, and of which are the same time period which is at the end of the tribulation ) did not take place on the day of Pentecost, nor will they be fulfilled at the time of the Rapture of the church, but rather these events and signs in the heavens and on the earth will be taking place during, and toward the END of the tribulation period which will culminate and climax at the time of Christ's second advent to the earth.


Therefore these "blood moons" in 2015 are NOT the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy as many are being led to believe by those who have failed drastically to pay close attention to the "context " and the "timing" of these prophecies and the events.

Joel's prophecy consists of a lot more prophetically than just the moon turning to blood caused by an normal lunar eclipse, which will be the case this coming April 4th, 2015.   Toward the end of the tribulatio period the atmosphere and the sky above is going to be full of "debris and fallout" which is due to God's horrific judgments ( blood and fire, and pillars of smoke which is also related to global volcanic activity ) are going to darken the sun which will inturn affect the color of the moon.

The lunar eclipse ( blood moon ) on April 4th is not bringing with it "all the things" which are listed in Joel's prophecy, which Matthew 24: 29, 30 is speaking of.

1. wonders in the sky
2. blood, fire, and columns of smoke,
3. the sun will be turned into darkness
4. the moon into blood
5. the stars will fall from the sky,
6. the powers of the heavens will be shaken."

You won't be seeing a display of all of these things listed on April 4th, 2015.  And therefore Joel's prophecy will find no fulfillment at this time whatsoever as Joel's prophecy contextually is a "second advent" prophecy at the time of Christ's return to the earth. And it is at that time that God will "pour out His Spirit" upon all mankind who will enter the 1000 year millennial kingdom of Christ.  There is NO so called "partial fulfillment" of Joel's prophecy.  It is obvious that the dispensation of time in which Joel's prophecy takes place has no association with the Church age, nor with the "closing" of the Church age.  It only has application to the dispensation of time in which deals with Israel's judgment period ( tribulation / completion of Dan. 70th wk.) and Israel's physical and spiritual restoration at the time of Christ's second advent to the earth.


  I believe that these blood moons  in 2015 could possibly be very important for a number reasons. And I believe that their "timing" and sequence ( falling on Jewish feast days ) may have great importancy which could possibly be tied to the "timing" of the Rapture of the Church?  But they are certainly NOT the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy.


I would like to say this in closing.  I really wish christians would pay more attention to the context of Scripture, and to the "timing" of such prophecies which once again are determined by the "context" in which it is given and written. This would spare many from being confused and teaching something which is not Scripturally accurate.  Joel's prophecy does not consist of just the "moon turning red", but it contains and speaks of much more than just this one event.


Even though many of us believe the Lord may show up during Passover this year ( me included ),  yet the stark reality is this, that this blood moon on April 4th may come and go with nothing taking place soon after?  I hate to think that this would be the case because I really want the Lord to come just like all of you. But the truth is that I have to live in the world of "reality." And so we have to keep a healthy perspective in all of this anticipation of the possibility of the Lord's coming during this Passover season.  Now I am not trying to "downplay" all of our anticipation and excitement as I believe the year 2015 is one of the best years to date for the Rapture to possibly take place for a great number of reasons which many of us have already expressed to each other.  Nevertheless it is apparent to me that time has to be very short and that our departure to heaven is at hand!

This next week could be a BIG WEEK for events in Israel and abroad ( Israeli elections on Monday / Tuesday for Prime Minister ).

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Until He comes!

In Christ, Tom Gaston
Rapturetj@comcast.net


Amen Brother!  Great study.  Thank you.
Maranatha!
Andrew

On Mar 15, 2015 6:58 PM, "Tom" <rapturetj@comcast.net> wrote:




                      The Book of Acts and Joel's prophecy
                                      "A closer look at Joel's prophecy"    
                                                   

Was Joel's prophecy fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost?  And is the lunar eclipse on April 4, 1015 the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy?

( Attention:  If any you want to skip my commentary here on Acts ( and read it later ), then you can scroll down to the title "Joel's prophecy" which is about 3/4's of the way down ).


Acts 2:12.13 ....."And they continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?"  But others were were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine."

  
Those devout Jews who were living in Jerusalem from "every nation under heaven" witnessed one of the most incredible divine phenomenons ever displayed in their time. They heard the 120 Galileans speaking in their own dialects, or native tongues to which they had been born. 

In these verses we see two different kinds of responses.  The first response was "What does this all mean?", and the second response was "They are full of sweet wine."  The second group accused the 120 of being drunk.  The apostle Peter then responds in Act 2:14,15 which says: "But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them:  Men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem,  "Let this be known to you", and "give heed " to my words ( Notice that the message is only  to Israel )  For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is the only the third hour of the day"


Peter then comes to the defense of those whom the Holy Spirit had just descended upon in the upper room by quoting Joel's prophecy in Acts 2:17.  Lets go to Joel's prophecy in Joel 2:28-32.

(NASV)

(17) "And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;  And "your " sons (Israel's) and "your " daughters (Israel's) shall prophesy, "your " old men (Israel's) will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

(18) "And even on the "male and female servants, I will pour out My Spirit "in those days."

(19) "And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke."

(20) "The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, "before" the "Great and "awesome" day of the Lord shall
come."

(21) "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered."
    


First of all, Peter is using this portion of Joel's prophecy, NOT for the purpose of pointing to its fulfillment, but rather Peter is using this text for the purpose of "coming to the defense" of those whom the Holy Spirit had descended upon.  Peter was correcting these mockers who made the loose accusation that those in the upper room were "full of sweet wine."  In otherwords, "Drunk!"  (Acts 2:13).


Peter was very careful in Acts 2:14 NOT to say: "This is was the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy",  but rather he said "This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel." In otherwords, Peter was saying "this is that ", or "this is similar" to what Joel said would take place at the time when God pours out His Spirit upon on "All mankind " ( takes place at the end of the tribulation period, and at the opening the kingdom Age )


Remember that the Holy Spirit and His specially ministries of the "the Indwelling (1Cor.6:19,20), the filling (Eph. 5:18), the baptism (1Cor.12:12,13) and the sealing (Eph.1:13) which are seen as functioning and operating within the believer during the church age (age of grace) will "all cease" at the moment the church is completed (Rapture).  During the tribulation period Israel goes back under the Old Economy ( Old Testament setting ) in order for God to fulfill Israel's "last prophetic week of seven years" (Dan 9:27).


The tribulation saints will Not have the "indwelling" of the Holy Spirit, but will only have the "Abiding" of the Holy Spirit, as it was before Pentecost (John 14:16,17).  The "restraining" of the Holy Spirit will be removed at the time of the Rapture (1Thess. 4:13-18). The Holy Spirit will return once again at the "end " of the tribulation period, in order to indwell "all believers" who will be ushered into the Kingdom Age.  This is when Joel's prophecy will find its fulfillment, at which time the Holy Spirit will return and be poured out upon "all mankind ",  since all mankind, which will consist of all believing Jews, and Gentiles, "will be saved", and will be once again indwelt by the Holy Spirit at the opening of the Kingdom Age ( Jews and Gentiles alike )

 
At the "end " of Dan. 70th week, Christ will return and judge the nations ( Matt. chapter 24 and 25 ).  The Holy Spirit will at that time be "poured out upon all mankind ",  which is in reference to "all those Jews and Gentiles" who were saved during the tribulation period.  Only these righteous believers will be admitted into the Kingdom Age.  All the wicked will be put to death (Matt. 25:30, 41, 46). This is when Joel's prophecy will have its fulfillment.  The Holy Spirit will return once again at the end of the tribulation period, in order to indwell "all believers" who will be ushered into the Kingdom Age.


The apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians 1:13  that it is only those who have believed and trusted in Christ who possess the Holy Spirit, and thus are sealed.  This cannot be said of "all mankind ", either before Pentecost, or after, nor at the present time. It can never be stated correctly, accurately, nor scripturally that the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon "all mankind " until the second advent of Christ to the earth.  All those who will be admitted into the kingdom will be righteous.  Therefore they will "all possess " the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Only then can it be said stated that the Holy Spirit will have been "poured out upon all mankind" ( or all flesh ).  Not one unrighteous Jew, nor any unrighteous Gentiles will allowed to enter the kingdom age. 

Continiung:


3. The scripture text of Acts 2:2 shows clearly that the Holy Spirit only descended upon the 120 in the upper room, and "not upon all mankind " as some try and teach.  All whom the Holy Spirit descended upon were "believing Jews."  The Samaritans and the Gentiles did not receive the Holy Spirit until much later in the book of Acts chapters 8, 10, and 19, until they believed the gospel message which was delivered to them.  The descent of the Holy Spirit found His permanent place of residencey (John 14:16,17) "only " upon the 120 who were present in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, then later to others, such as the Samaritans, adn the Gentile races as the book of Acts unfolds.

Note: ( It is impossible for Joel's prophecy to contain a "partial fulfillment" as some try and teach, since Joel's prophecy is emphatically clear that at the time of its fulfillment the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon "all ", and not  upon "some", which was the case on the day of Pentecost (the 120 in the upper room Acts 2:2)


4. Peter himself "never said " that Joel's prophecy was "being fulfilled", nor that it was being "partially fulfilled."  Peters message, which he addresses to the nation of Israel on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-40), reveals "what " these devout Jews just witness-
ed,  and "why " they witnessed it.   When we answer these two questions of "what and why" which is explained within the text itself,  then you will see clearly that the nation of Israel did "Not see any fulfillment " whatsoever of Joel's prophecy, but that what took place on the day of Pentecost was a "type and shadow" of Joel's prophecy which will find its fulfillment at the time of Christ's second advent to the earth. 


Peter was only using Joel's prophecy to express, and show the "similarity " between the outward manifestation of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, which fulfilled Christ's promise to His apostles, to the "similarity " of Joel's prophecy which would be fulfilled yet in the future at the time of the establishment of God's kingdom upon the earth.  Peter was using Joel's prophecy as a "defense" against the gross accusation by those who suggested that those whom the Holy Spirit had descended upon were "filled with sweet wine", or in otherwords "Drunk" (Acts 2:13). 


Those devout Jewish men from "every nation under heaven" (Acts 2:5), who were the ( males of Israel / Ex. 34:22,23;  Duet. 16:16), were "Very familiar" with Joel's prophecy. The rabbis and laity of Israel were very familiar with Joel's prophecy, and they would "never say" the "out pouring of the HolySpirit " which Joel spoke was associated with a bunch of people who are "drunk on wine."    

  If I can paraphrase here for a moment. Here is what Peters was saying in essence....... "Brethren, what you have just witnessed was not induced by too much wine, but what you have witnessed here is very similar to what Joel prophesied would take place when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon on all mankind!"  


The Jews knew and accepted what Joel's prophecy stated.  And they also knew from the Scriptures that God was going to pour out His Spirit upon "All mankind " at the time that the Kingdom would be established (Is.32:15-18 Kingdom Age).  This will be at the "end " of the tribulation period.  This is exactly what the prophet Zechariah shows in ( Zech.12:9,10 ).

Peter in Acts 2:14-36 addresses the nation of Israel.  His powerful message brings to light the "truth" of what had just taken place before their very eyes.  Peter explains to the nation of Israel exactly what they witnessed.  In the next section below I will show you "exactly" what was being fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, and what was "not " being fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.


Christ's promise fulfilled


Acts 2:22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words; Jesus the Nazerene, a man attested to "You" by God with "Miracles and wonders and signs" which God performed through Him in your midst;  just as you yourselves know."


Here comes your answer to the "what " and "why "


What did they witness?   Acts 2:33..... "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,17;  16:7,8  Luke 24:49;  Acts 1:8 ), "He has poured forth "this " which you both "see" and "hear."

Notice that Peter said "Nothing" concerning Joel's prophecy being fulfilled in this verse.  If Joel's prophecy was being fulfilled, then Peter would have emphatically stated so by saying:....."He has poured forth "this" which you both "See" and "Hear ", according to the promise of the prophet Joel ( Or "according to Joel's prophecy" ).  If Joel's prophecy was being fulfilled here in this verse, then I guarantee you Peter would have made "abosolutely sure, and clear" that this is "exactly" what was taking place.


Now Peter instead points out the fact in verse 33 that it was the promise of the Holy Spirit being sent  which was being fulfilled,  that promise which the Father made through Christ to His disciples who were later His apostles (Acts 1:8).   Go read the scriptures listed above.  When Jesus promised His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to them, He "never ever once " pointed to, nor quoted, nor made any reference to Joel's prophecy, "not once", never in the gospels, nor anywhere in Acts chapter 1.  Jesus instructed His apostles "not to leave Jerusalem but to "wait " for what the "Father" had promised, Which, He said, "you heard of from Me:" (Acts 1:4) ( and not what Joel prophesied )


Here is your first answer folks!  Right there in the text of Acts 2:33.  This is what God was fulfilling on the day of Pentecost.  It was the sending of the Holy Spirit " according to the promise which Jesus made to His apostles by the Father, through Christ Himself, and "not " according to the prophecy of Joel.  This is what the nation of Israel was witnessing on the day of Pentecost! 
                                                   

Question: Was Peter a man who would be careless with the scriptures intentionally?
answer: aboslutely not!


Question:  Was Peter one of the 120 whom the Holy Spirit had descended upon in the upper room?
Answer:  of course he was!


Question:  Was Peter ingnorant, delirious, confused, and mistaken, concerning "when " Joel's prophecy would be fulfilled!
Answer: never!


Question:  Then why would Peter, who had just received the Holy Spirit, quote "out of context " Joel's prophecy which says that the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon "all mankind " when he knew that the Holy Spirit was only poured out upon a select group of 120 who were in the upper room on that very day?  Peter being one of them!


Answer: Peter who was filled and indwelt by the Holy Spirit would never have used Joel's prophecy "out of context " knowing that the Holy Spirit had "Not " been poured out upon "all mankind " on the day of Pentecost, since he himself was a witness to this very fact!  Peter was quoting Joel for another reason, which is clearly stated in Acts 2:13 which says: "But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine."


Peter was using Joel's prophecy as a "defense" against this ludicrous accusation which was being suggested by those mockers who were in the crowd.  These mockers were obviously not thinking too well, since they should have known that if those 120 people were really "drunk on wine", then how was it possible that they were all speaking "clearly " in their "known languages" ( dialects ) which are listed in (Acts 2:7-11), and which they understood! 


It is miraculous enough that these 120 Jewish believers in the upper room were all speaking of the "mighty deeds of God " (Acts 2:11) with "clarity",  using all the languages of those "devout Jewish men" who were present from every nation under heaven (Acts 2:5).  But to "suggest " that all those whom the Holy Spirit had descended upon in the upper room were all drunk, and yet they spoke with clarity in different languages, "while Drunk",  is really unimaginable!   It would be quite an impossible feat to pull off whether they were "drunk."


Question:  When Joel used the word "all " in the text did he mean what he said concerning "all mankind ?"

Answer: of course he did,  otherwise he would have "never " stated it.  The word "all " is an adjective, which is describing the noun "mankind ", which according to Webster's dictionary means "the human race" ( or the whole world ).  Therefore the obvious shows that the Holy Spirit was NOT poured out upon "all mankind" on the day of Pentecost, but only upon the 120 in the upper room.


Question:  From the text then, is there anyway that Joel's prophecy could have been "partially fulfilled " on the day of Pentecost?

Answer: Absolutely not!  For the reason that Joel Himself who made no reference whatsoever to a partial outpouring,  but a "complete" outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon  all mankind .


Answering the "why ?"

Why did Israel witness this miraculous demonstration of the Holy Spirit?    Acts 2:36 ........"Therefore ( in otherwords, because of what Peter just stated in Acts 2:33 ) let all the house of Israel know  for certain " that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom "you crucified!"


Here is your second answer folks!  This is "why " they witnessed those miraculous signs on the day of Pentecost!  it was to show Israel that Jesus "was indeed the Christ ", and that He had sent the Holy Spirit just as He had promised His apostles, which descended not upon "all mankind, but only upon a select few, that is, upon the 120 Jewish believers in the upperoom (Acts 2:2).


The reason why God used an outward "physical manifestaion" of the Holy Spirits' descent as a violent, rushing wind (Acts 2:6) was so He could "Gather the males of Israel " who heard the sound, and who were there living in Jerusalem, and who were there for the purpose of observing the "Feast of Weeks" (Ex. 34:22,23;  Duet. 16:16).  This was for the purpose of "speaking to the nation of Israel" through the mouth of Peter concerning Jesus who was their messiah, whom they had rejected, and whom they had put to death on a cross by the hands of godless men (Acts 2:23).


This text from Joel chapter 2:28-32 is a "Tribulation text."  Joel's prophecy will be fulfilled at the end of the tribulation period.  Zech.12:9,10 says: "And it will come about in "that day " that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."  v 10. "And I will "pour out on the house of David " and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, "the Spirit of grace and of supplication", so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced..."  (Zech. 12:9,10).


Notice in Joel 2: 28  "And it shall be in the last days, God says, that I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind;  And "your "sons ( Israel's sons ) and "your daughters" ( Israel's daughters ) shall prophesy, and "your young men" (Israel's young men ) shall see visions, and "your old men" ( Israel's old men ) shall dream dreams;  Isaiah 44:3 "........I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring ( Israel's offspring ), and my blessings on your descendants ( Israel's descendants ).  once again this takes place at the "end of the tribulation period."

( Joel 2:29 ) "And even upon My male and female servants ( Gentiles) I will pour out my Spirit in those days."

The "male and female servants" are the Gentiles who will "serve Israel " during the Kingdom Age.  Look at What the prophet Isaiah says about this in Isaiah 14:1, 2

( 1.) "When the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land ( Kingdom Age ), then the strangers ( the Gentiles ) will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob."

( 2.) "And the peoples ( Israel ) will take along and bring them along ( the Gentiles ) , and bring them to this place ( the land of Israel ), and the house of Israel will possess them ( the Gentiles ) as an inheritance in the Land of the Lord as "male and female servants"; and they ( Israel ) will take them as their captors, and will rule "over their oppressors" ( the Gentiles ).

  This prophetic text is in "complete harmony" with Joel's prophecy which speaks about the "male and female servants."  This will be fulfilled at the time of the close of the tribulation period, and the opening of the Kingdom Age.  Here are some other scriptures references ( Is. 49:22-23,    56:6,    60:10-14,     61:5 ).   In  Is. 49:23 it says that the Gentile kings and princesses will bow down to Israel with their faces to the earth, and "lick the dust of their feet."


Joel's prophecy!

Joel 2:31-33

(31) "And I will display wonders in the sky, and on the earth, blood, and fire, and columns of smoke."

(32) "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, "Before" the "Great and "awesome" day of the Lord shall come."


These two verses give a clear description of what God is going to do to the earth during the tribulation period,  as early as the "sixth seal " ( Rev. 6:12-17;     Luke 21:11, 25, 26;      Zeph.1:15-18;     Is. 24:1-6, 18- 23  ).

 
Jesus says In Matthew chapter 24:29 "But immediately "after " the tribulation of those days "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken."  What Jesus has stated here in Matt. 24 is in complete harmony with Joel's prophecy.


These signs will "climax " during the completion of the "bowl judgments" which take place throughout the last half of the tribulation period.  These bowl judgments are "Signalling" the Lords return to the earth. This is clearly seen in this text of Matthew chapter 24, an this is what Joel's prophecy is referring to.  It must be understood that the "great and "awesome" day of the Lord." (some translations say "terrible day" of the Lord ) is NOT ( as many of misunderstood ) in reference to the "opening" of the Day of the Lord, but rather it is a reference to the very day when Christ returns and every eye will see Him coming in the heavens ( Matt. 24:29,30 ).


Notice that Joel says that these judgments take place "BEFORE" the "great and "awesome" day of the Lord shall come."  In otherwords "Before" Christ appears in the heavens (Matt. 24:30),  which Joel is making reference to in His prophecy.  It is the VERY DAY of His appearing in the heaven as He returns to the earth.  And for all the wicked and unsaved, yes, that will be a terrible and frightening day for them, as they are spiritually unprepared to meet the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.


The "Day of the Lord " follows the Rapture of the Church.  The "beginning", or the "opening " of the "Day of the lord" must not be confused with the "great and "awesome" day of the Lord", which is the "appearance of Christ in the heavens at the time of His second advent to the earth.  This where many are confused and are mistaken. Jesus in Matthew 24,  and Joel's prophecy are in "complete harmony" with one another, and they are both showing that the "great and "awesome" day of the Lord is indeed Christ's appearing in the heavens during His second advent to the earth.

Note:  The following signs below that are mentioned in Joels prophecy were never fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.

1. wonders in the sky
2. blood, fire, and columns of smoke,
3. the sun will be turned into darkness
4. the moon into blood
5. the stars will fall from the sky,
6. the powers of the heavens will be shaken."   


When Christ appears in the heavens at the end of the tribulation period, then those who are left on the earth will be "awestruck, and terrified" at the display in the heavens as they see Christ returning on the clouds of glory with all the saints and the angels.  The wicked alive on the earth will be "shaking in their boots!"  But the righteous who are alive on the earth will be rejoicing!


Acts 2:20 ..... "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and "glorious" day of the Lord shall come." 

( The different translations of the Bible use the term.....Glorious,  terrible,  Awesome....in reference to the day of the lord )

It will be a glorious day, and an awesome day for some when Christ returns to the earth to restore His people and His creation, but for others it will be a "terrible frightening day" as the wicked will be spiritually unprepared.  The magnificent display which will take place in the heavens when Christ appears with all His angels and saints at the time of His second advent to the earth will be breathtaking to say the least.

Joel 2:32 "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, As the Lord has said, Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls."


In closing it is important to emphasize here once more that the "signs" given in Matt. 24:29, 30 and Joel 2:28 - 33 ( which are in harmony with one another, and of which are the same time period which is at the end of the tribulation ) did not take place on the day of Pentecost, nor will they be fulfilled at the time of the Rapture of the church, but rather these events and signs in the heavens and on the earth will be taking place during, and toward the END of the tribulation period which will culminate and climax at the time of Christ's second advent to the earth.


Therefore these "blood moons" in 2015 are NOT the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy as many are being led to believe by those who have failed drastically to pay close attention to the "context " and the "timing" of these prophecies and the events.

Joel's prophecy consists of a lot more prophetically than just the moon turning to blood caused by an normal lunar eclipse, which will be the case this coming April 4th, 2015.   Toward the end of the tribulatio period the atmosphere and the sky above is going to be full of "debris and fallout" which is due to God's horrific judgments ( blood and fire, and pillars of smoke which is also related to global volcanic activity ) are going to darken the sun which will inturn affect the color of the moon.

The lunar eclipse ( blood moon ) on April 4th is not bringing with it "all the things" which are listed in Joel's prophecy, which Matthew 24: 29, 30 is speaking of.

1. wonders in the sky
2. blood, fire, and columns of smoke,
3. the sun will be turned into darkness
4. the moon into blood
5. the stars will fall from the sky,
6. the powers of the heavens will be shaken."

You won't be seeing a display of all of these things listed on April 4th, 2015.  And therefore Joel's prophecy will find no fulfillment at this time whatsoever as Joel's prophecy contextually is a "second advent" prophecy at the time of Christ's return to the earth. And it is at that time that God will "pour out His Spirit" upon all mankind who will enter the 1000 year millennial kingdom of Christ.  There is NO so called "partial fulfillment" of Joel's prophecy.  It is obvious that the dispensation of time in which Joel's prophecy takes place has no association with the Church age, nor with the "closing" of the Church age.  It only has application to the dispensation of time in which deals with Israel's judgment period ( tribulation / completion of Dan. 70th wk.) and Israel's physical and spiritual restoration at the time of Christ's second advent to the earth.


  I believe that these blood moons  in 2015 could possibly be very important for a number reasons. And I believe that their "timing" and sequence ( falling on Jewish feast days ) may have great importancy which could possibly be tied to the "timing" of the Rapture of the Church?  But they are certainly NOT the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy.


I would like to say this in closing.  I really wish christians would pay more attention to the context of Scripture, and to the "timing" of such prophecies which once again are determined by the "context" in which it is given and written. This would spare many from being confused and teaching something which is not Scripturally accurate.  Joel's prophecy does not consist of just the "moon turning red", but it contains and speaks of much more than just this one event.


Even though many of us believe the Lord may show up during Passover this year ( me included ),  yet the stark reality is this, that this blood moon on April 4th may come and go with nothing taking place soon after?  I hate to think that this would be the case because I really want the Lord to come just like all of you. But the truth is that I have to live in the world of "reality." And so we have to keep a healthy perspective in all of this anticipation of the possibility of the Lord's coming during this Passover season.  Now I am not trying to "downplay" all of our anticipation and excitement as I believe the year 2015 is one of the best years to date for the Rapture to possibly take place for a great number of reasons which many of us have already expressed to each other.  Nevertheless it is apparent to me that time has to be very short and that our departure to heaven is at hand!

This next week could be a BIG WEEK for events in Israel and abroad ( Israeli elections on Monday / Tuesday for Prime Minister ).

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Until He comes!

In Christ, Tom Gaston
Rapturetj@comcast.net


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