In the Last Days...

The use of Joel’s prophecy by Peter on the Day of Pentecost linked the arrival of the Spirit to the start of History's final era. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the “Last Days” began in earnest. The Gift of the Spirit is the “Promise of Father,” and part of the New Covenant prophesied in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Its outpouring pointed to a fundamental change of eras - The time of fulfillment had commenced - (Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17-21).

The presence and activity of the Spirit in the Body of Christ is essential for the entire period between the Ascension and the return of Jesus. It is the necessary element for empowering his Church to proclaim his Kingdom and the Good News of salvation to the “ends of the Earth.”

Alpine sunrise - Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash
[Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash]

The presence of the Spirit identifies men and women as disciples of Jesus and demonstrates their acceptance as members of his covenant community. The “
wonders and signs” performed by the Spirit in the Book of Acts were as promised in the Book of Joel - (e.g., Acts 2:43, 4:16, 4:30, 5:12, 10:44-48).

His disciples received the Spirit and began proclaiming the Good News, “beginning in Jerusalem,” then in Judea, Samaria, and finally, to the “uttermost parts of the Earth.” Jesus commanded his followers to wait until “I send the promise of my Father upon you,” thus equipping them to be his “witnesses” - (Luke 1:1-4, 24:45-49, Acts 1:1-11, 2:1-4).

When the Spirit fell on the 120 disciples in Jerusalem, it produced a sound like a “rushing mighty wind,” and what looked like “tongues of fire that sat on each” of them. Hearing the commotion, Jewish pilgrims gathered near the Temple were confounded.

Peter announced to the gathering audience, “THIS is THAT spoken through the Prophet Joel.” The emphatic pronoun translated as “this” is used in the Greek clause of the passage to stress that what the crowd has “seen and heard” was the very thing predicted by Joel that would signal the commencement of the “Last Days” - (Acts 2:14-21).

God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at His “right hand” where he “received the promise of the Holy Spirit.” Peter concluded his sermon by summoning his audience to “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you will receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” That Gift was the promise of God “for you, your children, and for all that are afar off.”

The last phrase reiterates the clause from the command of Jesus before his Ascension for his disciples to be his “witnesses… as far as the uttermost part of the earth.” The reference to “those who are afar off” has in view not only geographic distance but also the passage of time from that day until the final “Day of the Lord.”

On the Day of Pentecost, about three thousand men were added to the Assembly. The Book of Acts documents the spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem to the city of Rome, and the activity of the Spirit during the entire process as attested by “wonders and signs,” just as Joel prophesied.

The presence of the Spirit among believers evidenced by “signs and wonders” is incontrovertible proof that the final era of History is underway. With his Death, Resurrection, and enthronement, along with the outpouring of the Spirit, the “Last Days” began, and they have been underway ever since.

  • This Evil Age - (The death of Jesus inaugurated the messianic age with consequent changes in the status of God’s people)
  • The Season is Here! - (The time of fulfillment arrived with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ)
  • The Ends of the Ages - (Paul links the start of the Last Days with the death and resurrection of Jesus)



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