| Acts 2:17|
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
I would like see some discussion on this scripture, and also a little clarity. Is it the last days? if so, has the Lord already poured out his Spirit? and does he pour it out upon ALL flesh even non-believers? Even at 66, I'm still a son myself, will I prophesy? As the world see it, at 66 I'm probably considered an "old man" and of course I do dream a lot of dreams every night. I know this is a lot of questions, but they can be answered one at a time.
| 2018/3/5 8:56||Profile|
| Re: Acts 2:17|
It seems Peter quoted the OT scripture to show that it was being fulfilled as he spoke.
In other words, the “last days” referenced by Joel had arrived!
Of course, we are still in the last days which will continue until Jesus returns.
| 2018/3/5 9:18||Profile|
| Re: An unexpected overlap of the ages|
You ask a good question. I'll try and share just a little of my perspective before I am off to work.
Joel's prophecy was seen and understood by the Hebrew nation as pertaining to the days of the Messiah. It was believed when the Messiah came He would deliver Israel from its enemies and it was then that the Spirit would be poured out upon all flesh and mankind which would be the commencement of the Messianic age. The beginning of this Messianic age was to be at the Day of the Lord which would be the time of Messiah's coming and was to be the transition point between this present age which is passing away and the Messianic age to come. A final purging of the wicked was to occur at this day and the glory of the Lord was to cover the earth like the waters cover the sea and the Messiah's reign of peace and prosperity would extend to the furthest points of the earth as the Spirit was poured pout on all mankind. Yet, lo and behold, Christ unexpectedly brought the powers of the age to come into this age BEFORE THE DAY OF THE LORD. Along with the Messiah actually being Jehovah Himself, this overlap of the ages was completely unforeseen. The Spirit being poured out at Pentecost was the beginning of a earnest fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. The Messianic age has already been inaugurated and is off and running even while this present evil age still proceeds. There is an overlap of the ages.The powers of the age to come are already here and present (see Hebrews 6:4-5). Now is the time when young men and daughters shall prophesy and old men see dreams etc. This was commonly believed as going to occur at the Day of the Lord, the day of the Messiah's coming. Yet now we understand that the gospel is formed around the mystery of two comings of the Messiah. The Day of the Lord when the Messiah comes will actually be the day of Christ's second coming. What stumbled Israel was the fact that when the Messiah came He would vanquish Israel's enemies and they would become the head and not the tail. Yet for all practical purposes it appeared that Christ had left Israel unchanged so how could He be the Messiah? Well, wait until His second coming. Meanwhile, if you think the Spirit has already been poured out, and surely it has, with until the second coming of Christ. The Spirit will then be poured out as never before bringing a fullness of fulfillment to Joel's prophecy. We haven't seen anything yet as to what will be when this present evil age reaches its end at the Day of the Lord! The gospel preached by the early church revealed for the first time the mystery of two comings of the Christ. Old Testament prophecies such as written by Joel can better be understood if read in this context.
| 2018/3/5 9:34||Profile|
| Re: |
Yet, lo and behold, Christ unexpectedly brought the powers of the age to come into this age BEFORE THE DAY OF THE LORD. Along with the Messiah actually being Jehovah Himself, this overlap of the ages was completely unforeseen. The Spirit being poured out at Pentecost was the beginning of a earnest fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. The Messianic age has already been inaugurated and is off and running even while this present evil age still proceeds.
Good answer David. I want to add that, this age of Messiah is the Church age. Yes the world is still evil, but the Church will be a pure testimony. Lords spirit will be poured on every flesh in the Church. They will prophesy like how Apostle Paul wanted everyone in Corinth to Prophesy.
The prophesy is not about predicting the future, it is about warning the Church against the schemes of enemy. I am part of a local Church in Dallas TX, I see and also take part in Prophesy. It is the prophetic word that comes in the Church that warns the Church and keeps her safe.
The problem comes when many who want to see these Old Testament prophesy (from Joel) getting fulfilled but are standing outside Church and want to see it. They will never see it. That is why all the ministries should proceed from Church and should result in Churches getting planted. If that is not happening then we are not progressing in advancing the age of Messiah.
| 2018/3/5 12:33||Profile|
| Re: |
Hi Brother Bill:
Brother David and Brother Sree have given some good eschatological answers, their interpretations pave the way for the 21 century Church to stay linked with what happened in the first century Church.
We are linked not because the Apostle Paul had a succession, or because Peter had a succession of men after him, we are not linked because we might imitate their services, or wear their clothing, we are not linked by way of externals or men taking up the name apostle and seek to rule the people of God.
Our link is the Holy Spirit, filling our hearts, ruling our minds and being free to command us as Jesus wills.
What do you think motivates a believer to live after the manner of the 1st century Church? Is it because of its simplicity? Maybe; is it because of its powerful testimony? Maybe; or could it be because the early Church showed powerful demonstration of supernatural power? Probably.
My observation is; men for a time seek out the things of God mentioned in Acts 2 for the above reasons, but after a while all of those reasons become disconnected from the reality of the world we live in. Each of the above reasons becomes stale and eventually cannot be sustained.
After so many Sunday's folks get used to 'hearing powerful testimonies'. Others, find the demonstration supernatural power insufficient for the difficulties of Christian life; others cannot reconcile the very busy and non-simplistic life most of us lead with anything we might imagine a 1st century believer to encounter.
Bill, none of those things aforementioned will substitute for everyday, right now presence and fellowship with Jesus Christ. All of those things are given with the intention of furthering the gospel and bringing the God's rule to bear in all things, all relationships and all circumstances of the believers life.
Why would a man want tongues? To further his own ability to increase the rule of God in himself and around him. Why would a believer want the supernatural? Because as God is placed center-stage by testimony or the gospel or acts of faith God validates his own covenant with us publically and validates his own word in the gospel. He does these things because of his love toward his own people in answering their prayers. God does it in order to demonstrate the reality of the invisible, making it visible and desirable to those who mix what they hear and see with faith.
The mistakes of Pentecostalism and Charismatic attempted to 'add-on' the elements of giftings or demonstrations of the supernatural in order to bring validation to their ministries or their Churches. But the gifts and the supernatural were never given for validation of the Church. Those things were intended to validate the love of God and mercies of God through his Church toward one another and toward the lost. The better way is faith working by love.
The mistake of the Reformed and Baptist sought to relegate those things to 'signs' necessary to validate the Church back in the 1st century. I don't see God's purpose for such demonstrations were needed back then either.
More specifically, the Holy Spirit is given for all of us to be what God has made us, to fulfill what God has called us to and to enjoy the covenant God has made with us.
As Major Ian Thomas said and I quote loosely " for each man to purpose in his heart to find out what the purpose of Christ is for him and to live out that purpose".
It is the uniting of Christ's purpose and our lives becoming one.
An eschatological title "Church age" is true, but its never been about 'knowing the age', its always been about knowing Christ and getting in line with his purpose for us individually. In the end, when we begin to see what we are, we can begin to see where we fit and how we were intended by God to build up one another and demonstrate the rule of God in this world.
| 2018/3/5 19:39||Profile|
| Re: MrBillpro|
I hope I didn't get too fancy for you nor run too big of a rabbit trail in your opinion. You asked a good question.
| 2018/3/6 7:18||Profile|
| Re: To All|
I read every ones responses, and I appreciate all the responses. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, when it come to the understanding of Gods word, so some responses were difficult for me to understand. I guess sometimes there's just no layman's terms explanations to some scriptures. There was a lot of contrast in the answers I expected, and what I received, it kind of brings this quote to mind "The happiest man in the world is a young christian, before he has met to many Bible scholars."-Vance Havner
Thank you all again, maybe if I continue to read them and ponder them, I can grasp some understanding.
| 2018/3/6 8:39||Profile|
Johannesburg, South Africa
| Re: Acts 2:17|
Hi brother Bill,
I think, reading the whole passage of scripture in context brings its own answer.
Peter clearly states:" This is that..."
What? That of which the prophet Joel prophesied. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the coming down of the Comforter because Jesus Christ had died, had risen and had ascended into Heaven.
The Spirit has been poured out on all of humanity and will make His home in all who believe the gospel.
The Spirit does not come again and again and again from heaven. He came down once and is with us until the end of the age.
Now the manifestation of the Spirit in and through believers and His gifts is a whole other subject.
| 2018/3/6 14:28||Profile|