18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
Our scripture text today takes us back to Acts Chapter 2. If I wasn’t a believer, I would say that verse 19 sounds like every movie-type doomsday prophecy I have ever heard in the 20th and 21st century.
However, these predictions were made thousands of years ago! Besides the Spirit’s arrival shortly after Christ”s ascension into heaven, fast forward to the 21st century and we have now seen some ‘wonders in the heavens’ like solar and lunar eclipses that have been atypical, as well as ‘signs in the earth below’ such as an increase in natural disasters, terrorism, and war in the Middle East. So, in today’s scripture verse, we see prophecies being fulfilled, then and now.
While we are on the topic of prophetic fulfillment, on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary of becoming an independent state. In honor of this day, United States President, Donald Trump, moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Jerusalem is now considered to be the capital city of Israel.
While the Israeli people are ecstatic and hoping this reunification will foster peace in all of Israel, the Arabic people living along the Gaza Strip are less than thrilled, feeling that there has been ongoing persecution from Israelis and that they do not have the same rights as the Israelis do. Amidst the loud throng of cheering people and applause at the embassy, there was gunfire and warfare on the Strip leaving 60 dead to date and many more injured. All the while, the Israeli and American governments felt that prophecy was being fulfilled and history made, while much of the world felt that we had signed away our only chance at peace in the Middle East.
What does scripture have to say about this? Is world peace beyond our reach? Not according to Daniel 9:27. It states that there will be a covenant for a ‘seven’ or a week. Maybe. In 2 Peter 3:8, it says:
Additionally, the Antichrist breaks the covenant midway into it. Basically, the treaty is short-lived.
If there is one thing I’ve noticed with end times prophecy, it includes a lot of conjecture and opinions. Only the Father knows exactly how it’s going to play out. Me, I’m of the same view as one of my dear pastors: I’m pan Trib – it will all pan out in the end. One way or another, I’ll be with Jesus when he makes his final return to rule and reign with him. It doesn’t get any better than that!
In the meantime, what should we do to prepare as we see prophecies fulfilled in our lifetime?
- Pray diligently! Stay so close to the Father that you can feel the manifest presence of the Most High God. Another beloved pastor used to call those times with God “thin places” where heaven meets earth. Pray for discernment and knowledge in these hard times.
- Read the Word. Watch the news stay on top of current events. Often we now see these events as prophetic fulfillment.
- First and foremost, focus on God, not all the hype surrounding the end times. It’s good to be “in the know”, but it’s really all about who you know and whose you are.
In conclusion, our takeaway today should be this: When the Holy Spirit came to the disciples over 2000 years ago, we see that he began to reveal the mysteries of God. He also bestowed power upon each person who received him which enabled them to live a Godly life in spite of the odds against them. Additionally, the Holy Spirit worked signs, wonders, and miracles through them. The disciples also received both natural and supernatural gifts to serve the brethren and lead Jews and Gentiles to the Lord. However, nothing replaces their own personal relationship with Jesus. That needed to stay first. And so it is with us. Never lose sight of this and you will be ready for the coming of our Lord Jesus, whether it be through passing from this world into the next or Jesus returns for his bride the Church, whichever comes first.
Papa, As we see current events unfold and prophecy fulfilled in our lifetime, we can’t help but be both excited yet concerned about what the immediate future will bring. Help us, Papa, to not lose sight of what is really important: staying close to you through prayer and the Word and being your hands and feet for a world in need. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to us. For with you, all things are possible! In Jesus mighty name we ask these things. Amen and Amen!
Come Lord Jesus, Come!