On the Day of Pentecost, Peter by the Holy Spirit declared “But this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel.” Acts 2:16 NAU. The KJV reads, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;” Weymouth reads, “But that which was predicted through the Prophet Joel has happened:”
Many don’t believe that what Peter said was fulfilled that day when he quoted the words of the prophet Joel. We always seem to need to make it happen in the future, in some future “last days.” Yet, according to Peter it was then the last days. Years of teaching that projected events into the future, blinded us to the NOW of God. Yes, we believe that God is going to move by His Spirit in a mighty way some day, far greater than what we have known, and we base it upon Joel’s “former rain” and “latter rain.” But many of us thought that what Peter was talking about, was an appetizer before the main event yet to come.
We have made most of what he said as being then, to another day and another time, called, “the last days,” or “end time,” even though Peter stated that it was THEN that Joel was being fulfilled. It is noteworthy that Peter did NOT say, that at some point in the future it would be so, nor that it was a partial fulfilment which many of us have been taught to believe, or even that it would be fulfilled twice. Without a doubt this brings a dilemma to some. Could it be that we have put our own interpretation on Peter’s words about Joel’s prophecy, as well as on other prophetic passages of Scripture?
George B. Fletcher in, “Principles of Interpretation,” wrote, “It is sound exegesis to harmonize the Old Testament with the higher light of the New Testament, and not vice versa. Whatever Christ taught by His Holy Spirit through the apostles is final, authoritative, and infallible. Therefore, we cannot go first hand to the prophecies in order to explain the New Testament by them. We must enter the prophecies with the New Testament key, by which they are opened to us either by express quotations, the history of facts, or by doctrine.”
We find a reference to what began on the Day of Pentecost in the words of the prophet Ezekiel, in Chapter 47:1-12. Water began to flow from the Temple of God. It was just a small amount at first. Then it was enough to reach the ankles, and in time, “waters to swim in.” The River flowed down to the Arabah - the desert, and on, to the Dead sea. It was a River of Life, and it produced healing and life. The salt water of the sea became fresh, and soon there were many fish. Trees began to grow along the path of the River.
This River of God began to flow on the day of Pentecost. As it flowed, it increased in volume as various outpourings of the Spirit took place. In the 20th Century it began to move mightily in 1901 through to 1906 in the form of the Pentecostal move. In the mid 1940's it began to rise until in 1948 a unique move of the Spirit, some called “Latter Rain,” began. This was also the time of the great healing meetings. The River of God continued on to the many moves of the Spirit since then. George Hawtin wrote me that the 1948 “move of the Spirit” didn’t begin in 1948, he said, “IT BEGAN ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST.” Perhaps we can go even further back in time to the timeless and say, “It all began in the heart of Father God.”
To answer the question, PETER WAS RIGHT! It was then the “last days,” the end or, consummation of the Mosaic Law and its ordinance. It was the time of “the Christ” arising in His people. A new day had begun!
Will this move of the Spirit, the River of God, continue on? As sure as God’s purpose is to fill the earth, which is, you and me, and all creation, with His glory, and to restore all to Himself, it will flow on until all the plans and purposes of our Father are accomplished. Let the River of God flow on through you. May it be as Revelation 22:1 says, “a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
To Him be the honor, majesty, praise and glory!