We now come to our third and final text which demonstrates that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the nation of Israel on the day of Pentecost was the definitive “last days sign” to Israel that her Messianic restoration and deliverance was being fulfilled.
It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. “The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. “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.
What should not be missed is that the prophet Joel connects the pouring out of the Spirit, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all mankind”, with the deliverance of Israel (and the Gentiles), “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered”. For proof that the above text refers to the restoration of Israel, we need only go to the next verse.
“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem. (Joel 3:1)
Notice, it is “in those days” and “at that time” (when the Spirit was poured out), that the “fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem” would be restored, and men would then be able to call on the name of the Lord to be delivered. In other words, when the Spirit was poured out, the nation of Israel would begin to be restored to their “fortunes” by being saved, thus opening the gates of salvation to all nations.
On the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter gave the inspired interpretation of Joel’s prophecy to the nation of Israel, who had gathered for the feast from “every nation under heaven”.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
The words “had come” are translated from the Greek word “sympleroo”, which means “to fill completely, to complete”. However, sympleroo is in the present tense which means that the day (feast) of Pentecost was in the process of being “completely fulfilled” when the Holy Spirit was poured out. Let’s continue….
For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my bond slaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of my Spirit and they shall prophesy… ‘And it shall be that everyone that calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’….
Now, please don’t miss the words of Peter. According to Peter, the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon Israel on the day of Pentecost was in fulfilment of Joel’s “last days prophecy” of the restoration of Israel. Watch….
“This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel…” (Acts 2:16).
So for Peter, the day of Pentecost is what Joel prophesied through the words “I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind”. But, that’s not all. Peter understood that the pouring out of the Spirit upon Israel was evidence that Israel was being restored in her “last days”. (The “last days” were prophetically the time of Israel’s Messianic judgment-restoration – see Isaiah 2:1-4, Micah 4:1-7).
Back to Acts 2. Notice how Peter interprets Joel’s phrase “it will come about after this” to mean “it shall be in the last days”.
“It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind…”
“It shall be in the last days… that I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all mankind…” (Acts 2:17)
Therefore, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Israel on the day of Pentecost, was definitive proof to all 12 tribes that their “last days” restoration was taking place, and that they (the Jew first, and then the Gentile) could now be saved (delivered), by “calling on the name (Jesus) of the Lord”.
Peter drives this point home as he continues with his sermon to Israel following the pouring out of the Spirit….
“Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear…. Therefore, let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”
Peter tells the house of Israel that the pouring out of the Spirit on Pentecost was the result of Jesus’ enthronement as Lord (King) and Christ (Messiah) on the throne of David, in fulfilment of the Davidic kingdom promises made to their fathers. When the Jews heard this they were “pierced to the heart” and responded, “Brethren, what shall we do”? To which Peter replied, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:37-38)
Peter declared to the house of Israel that the “deliverance” (forgiveness of sins) that Joel prophesied to come when the Spirit was poured put, was now available in Jesus Christ through the baptism of the Spirit.
“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself”
And many of the faithful remnant of Israel responded, Israel was being restored.
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.
Based on the evidence above, we have irrefutable proof that Israel was being restored in Jesus Christ through the work of the Spirit in the first century. The baptism of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost was the “last days sign” not only to Israel, but to every nation under heaven that kingdom of God was being established. It was in those days and at that time, when the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem began to be restored.
Continued in Part 7….