The Coming Kingdom 063Acts 2:16-21 • Dr. Andy Woods • March 6, 2019 • The Coming Kingdom
The Coming Kingdom
3-6-19 Acts 2:16-21 Lesson 63
Good to see everybody this evening. If you all can take your Bibles and open them to Acts chapter 2, verse 16. And just a quick reminder, next week if you show up and the room is empty you’ll probably think you missed the rapture but we’re not having Bible study next week, it’s spring break so don’t get two rowdy on me. And the Chafer conference is going on next week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I think Monday goes Monday afternoon/evening, and Tuesday and Wednesday I think is all day and so if you have an interest in going to that that’s available locally at West Houston Bible Church and I think that whole thing is going to be livestreamed. So just go to Dean Bible Ministries and you should be able to find it if you’re interested. I think the focus this year is on Messianic prophecy and things like that, Old Testament exegesis and that kind of stuff.
So tonight let’s take a look at Acts 2:16-21 and we are going to finish up, I’m hoping (by God’s grace) the points we were trying to make out of Acts 2. And I’m planning on tonight finishing up chapter 18, we’re about halfway through it, maybe two-thirds through chapter 18 of the book that I wrote. And in the book I spend a lot of time on Acts 2 because that’s where everybody’s arguing today that the kingdom has started in Acts 2.
You might recall we started off with a right interpretation of Acts 2; it’s hard to critique something you disagree with unless you tell people what the right view is. So Acts 2 is the beginning of the church age. And you have the Holy Spirit falling, verses 1-4, the manifestation of tongues, verses 5-8, and then there’s a description of those present hearing Peter’s sermon, 9-12, and then the critique becomes well, these people are drunk so they’re trying to explain away the work of the Spirit in Acts 2 via the naturalistic cause of drinking alcohol. And so Peter stands up and gives a tremendous sermon explaining where these miraculous manifestations really came from. They can’t come from drinking because it’s 9:00 o’clock in the morning, verses 13-15. Then in verses 16-21 he quotes Joel 2:28-32, and that’s where we’re spending our time this evening.
Then after quoting Joel 2 he begins to explain in verses 22-35 where these miraculous occurrences actually are coming from; they’re coming from Jesus who is now at the right hand of the Father. So he says Jesus, verse 22, was a miracle worker and He’s working miracles now; He’s just working them from the presence of the Father’s right hand. This is the Jesus that the nation of Israel rejected but He rose from the dead after the Jewish nation turned Him over to the Romans for execution. And what Scripture does he use to demonstrate that Jesus rose from the dead? Psalm 16.
Then he says Jesus is the heir to David’s throne and what Psalm does he use for that? Psalm 132. And then he says where is Jesus now? He’s at the Father’s right hand, and what Psalm does he use for that? Psalm 110:1. So it’s an amazing sermon he’s doing here as he’s weaving together all of these Old Testament Scriptures. Then he gets to his conclusion that Israel rejected their own Messiah, who is both Lord and Christ, verse 36, and that brought tremendous conviction upon the hearers because they were pierced to the heart, verse 37, and they wanted to know what should we do? They felt guilty. And by the way, feeling guilty is not always a bad thing, amen! Because if you feel guilty maybe it’ll cause you to turn to the right thing. So the Spirit was convicting these people that heard Him, so He gives them the exhortation, verses 38-41, He uses the word “repent” which means what? Change of mind, so quit being a Christ rejecting Hebrew and siding with what national Israel just did in the rejection of their own Messiah, and instead being a Christ accepting Hebrew.
And He’s got how many people responding to this message? Three thousand people… wow! And that’s the beginning of the church. So what do these three thousand people do? They have their first church meeting, verses 42-47, which is sort of a description of everything that the early church gave themselves to. They gave themselves to apostolic doctrine, meeting each other’s needs, miracles are happening, etc. So that’s Acts 2.
And let’s take a look here at verses 16-21, where we’re focused tonight. We’re focused on Peter’s use of Joel 2 in Acts 2. So what does Peter say there in verse 16, “But this” what’s “this”? The work of the Spirit, “this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel,” and now he starts quoting Joel 2:28-32.
Does anybody remember when Joel had his prophecies? Probably around 835 B.C. So he’s a ninth century B.C. prophet; he’s one of our oldest prophets that we have in terms of biblical writing. And Peter starts quoting part of Joel’s prophecy to demonstrate that the work of the Spirit that the folks there are now seeing is not due to drunkenness, it’s actually something that was referred to by Joel.
He say, verse 17, “’AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON 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 BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT, And they shall prophesy.  ‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.  ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.” And then it says in verse 21, “’AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’”
So this whole class that we’re dealing with, we’re trying to respond to Kingdom Now theology and what people do is they say well, the church didn’t start here in Acts 2, the kingdom did. So I’ve been quoting Darrell Bock, one of my former professors, who’s argued this very vociferously, and he says, “In other words Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to God’s right hand is put forward by Peter as a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.” Now we’ve argued for the last two to three weeks that what’s going on in Acts 2 is not a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. I’ve given you his arguments and sort of responded to them. But he thinks it is a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. And then he says, “Just as the allusion to Joel fulfills the New Covenant.”
So do you remember the New Covenant? Anybody remember what chapter of the Bible that’s in? Jeremiah 31. It’s basically a prophecy for Israel that God is going to change them from the inside out through the Holy Spirit. So what Darrell Bock is trying to say here is that prophecy was being fulfilled in Acts 2. And he thinks the quotation from Joel proves that. And his logic is well if the Joel 2 prophecy is being fulfilled in part in Acts 2 then what else is being fulfilled in part in Acts 2? Not just the New Covenant but the Davidic Covenant. See, that’s sort of the logic that he uses here.
Now you probably, if you’ve never been exposed to Joel 2 and Acts 2 maybe you don’t want to be confused with the facts, but it can be a very complicated discussion because there are actually four views, at least, there could be more, as to what in the world is Peter doing with Joel 2 in Acts 2? So let me walk you through those and I think the first three are incorrect. I think the correct one is number four, which I’ll try to defend.
The first view is people say Acts 2 is a total fulfillment of Joel 2, a complete and total fulfillment; everything Joel 2 predicted was fulfilled in Acts 2. Well, let’s see, what does Joel 2 say? “The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood.” Did that happen in Acts 2 that you can think of? NO! The second view, and this is probably the most prominent view, and this is sort of the position that Bock is taking and many, many others, is that Joel 2 was partially fulfilled in Acts 2. Yeah, maybe not all of it like the sun being turned into darkness and the moon into blood but at least part of it. So the argument is Joel 2:28-29 quoted in Acts 2:17-18 was fulfilled, but the part about the smoke and the sun turning into darkness and the moon being turned into blood, that part of it is not fulfilled in Acts 2. So Joel 2:28-29 is fulfilled in Acts 2:17-18 but Joel 2:30-32 quoted in Acts 2:19-21 is yet future.
So the argument is this part of it was fulfilled, “AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON 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 BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT. And they shall prophesy.” And people say well, that part wasn’t fulfilled (in Acts 2) on the Day of Pentecost but all this other stuff about the sky above and the signs on the earth below, blood, fire, vapor, smoke, sun being turned to darkness, moon being turned to blood, the great and glorious day of the Lord, they say that part is future. So that’s probably one of the most common views you have out there is part of the prophecy was fulfilled but the rest of it awaits the future program of God, the tribulation and the millennium.
And my basic response to that is well then why does Peter quote both sections? I mean, if only part of Joel 2 is fulfilled in Acts 2 why does Peter quote all of it? I mean, it seems to me that if he’s quoting all of it then he’s basically saying all of it is being fulfilled. So I don’t think you can take this part is fulfilled, that part isn’t fulfilled because he’s quoting both and their presence related to the Day of Pentecost. But that’s what’s called the partial fulfillment view.
And then the third view is very devotional, where people get very devotional with the Bible and they basically say it’s fulfilled in every age, so it’s fulfilled every Sunday or it’s fulfilled in the heart of every single believer. And this is what’s called the continuous fulfillment view. Yes, it was fulfilled in Acts 2 but then it was fulfilled today and tomorrow and yesterday and basically every time someone gets saved. And the problem with that is it says in verse 21, “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Well how exactly are people saved today? I mean, what if you don’t have the vocal cords necessary to call on the Lord; is salvation not available to you? What happens is salvation is available to everyone who what? It starts with a “B.” Believes! The moment you believe or trust in Christ the Holy Spirit comes into you, Romans 8:9. [Romans 8:9, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”]
So it isn’t necessary to “call on the name of the Lord” to be saved (as many people teach); what’s necessary is that you believe or trust in Christ. So this calling upon the Lord, as I’ll show you in a minute, has a specific context to it. So this idea that this is being fulfilled with every single conversion throughout the last two thousand years of church history I don’t think really fits with the details of the passage. So view number one is totally fulfilled. Well, if that’s true then how do you explain the sun and the moon and all these kinds of things that it talks about?
Number two, it’s partially fulfilled. Well then why quote the whole… why quote both sections if only some of them are being fulfilled?
Number three, it’s fulfilled with every conversion. Well, why does it tell people to do something that God never tells people to do, which is to call upon the name of the Lord when the Lord says you’re just supposed to believe on Him.
So if those first three views are incorrect what exactly is the correct view? And I think the correct view is none of it was fulfilled in Acts 2; none of Joel 2 was fulfilled in Acts 2. And if that’s true it guts Darrell Bock’s entire argument because he’s saying because the New Covenant has been partially fulfilled then the Davidic Covenant is being partially fulfilled. See what he’s doing here? But the whole argument disintegrates when you buy into the analogical view that absolutely none of Joel 2, none of it, was fulfilled in Acts 2.
So if none of Joel 2 was fulfilled in Acts 2, and I’ll try to make that case in just a minute, why in the world is Peter quoting Acts 2? He’s not saying Joel 2 is now being fulfilled. What he’s doing is he’s reasoning analogically. He’s using an analogy and his point is simply this: the Holy Spirit is going to do something for the nation of Israel in the distant future, in the tribulation period and the millennial kingdom. And the Holy Spirit is doing something similar, not identical, similar right now. And that’s why you can’t write off these supernatural occurrences as drunkenness. So that’s at least the point.
So Peter’s whole point is it’s too early in the morning for drinking. Look at Acts 2:13 for a minute. He says, “But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.” [14, “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.”] And then Peter says in verse 15, “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day;” which would be about 9:00 o’clock in the morning. And from there he starts quoting Joel 2.
And the mistake that people make is they think well, my goodness, Joel 2 is being fulfilled in Acts 2 completely or partially. And I don’t think either of those views are correct. I think what he’s saying is the Holy Spirit is doing something similar right now in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost in comparison to what He will do in the future tribulation period and the millennial kingdom. It’s not the same thing but it’s similar and you therefore should recognize the work of the Spirit and what’s happening here is not a result of drunkenness because the Spirit is going to do something similarly, not identically, similarly to what’s happening now. So anyway, that’s at least a perspective. Do you guys at least see where I’m going with this? I haven’t made the case yet but do you at least understand the view? In other words, he’s reasoning analogically. You say well who cares? Well, it’s a big deal if you’re trying to gut kingdom now theology which is what I’m trying to do in the book. That’s why I wanted to deal with this.
So why do I hold to this analogical view? And let’s kind of walk down this list, I’ve got a list of seven things or so. I didn’t plan it that way but seven is a biblical number. So why would I hole to the idea that Peter is reasoning here analogically rather than saying the prophecy is being fulfilled? By the way, has anybody ever heard of the analogical view before? How many people have never heard this perspective, that it’s an analogy? That’s what I thought, it’s a minority view out there but it’s held by some very good people. You’ll notice at the bottom of the screen I’ve got Constable’s notes that you’re probably familiar with. He hold to the analogical view. And then Arnold Fruchtenbaum holds to the analogical view and I’ve got his online paper posted where you can read up on it if you’re interested.
But why would I think the analogical view is correct? Well, first of all, what does Joel 2 actually predict? It predicts that the Spirit is going to be poured out on who? All flesh! Acts 2:17, quoting Joel 2, “AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS, ‘ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND….” Now has that happened in Acts 2? NO! How many people were saved? Three thousand which is praise the Lord, we’ve got three thousand but that doesn’t qualify as “all mankind.” First it starts off with a hundred and twenty, earlier in Acts 1 and Acts 2 and then by the time you get to Acts 2:41 you’ve got three thousand (roughly) conversions. [Acts 2:41, “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.”]
And that is a substantial number but it is very, very small in comparison to the total population in Jerusalem at this time. Why was Jerusalem so heavily populated at this time? What feast day is it? The Day of Pentecost, and so the Jews living in the known world were commanded to show up at the central sanctuary or Jerusalem on this particular feast day. So Josephus, the first century historian, tells us that there could have been over a million people in Jerusalem. And three thousand people compared to a million is actually a very small fraction, it’s a very small number. So the Spirit was never poured out on all flesh; it wasn’t even poured out on the whole nation of Israel on the Day of Pentecost. And that’s what Joel 2 predicts.
It says there, “‘’AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’” When you actually study Joel 2 what it’s dealing with is the tribulation period; that’s what the moon, the blood, the fire, the vapor of smoke, the sun, that’s what all that stuff is talking about. And then it’s also talking about the millennial kingdom. And what it says there, “‘’AND IT SHALL BE THAT EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’” What is that talking about exactly? That’s the call by Israel in Christ at the end of the seven years. And that’s what brings Jesus Christ back to the earth to rescue Israel from the antichrist. That’s what it means there when it says “EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’” And that’s not what’s going on in Acts 2 at all, it’s not even a tribulation period context. Jesus, I think is talking about Joel 2 when He says [Matthew 23:37] “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.  Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!  For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say,” what? What’s the next word, verse 39, “until you say,” that’s a confession, isn’t it, “‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” Which is a Messianic Psalm. Until you publicly confess Me as the Messiah I’m not coming back for this nation. That’s what Joel 2 is talking about when it says, “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” It’s talking about the physical rescue of Israel at the end of the tribulation period.
And that’s the meaning of Romans 10:9-10. Even though Romans 10:9-10 is in everybody’s evangelistic tract Romans10:9-10 is talking about the audible confession of Jesus by the nation of Israel at the end of the tribulation period. Romans 10:9-10 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Now everybody today when they evangelize they toss in Romans 10:9-10, and they call it the ABC Method of salvation. First you admit you’re a sinner, that’s the “A,” then you believe in Christ, that’s the “B”, and then you’ve got to make some kind of public confession, that’s the “C”. And if you don’t do all three A, B and C you’re not a Christian. Well, what do you do with someone who doesn’t have vocal cords physically? Are you saying they can’t become a Christian?
You see, Romans 10:9-10 has a specific context; it’s in Romans 9-11 which deals with the nation of Israel. That’s the whole context of Romans 9, 10 and 11. Romans 9, Israel in the past elected; Romans 10, Israel in the present rejected, Romans 11, Israel in the future accepted! And Romans 10:9-10 is in that context dealing with the future of the nation of Israel. So when it says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved,” [Acts 2:21] its context is dealing with the end of the tribulation period, not the beginning of the church age. Do you see that? And that’s why Peter is not saying Joel 2 is being fulfilled right now; what he’s saying is the Holy Spirit is doing something similar right now in comparison to what He will do in the future.
Do you have to confess Jesus Christ publicly to be a Christian? What do you do with someone in an Islamic country that may be hears the gospel through a missionary or a tract or something, and they know that if they say anything about their new found faith in Christ they could be killed, their family could be killed or tortured, and they keep the whole matter to themselves? I mean, is anyone bold enough to say such a person is not a Christian? You see, the ABC method of salvation works great in the United States where we have freedom of expression but it doesn’t work in other parts of the world. And believe me, I’m not against people confessing Christ if the Holy Spirit is calling them to do that, what I’m saying is that’s not a requirement for justification. That’s my point.
And what does John 12:42 say? “Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue;” there’s a lot of people in the ministry of Christ that trusted in Him but they wouldn’t say a word about it, particularly in the land of Israel because they were afraid of being kicked out of the synagogue. Are we going to say that such people that didn’t confess Christ as Christians because they didn’t follow the ABC method of salvation? That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? And everybody that promotes this ABC method of salvation never interacts with John 12:42. They’ll quote Romans 10:9-10 until the cows come home but what about John 12:42?
What do you have to do to become a Christian. John tells us, “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may” what? “believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that by believing” and confessing, it doesn’t say that, does it, “that by believing you may have” what? “life in His name.” I mean, God has made salvation so easy that anybody can receive it as a free gift simply by trusting. And the Bible says this I think about 150-160 times, it says this about 99 times in John’s Gospel.
So why in the world would I travel over to an out of context verse, like Romans 10:9-10 which concerns Israel at the end of the tribulation period and use that obscure verse to develop my evangelistic model? It doesn’t make any sense what we’re doing, and we’re telling people to do things (in terms of getting saved) that God never asked them to do.
So I believe that Joel 2:30-31 is a tribulation context and then Joel 2:28-29 is a millennial context. “It shall be in the last days God says I will pour forth My Spirit on all mankind,” that’s the millennium, “and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  “Even on the men and women I will in those days pour out My Spirit.” When you actually really study Joel 2 you’ll see part of it deals with the tribulation period and part of it deals with the millennial kingdom. None of it deals with the beginning of the church age.
And this is sort of unpopular preaching because we have a lot of females today that want to be preachers. When I was teaching at the local Bible college and I would say you know, God has placed gender restrictions on the office of Senior Pastor, what verse of the Bible would they quote to me? They would quote Joel 2 which says, “your sons and your daughters shall prophecy.” And they thought that sealed the deal. And it was very disappointing for them to learn that that had to do with the millennial kingdom, it doesn’t have anything to do with the church age.
And then you have other people that want to develop the ABC method of interpretation, Admit, Believe, Confess, and what part of the Bible would they quote to me? They would quote Acts 2:21 quoting Joel 2:32, “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” There it is! And it was disappointing for them to learn that that deals with the nation of Israel at the end of the tribulation period. That’s why coming down correctly on Acts 2, Joel 2 and Acts 2 spares your mind from an awful lot of confusion, IF you understand it correctly.
And then of course we have the charismatic movement who believe that all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in full operation, and what’s their favorite passage of the Bible that they quote? Acts 2 and Joel 2. And it’s very disappointing for them to learn that Joel 2 is not being fulfilled in Acts 2 at all. Peter just using it by way of analogy. And that’s why I’m trying to explain why I’m trying to explain why I’m going into this detail about Joel 2 in Acts 2. It shapes a lot of different issues related to the church.
So number one, the Spirit was never poured out on all flesh in Acts 2, as Joel 2 requires. That’s the first reason I hold to the analogical view. Number 2 of my seven reasons, what Joel 2 predicts never happened in Acts 2; it never specifically happened in Acts 2. As we’ve already pointed out, in Acts 2 the sun never turned to darkness and the moon never turned to blood red. Beyond that, when you keep reading Joel 2 and you get to verse 32 it says this: “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.”
Hey, Jerusalem is supposed to get an escape according to Joel 2. In fact, the Lord is supposed to return according to Joel to and He’s supposed to rescue Zion or Jerusalem. Now did that happen in Acts 2? Absolutely not! What happened forty years after Acts 2? An event called A.D. 70 where Jerusalem didn’t escape but Jerusalem was demolished at the hands of the Romans. Beyond that what else didn’t happen in Acts 2 as Joel 2 predicts? You don’t have the blood, you don’t have the fire, you don’t have the vapors of smoke, you don’t have blood, fire, billows of smoke, you don’t have young men seeing visions. You read Acts 2 there’s absolutely no vision at all that’s happening there. You don’t have old men dreaming dreams. You don’t have slaves and daughters prophesying. I mean, you start looking at it detail by detail and almost nothing, in fact nothing that Joel 2 predicts actually materialized in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost. And I have those underlined portions there that never happened in Acts 2.
Your sons and daughters will prophecy. Did that happen in Acts 2? No! You young men shall see visions. Did that happen in Acts 2? No! Your old men shall dream dreams. Did that happen in Acts 2? No! Even though my bondservants both men and women, is there any women preaching in Acts 2? No! I will in those days pour forth of My spirit and they shall prophecy. Probably about the only thing that happened is the prophesying part where Peter preached a sermon on the Day of Pentecost. So virtually nothing Joel 2 predicts happened in Acts 2.
Number three, the third reason why I hold to this analogical view. Number three, the things that did happen in Acts 2 are not even predicted in Joel 2. One of the things that happened in Acts 2 is the speaking of tongues. Look at Acts 2:5-8 just for a second. Acts 2:5-8 it says, “Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven.  And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.  They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?” And then it says in verse 8, “And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born?” Now we talked about tongues, haven’t we? Basically it’s the ability to speak in an unknown… let me rephrase that, an unlearned but known language. And that’s the miracle that was happening in Acts 2, and that’s how the people seeing this transpire could tell it was from God. So tongues or the gift of languages is huge in Acts 2.
Now go back to Joel 2, that ninth century B.C. prophet. Does he ever make a single statement about the gift of tongues in Joel 2? Not a single one!. Joel 2:28-32 says absolutely nothing about the gift of tongues. And so another reason why I think the analogical view is correct is number three, Acts 2 realities are not even found in Joel 2.
The fourth reason I think the analogical view is correct is Peter changes the words around when he is preaching from Joel 2 in Acts 2. For example, and you might even have your Bible open to Joel 2:28-3e and your finger in Acts 2 so you can go home later and do this comparison yourself. What does Peter do in Acts 2:17? He says, “AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’” now compare that to Joel 2:28, Peter just changed “after this” in Joel 2:28, to “last days” in Acts 2:17. [Acts 2:17, “’AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;” Joel 2:28, “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.”]
And here’s something else that’s very interesting. Around verse 18 Peter, quoting Joel 2, says, “EVEN ON MY BOND SERVANTS, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT,” now look at this last expression here, verse 18, “And they shall prophesy.” Now you can go back and you can compare that to Joel 2:29 and what you’ll see is Peter added that expression. [Joel 2:29, “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”] So you say well what’s your point? My point is if Peter was saying Joel 2 was completely and totally fulfilled in Acts 2 would he sit there and edit the passage? I don’t think so. The fact that he’s editing, the fact that he’s changing words around to my mind demonstrates that he’s not saying Joel 2 was fulfilled in Acts 2. If he was actually saying that Joel 2 was being fulfilled in totality or partially in Acts 2 I really don’t think Peter would be taking the editorial liberties that he’s taking here.
And then what do we have here, number four, the fourth reason why I don’t think Joel 2 was fulfilled in any sense in Acts 2 but rather merely represents an analogical statement is what word is missing there in Acts 2? The word what? It starts with an f… fulfilled. I mean if Joel 2 was being fulfilled in totality or partially in Acts 2 wouldn’t Peter use the word fulfilled? But he doesn’t do that. Now does ever elsewhere use the word fulfilled? Actually he uses it quite frequently.
If you go back to the prior chapter, in Acts 1:16 there was a prophecy from the Old Testament that was being fulfilled in Acts 1:16 and so what does Peter say? “Brethren, the Scripture had to be” that’s the Greek word plēroō, in other words, when prophecy is being fulfilled Peter is pretty good at saying hey gang, the prophecy is being fulfilled right now. But in Acts 2 do you ever see the word “fulfilled”? He never says fulfilled, which again to my mind is communicating that Peter, when he quoted Joel 2 in Acts 2 is quoting it not for purposes of fulfillment but for purposes of making an analogy because these folks were attributing everything to drunkenness. Peter’s only point was, in Acts 2, this isn’t drunkenness because the Holy Spirit is going to do something similarly, not identical, similarly in the distant future for the nation of Israel in the tribulation period and the millennial kingdom.
The sixth reason why I don’t think Joel 2 was fulfilled in Acts 2 has to do with the mystery nature of the church. What is the church or the body of Christ? It’s a what? It starts with an “m” and ends with a “y.” It’s a mystery. Now why do we say that? Because you can read the Old Testament until your eyeballs bleed and you’re not going to find any references to the church. In fact, the Lord Jesus, in His earthly ministry… remember Jesus is functioning under the period dispensation of the Law, Galatians 4:4. [Galatians 4:4, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,”] He only makes a few vague hints of the coming church. So the church is really not something that starts until Acts 2 and the concept of the church prior to that point in time is totally foreign to the Bible.
Ephesians 2:14-16, of the church, says, “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one” that’s Jew and Gentile, “and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,  by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two” now who are “the two”? Jew and Gentile, “…He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,  and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,  by abolishing in His flesh the enmity,” that’s what the church is, Jew and Gentile into one new man on co-equal footing called the church or the body of Christ.
Now do you find that concept anywhere in the Old Testament? No you don’t. You find God dealing with a nation, the nation of Israel, and God is using national distinctions in the Old Testament. Not so in the age of the church; national distinctions are abolished. That’s why Paul calls the church a what? Ephesians 3:3? A mystery. [Ephesians 3:3, “that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.”] What does he call it in Ephesians 4:4? A mystery. [Ephesians 3:4, “By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ.”] What does he call it in verse 5? Something that’s been especially given to the apostles. [Ephesians 3:5, “which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;”]
What’s the mystery? To be specific, that Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. That’s a brand new idea, isn’t it? Paul calls the church a mystery in Ephesians 3:9, “and to bring to light what is the administration of “ what, I’ve got it underlined, “the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things.”
What is a mystery? A mystery is a new truth never before disclosed; that’s the way the Greek lexicon defines a mystery. That’s how Paul defines a mystery, Romans 16:25-26, that which has been kept secret for long ages but now is manifested and by the Scriptures of the prophets. [Romans 16:25-25, “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past,  but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;”]
Paul, in Colossians 1:26 defines a mystery as that “which has been hidden from past ages and generations, but now has been manifested to His saints.” So what is happening today is something that we call a parenthesis or a mystery. As the nation of Israel has been set aside temporarily God will turn again to Israel in the future tribulation period. What’s God doing in the interim? I mean, what’s he been doing for the last 2,000 years? He’s been at work in this new man that we call a mystery, and the prophets of old, could they see the mystery? They couldn’t see it. The best thing the prophets could see was the two mountain ranges in a distance. You look at two mountain ranges in a distance with the second mountain raised slightly above the first mountain, all you can really see are two mountains and what can you not see? The valley between the mountains. That’s why the Old Testament prophets, like Joel, could not see our age because our age is part of the church, which is a mystery, something new never before disclosed.
I mean, Joel couldn’t have seen the church if he wanted to and because the church is a mystery how in the world could Joel be talking about the beginning of the church age, which is a mystery? I mean, how can people say that Joel’s prophecies are being fulfilled at the beginning of the church age when Joel himself couldn’t even see the valley between the mountains. Do you see the problem? So people that say Joel 2 was fulfilled in Acts 2, the beginning of the church age, think that Joel saw church age prophecies which is an impossibility because the church was always a what? Was a mystery. Daniel couldn’t see the church, Joel couldn’t see the church, in fact all of the Old Testament prophets couldn’t see the church.
Peter says, [1 Peter 1:10-11] “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,  seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. That’s all they could see. They could see one mountain range and another mountain range, they could not see the valley and that’s why they’re confused, some of these prophets, about their own prophecies. So for someone to say that Joel 2 is being fulfilled in Acts 2, that Joel’s prophecies are being fulfilled at the beginning of the church age misunderstands the whole mystery nature of the church.
And then one more thing, and with this we’re finished, on my list of seven, why I hold to the analogical view of Joel 2 and Acts 2 is a misunderstanding concerning this is that. Now everybody that argues that Joel 2 was fulfilled in Acts 2 will quote verse 16 where Peter says “but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:” and they say this can’t be just an analogy, this has got to be a fulfillment of a prophecy because Peter himself prefaced the quotation from Joel 2 by saying “this is that,” the Greek is toto espen to, this is that. And what I want you to understand is toto espen to is used elsewhere in the New Testament concerning an analogy. In fact, here is the passage we read at every communion service, I think we just read this last Sunday, didn’t we? Someone say yes. [Someone said yes] It shows me you were here.
1 Corinthians 11:24-26, “And when He” this is Paul referring to Christ, inaugurating the Lord’s table in the Upper Room, “And when He had given thanks He broke it and said, ‘This is My body,” now in Greek “this is My body” is what? Τοῦτό ἐστιν μού that’s the identical Greek expression that you find Peter using in Acts 2:16, “but this is that” tοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ.
Now when we take communion as Protestants do we look at the wafer as the actual body of Christ? No we don’t; we look at it as an analogy. See that? An analogy. Jesus said, “Do this is remembrance of Me.” It’s not the actual physical body of Christ, and this is where we differ from Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholicism teaches transubstantiation, that when you partake of the elements Christ is being literally recrucified every single mass. And we don’t believe that. First of all, if Christ is being recrucified every single mass then why does the Book of Hebrews tell us over and over again that he died, how many times? One time, it says that over and over again. I mean, if He’s being re-crucified every single mass then he’s being recrucified every single mass and He didn’t die just once.
So we take the cup as not His actual blood but as an analogy for His blood. And we take the wafer not as His actual body but as an analogy for his body. See that. So when Paul says, quoting Christ “This is My body,” he’s quoting Christ using a what? It starts with an “a,” analogy. So if tοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ clearly means an analogy in 1 Corinthians 11:24 why can’t I take that identical Greek expression, tοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ in Acts 2:16 and treat Peter’s use of Joel 2 in Acts 2, not as a fulfillment of prophecy but as an analogy. Do you follow?
So I’m giving you basically some reasons as to why I think the analogical view is correct, and if the analogical view is correct kingdom now theology is gutted because Darrell Bock says in other words Jesus resurrection, ascension to God’s right hand as put forward by Peter as a fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, just as the allusion to Joel fulfills the New Covenant. I mean, after all, if Joel 2 is being fulfilled or partially fulfilled in Acts 2 then so are the prophecies of the Davidic Covenant. See what he’s saying? And I’m coming back and I’m saying guess what? Joel 2 was never fulfilled in Acts 2, it wasn’t partially fulfilled, none of what Joel 2 predicts was fulfilled in part or in total in Acts 2 and if that’s true then Bock’s whole argument here basically dissolves.
So why do I hold to an analogical view of Joel 2 in Acts 2? Number one, was the Spirit poured out on all flesh in Acts 2 the way Joel requires it? NO!
Number two, there’s an awful lot of things in Joel 2 that were never fulfilled in Acts 2, like the sun becoming dark, the moon becoming blood red.
Number three, there’s an awful lot of Acts 2 realities, like speaking in tongues that are not even predicted in Joel 2.
Number four, as I’ve showed you in a couple of places Peter changes the text of Joel around a little bit, which to me would be very, very odd for him to do that if Joel 2 was actually being fulfilled in Acts 2.
Number five, Peter is pretty good at using the word fulfilled when he wants to demonstrate that an Old Testament prophecy was being fulfilled in Acts. But does he use the word fulfilled at all in Acts 2? NO, he does not!
Number six, the church is a mystery. What’s happening in Acts 2 is the beginning of the church; the whole church, including how it started is a mystery and because it’s a mystery could Joel have ever seen anything related to the church in a prophecy. It’s an impossibility. That’s number six.
And then finally number 7, where people say okay Mr. Wise Guy, if this is an analogy then why does Peter preface the quotation by saying “This is that” and my point is the verbiage is τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ [touto estin to] which is used elsewhere as an analogy, and if it can be an analogy elsewhere why can’t it be an analogy in Acts 2 when you can demonstrate all of these details.
So it’s a pretty heavy lesson, I guess, if you’re a first-timer here but if you’ve been tracking with our study I hope you’re kind of seeing why issues like this become a big deal. Did I confuse everybody tonight or help. I hope I helped a little bit. And wow, look at this, we’re even stopping early, it’s 7:59, we’re getting out a minute early, do you believe that? So if you’ve got to collect your kids or otherwise take off feel free to do that at this time and you might want to take a picture of the clock on the way out.