One of the most complete “quotations” of the Old Testament in the New Testament involves Joel 2:28-32. Simon Peter incorporates this Text into his great “Day of Pentecost” Sermon.
I want to show you the specifics, now.
Joel 2:28-32 … “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”
Then Peter in Acts 2:16-21 … “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Now it is obvious to see that Peter is being led of the Holy Spirit.
And we are being given a classic view of proper Bible “hermeneutics,” or (hermeneutics defined) the “science of Scriptural interpretation.”
But WHY does Peter quote all the way through Joel’s Paragraph … even including the non-pertinent sentences about the “signs in heaven above and earth beneath?”
Because … Joel has his eye trained primarily on (as of 2016) future events, the Tribulation and Millennium. While Peter is merely using the Old Testament Passage as an “illustration” of what happened at Pentecost, the “pouring out” of the Holy Spirit upon the nascent Church.
Peter’s ploy here has aided many a “liberal” (one not believing in the Tribulation or Millennium either, literally so anyway) to suggest that the moon and sun and stars will NEVER actually do such things, darken and appear bloody. Nor will the fire fall as Joel suggests, all being merely symbols. Because those things did not happen (by any stretch of the imagination) 2,000 years ago at Pentecost.
Well … here’s the answer, or part of it.
Peter is DETERMINED to include the whole Joel Text … because he feels he MUST reach that last verse in the Unit. The one about “whosoever will” being saved. (Which was clearly about to happen as Peter preached that Day of Pentecost! In fact … 3,000 souls!) So … Peter I think keeps the whole Joel 2:28-32 Pericope in place, undivided.
And folks, Joel did promise … “and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord SHALL BE DELIVERED.” This last Hebrew verb, “malat,” is translated “saved” at least 5 times in the Old Testament.
So Peter did directly follow … “and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
And the boisterous Disciple was content thereafter to let us progenitors of the Faith decipher the issue from that point! He (Peter) clearly wanted to establish one of the great facts of soteriology, the doctrine of salvation. Jesus died for everyone, for “whosoever!”
No, the Tribulation did not occur in Peter’s lifetime.
It is still future. As is the Millennium, the thousand year rule of Jesus Christ here on this earth.
A time when yet again (to the fullest extent in all human history) the Holy Spirit will be “poured out” by Almighty God, just as prophesied of old.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell