17 “‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men, and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.”
This week, we continue our journey of faith in the book of Acts, Chapter 2. Just a quick recap: we know that Christ’s disciples gathered together, the Holy Spirit came upon them, the crowds gathered outside the house and listened as the disciples spoke in tongues and prophesied. This brings us to our current Scripture reading in verses 14-21 where Peter addresses the crowd directly.
So, we see Peter talking about the ‘last days’. I have been thinking that we are living somewhere in the last days as we see more and more prophesy playing out in our world’s current events. We can talk about some of those prophecies in just a minute, however, let us first take a look at what the prophet Joel might have meant by the ‘last days’:
In https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/last-days-latter-days-last-times.html , we can find a number of inferences to last days or latter days. One noteworthy inference was that Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, as well as the establishment of the Salvation plan, was such a significant event in world history that the new church considered themselves to be living in the last days from that point forward. And now, looking at some of our current events, especially in the last 100 years or so, we see some prophecies being fulfilled. Israel became an independent state on May 14, 1948, a fulfillment of prophecy. Zech 8:3-8 is the scripture reference predicting this event thousands of years before. Another prediction that we have seen some activity with is the Rev 13:16-17 ‘mark of the beast to buy or sell’. It has been widely discussed that this ‘mark’ could potentially be a microchip implant. Did you know that microchips have already been planted on employees in one Wisconsin company? It’s true! If you want to buy food or access the building at this place of employment, you can receive a “chip” in your hand. More information can be found at:
These are just two examples of prophecies that are unfolding before our eyes. Are we in the last days before the Great Tribulation begins? Well, that’s another discussion for another time. I will say this: I believe the church has been in the ‘last days’ since Christ ascended into heaven. I’m going to keep on ‘keepin’ on’ for my Lord and Savior while I’m waiting to move into eternity or Jesus returns, whichever comes first!
When referring to the spiritual gifts as outlined in verses 17 and 18, all men and women who give their lives to Christ can receive the Holy Spirit and hear from God for themselves, not through a prophet. In the Old Testament, only men with a special calling, those who were chosen, could hear directly from God. Now, with the Holy Spirit, that path of communication is open for a two-way conversation. Additionally, no matter what spiritual gift we are given, it is for our benefit and for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of the Church body.
In closing, what is our takeaway this week? What can we learn from this scripture passage that moves us forward in our journey of faith? I would challenge you to do this: tonight, as you lay your head on your pillow, ask God to speak to your heart, whether through dreams or visions, through his Word or in that still, small voice…ask him for clarity so that you can understand and know that it’s him…and then, wait patiently for the Lord and he will answer you.
Papa, please be with your children today. Speak to us clearly through dreams, visions, words of knowledge, the Word, any means that the Spirit chooses to use. We wait for you and expect you to answer. In Jesus, I bow before you. Amen!