The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 176 of 181
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is what Joel says of those days. He does not say "then was fulfilled", nor "as it is
written", but merely calls attention to what the prophet said of similar scenes yet future.
Therefore to understand what Peter really meant by "this is that", we must turn to the
prophecy of Joel. And in order to understand that prophecy, we must see exactly what it
is about.
Is it about the Christian Dispensation? or
The Dispensation of judgment which is to follow it? or
Is it about the Jew and the Gentile? or
Is it about the church of God?
2. Structure on page 1224 (in The Companion Bible) gives the scope of Joel as a
whole, while that on page 1227 (in The Companion Bible) gives that of the last member
B (page 1224 in The Companion Bible) in which occur the "signs" to which Peter points
in connection with "this is that". From this it will be seen that the prophecy of Joel links
up with the last clause of the "song of Moses" in Deut. 32: 43 (see Rev. 15: 3),
which ends:
"And (He) will be merciful unto His Land and to His People."
So Joel 2: 18 begins:
"Then will Jehovah be jealous for His Land, and pity His People."
"THIS", therefore is "THAT".  It is the subject-matter and remote context of
Acts.ii.16.  It concerns Jehovah's Land and Jehovah's People, and has consequently
nothing to do with the church of this Dispensation. Peter calls "the house of Israel"
(verse 36) to the very repentance spoken of in the call to repentance of Joel (1: 14 - 2: 17;
see A, Structure, page 1224 in The Companion Bible).
3. But the key to the correct understanding of Peter's quotation lies in the word
"afterward" of Joel 2: 28. The question is, after what? This we can learn only from Joel
himself. Peter does not explain it, nor can we understand it from Peter's words alone.
The Structure (page 1227 in The Companion Bible) shows us that the whole subject of
2: 18 - 3: 21 is,--evil removed from the Land and the People, and blessing bestowed on
both; and these are set forth alternately.  In 2: 28, 29 we have spiritual blessings
connected with the temporal of the previous verses, introduced thus:
"And it shall come to pass AFTERWARD, that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh,"
After what? The answer is AFTER the temporal blessings of verses 23-27. It is
important to note that the temporal precede the spiritual blessings. The holy spirit was
not poured out on all flesh at Pentecost: only on some of those present. None of the