FYI – I already have the notes for this lesson, but my own take on these prophesies is different.
10. a. Acts 2:17-21
On the day of Pentecost, Peter under the inspiration of the Spirit, applies Joel 2:28 – 32 to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The people gathered in the upper room weren’t priests or even just men. They represented all flesh.
This manifestation of the Holy Spirit baptism began in Israel among the mostly Jewish followers of Jesus. The Roman persecution of Jews and believers led to the spread of Christianity to the Gentiles. Jerusalem and the temple were later destroyed as Jesus prophesied.
b. Signs in the sky and earth
“Then, after doing all those things,
I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your old men will dream dreams,
and your young men will see visions.
In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on servants—men and women alike.
And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth—
blood and fire and columns of smoke.
The sun will become dark,
and the moon will turn blood red
before that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives.
But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved,
for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape,
just as the Lord has said.
These will be among the survivors
whom the Lord has called. NLT
Other passages referring to signs–
For see, the day of the Lord is coming—
the terrible day of his fury and fierce anger.
The land will be made desolate,
and all the sinners destroyed with it.
The heavens will be black above them;
the stars will give no light.
The sun will be dark when it rises,
and the moon will provide no light.
“I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil
and the wicked for their sin.
I will crush the arrogance of the proud
and humble the pride of the mighty. NLT
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
This passage doesn’t seem to refer to a global event. The root word for “earth” means “soil, land, country, region”* as in the land of Israel. *Strongs
The phrase “coming on clouds of heaven” would have triggered in the first century Jewish listener the Old Testament “cloud-comings” of God in judgment upon ancient historical people and nations (see Ps. 187-15; 104:3; Isa. 19:1; Joel 2:1-2; Zeph. 1:4,15)….when Jesus talks about the coming of the Son of Man, He is referring to a coming of judgment, not to His Final Return.
I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places.
11. a. Works of the Holy Spirit
The earth was formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters. AMP
Love that verse! The first mention of the Holy Spirit in scripture.
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” NLT
“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.
“There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’ NLT
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.
But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!” NLT
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. NLT
b. The Holy Spirit’s role my life?
- I experienced the new birth at age 5.
- My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit.
- I experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit at age 15.
- The Holy Spirit gives me counsel, comfort, guidance, revelation and understanding.
- I love sensing the presence of the Spirit.
12. a. God’s promise to everyone who calls on the name of the Lord —
‘And it shall be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord Jesus] shall be saved (rescued spiritually).’ AMP
I’m so thankful to God for sending His Son, for establishing His Kingdom on earth, and for inviting us to be joint heirs in this life and in eternal life.
b. I’m not afraid for myself.
I’m still working through this study much like everyone else. But I’m leaning toward the view that Old Testament prophecy and Jesus’ discussion of the end of the age–running to the hills, etc.–referred to the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.
This interpretation makes more sense to me since Jesus’ said, “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.” (Probably spoken around AD 30 and Jewish tradition says a generation is forty years.) Around AD 70, all that Jesus said came to pass including the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Old Testament Age came to an end.
While the prophecies do contain symbolism, some words and phrases should be taken at face value. I also think we should look at the writing in light of Jewish understanding. We’ve been influenced by writers of fiction such as the Left Behind series.
Holy Spirit, lead me into ALL truth.
Study to be continued…