Peter, Pentecost and the Prophet Joel
By Asher Intrater
At the Shavuot (Pentecost) outpouring in the first century, Peter stood and began to teach from the book of Yoel (Joel) – Acts 2:16 ff. The Pentecostal outpouring was seen as an initial fulfillment of Yoel’s prophecy. I am struck by how essential the connection is between the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the message of Yoel.
In the baptism of the Holy Spirit, there was a revelation of the prophecy of Yoel as part of the gospel of Yeshua. If there was an anointing to understand those prophecies as relevant to their generation, how much more so for our generation!
Peter read the book of Yoel and understood its application for the early Church. Let’s re-read the book of Yoel (and all the Prophets) to understand their application for these last days.
I am also struck by the overall unified theme of the book; here is a simplified summary of the message:
1. The whole book of Yoel is about getting ready for the great and terrible day of YHVH (Yoel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31).
a. The world is to be warned of coming judgment (Yoel 1:14; 2:15)
b. The global ecclesia is to be prepared for the coming end times’ events
c. The great and terrible day of YHVH IS the Second Coming of Yeshua
2. On this day the nations of the world are judged (Yoel 3:1-2, 9-14).
a. They are judged regarding their treatment of Israel
b. All the nations attack Israel and Jerusalem
c. Yeshua destroys those nations for having attacked Israel
3. This is the context for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Shavuot-Pentecost
a. This was the passage quoted by Peter in Acts 2:16-21
b. There is a promise of worldwide revival in the end times
c. There is a three-fold connection between the prophecies concerning
i. The battle over Jerusalem
ii. The Second Coming of Yeshua
iii. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
4. The promises of the outpouring of the Spirit cannot be separated from the prophecies of the end times’ battle over Jerusalem. This is the Lion’s roar from Zion (Yoel 3:16-21).
5. The Messianic remnant in Israel is a strategic connecting link to these promises and prophecies (Yoel 2:28).
[In my opinion this last verse (see below) points to a remnant of believers; who are called from among the “survivors” – that is, the Messianic remnant in our generation which was born after the Holocaust. This was not quoted in the last verse of Peter in Acts 2:21. It was not relevant to the mission in his generation; it certainly is in ours.]
The dunamis power of the Holy Spirit enables us to be witnesses of Yeshua around the world; which ultimately leads to the restoration of the kingdom to Israel and the Second Coming– Acts 1:6-11. In this way the power of the Holy Spirit fulfills both the gospel of salvation and the message of the Prophets.
Notice these themes together in Joel 2:28 – Joel 3:2.
28 And it will come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. 30 And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. 32 And it will be that whoever calls on the name of the YHVH will be saved. For as YHVH has said, in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be a remnant, among the survivors, whom YHVH has called.
1 For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will gather all the nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.