Anthony W. Brooks
I typically don’t detail my views on the “Last Days”, preferring to let it flow naturally out of my views on society, ethics, and over all epistemology. But, as it turns out, I need to do it this one time (or multiple times depending on how well this is received).
As it turns out my formal church association has decided to do an entire Wednesday night series on prophesy. Focusing more on the end times aspect of things, they have done four lessons, I believe, and in the third of those four they addressed false views of the “rapture”. One of those views lined up with my own, though their negative thoughts on the subject left much to be desired. So I decided to make a short post answering the question that decides it all. Are we in the last days?
Peter Says Yes
The apostle Peter is preaching… It is a major festival and thousands are in Jerusalem to celebrate the first feast day since the foundation of the temple was rattled. Just a few hours earlier him and 119 others were hidden away on the second level of a house in down town Jerusalem and they were praying. Suddenly the windows blew open and a fervent heat washed over the 120 unexpecting students. Soon they found a sense of comfort and zeal that they hadn’t had before.
The apostles decided that this was their signal. So Peter and the others go to the square and begin preaching. Miraculous things happen that day, but Peter is also giving a defense for his faith. One of those defenses was that prophesy was fulfilled in their day in the times of Jesus. Here’s what he says:
“ 17 And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Acts 2:17-21
What is the context?
9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,
10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome,
11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians-we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”
12 And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
13 But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” – Acts 2:9-13
So they are preaching and all the people could hear them in their diverse languages all at once. So what is their first question? “Are they drunk?” Which sounds about right. You see and here a miracle happening right in front of you and that is your thought. But they weren’t drunk. They were filled with the Spirit. Paul answers with a passage from the prophet Joel:
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…”– Acts 2:17
In the Last Days this shall happen… Last days of what? Joel’s prophesy was apocalyptic. Joel 2 where this passage is quoted from deals with the return of the Lord and the Day of the Lord. This isn’t rocket science. Peter believed and preached that the Last Days began on the day of Pentecost and quoted prophetic scripture to prove it. As a result 3,000 came to Christ that day. I’ve said all I’ve come to say.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Photo: Pretty sure I got this off of twitter somewhere.