The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 169 of 181
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Joel and the Day of Pentecost.
pp. 101 - 112
We now turn to one of the most well known passages of the N.T., Acts 2: 1-21. It
was on the day of the Jewish feast of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit descended upon those
present and they spoke "with other tongues . . . . . the wonderful works of God" (verses 4
and 11). There can be little doubt that this is one of the most misunderstood and
misapplied passages of Scripture and ignorance of the original setting from which Peter
quoted has been a contributory factor. Thus it was necessary for us to have first studied
the whole of the book of Joel before turning our attention to Peter's speech on that great
day. However, before a detailed consideration it may be an idea to look at one or two
points about prophecy in general.
In Isa. 61: 1-3 we read:
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach
good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim
liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim
the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that
mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of
joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be
called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified."
If we put ourselves back into the O.T. times and blot out our knowledge of the N.T.
then trying to see how this prophecy would be fulfilled would cause us problems. We
might rejoice that "the day of vengeance" is shorter than the "acceptable year" but . . . . .
well how can both come true at the same time? How can all that which is contained in
these verses come about at one time?
Fortunately we have a completed Bible and our problem is solved in Luke 4: 16-21.
There the Lord Jesus Christ opened the book of the prophet Isaiah and started to read at
the beginning of chapter 61: He read as far as . . . . .:
". . . . . to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book . . . . . and He
began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears" (Luke 4: 19-21,
The first verse and a half of Isa. 61: were fulfilled at our Lord's first coming. The
second half of verse 2, "the day of vengeance" will be fulfilled at His Second Coming
and much of what we have studied in Joel relates to that time. Isa. 61: 1-3 is an example
of a "two-half" prophecy. In such prophecies one half is fulfilled at one time and the
other half is fulfilled at a different time.  Is Joel 2: 28-32 a "two-half" prophecy?
Some would maintain that Joel 2: 28, 29 was fulfilled during the Acts period and that
verses 30-32 were not. They await fulfillment in the days of the Second Coming of
Christ. Is this view correct?