PETER AND THE PROPHETS
Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 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: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Since we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Eph. 2:20), we most surely need to give ernest heed to these passages wherein an apostle is expounding that which a prophet has written! It is a glorious blessing in the building up of our faith in our Corner Stone to have such a privilege as this!
How wonderfully marvelous are the words of the Holy Spirit through Pentecost’s’ spokesperson, to reveal that which was presently happening to them in the sound of a rushing mighty wind, and being filled with the Holy Ghost, was exactly described by the Prophet Joel! For Peter, the apostle, emphatically proclaims, this IS that! The text of his message for that first Christian gospel discourse was Joel 2:28-32, along with Psalms 16:8-11, and 110:1.
And here at ground zero, at the beginning of public gospel preaching there is set forth the present, contemporary preacher, (Peter), reading and expounding these passages of the written word of God, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit! And this all began with the Alpha and Omega Himself! For when the Holy Spirit was sent after his death, burial, resurrection and ascension, the disciples were given to believe as much in the scriptures as in his contemporary spoken words during his earthly ministry. John 2:22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. And this is the pattern of all future declarations of God, throughout this age, down to the end!
But where is the blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke? We can understand that portion of Joel’s writings concerning the pouring out of the Spirit, but how can Peter unreservedly proclaim the portion that speaks of blood, fire, smoke, the moon’s blood and the sun being turned into darkness? Dear Reader, whether we can understand it or not, we have God’s inspired word emphatically stating that this IS that! And that is why we need an apostle to open to us the prophets writings! For the same Holy Spirit who gave it to the prophets, interprets it to the apostles!
Please give a careful reading to Peter’s understanding of how he, as an apostle, received the word, by the Holy Spirit from the prophets: 1 Peter 1:9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
And we must never forget the most vital instruction of the Person of the Word – the Lord Jesus – concerning his expressive word to us! John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. We must receive the spirit of the word in order for them to be life in us! From this instruction of the Lord, the Apostle Paul instructs us of the “warning label” upon our bibles! And we would do well to take great heed to it! 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. Remember, dear soul, God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24). We must be very careful that we do not misinterpret the scriptures by it’s letter to form a godless religion, full of a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof! (2 Tim. 3:5).
In order to “see” that fire, blood and smoke we must not look at that which IS seen, but at that which is NOT seen! For that is how the spiritually born believer sees! 2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
We must remember that there is spiritual wickedness in heavenly places! Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. We must also remember that Satan has been referred to as the prince of the power of the air! (Eph. 2:2). Therefore the words of the prophet were very suitable words for him in his age to describe with natural catastrophic forces, the upheaval of warfare among spiritual forces at both the displacing of Satan from his stolen authority from Adam, and the establishing of Jesus Christ as Lord of all lords!
This warfare is described for us in Revelation chapter twelve. Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Now don’t allow the Scofield sellers to tell you that this won’t happen until some imagined future millennium! That tenth verse said that this warfare happened when Satan was cast down, and salvation was now come! And that, dear friend, happened at the time of the cross, in its procurement, and at Pentecost in its application! Listen at the Lord Jesus speak of it: John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die. He clearly states that Satan was cast out at the time of his death! – What could possibly be plainer?
One of the most deceiving and misleading errors in religion’s doctrine at this point of God’s revelation is their separation of judgment from salvation! This is the very reason that the fire, blood and smoke of Joel cannot be understood by the religiously trained mind, brainwashed in millennial doctrine! The basis of this is their refusal to accept Christ as presently reigning Lord! But the enthronement of his Lordship is clearly tied together with his accomplished redemption at the cross! For the scriptures unquestionably state that it was when he had purged our sins at the cross, as the point when he was enthroned in the majesty on high! Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Please go back up into the first paragraph on this page and reread John 12:31. Do you see the Lord Jesus stating, NOW is the judgment of this world? And then in that thirty third verse it most plainly sets the time of that judgment as when he should die! You cannot have the salvation of Israel from bondage without the judgment and destruction of Egypt! And for you as an individual to have been regenerated by the grace of God, the Lord Jesus had to receive the full wrath of God without one drop of mercy! Judgment and salvation are inseparably linked! Here is a passage from the Apostle Paul’s writing dealing with just that! Romans 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
Also we read in Peter’s writing in that first chapter of his first epistle (quoted above), that the prophets did not minister unto themselves, but unto us by the Apostles and the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. The Apostle Paul also instructs us of this very thing in his writings. (Take the time to Read Romans 1:2, 16:25,26; Ephesians 3:3-5.) Here is but one of those writings: Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
But just why did the Lord want the gospel to be hidden for so long a time? The simple answer is that the Son was not to be sent forth until the fulness of time! (Gal. 4:4). And he was predestinated to be sent forth as the sacrificial Lamb, (Rev. 13:8), which could not be revealed until he had accomplished the redemption. Therefore in order to afford himself of the necessary wicked hands to carry out this determinate counsel, (Acts 2:23), it had to be hidden from them. 1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
No one knew, or even thought that the deliverance of the elect and the destruction of Satan would have been through death! Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. But life did come through death! And it still does! For it is only as we stay dead to self and its interests that we live the resurrected life in the spirit! 2 Corinthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
And, dear soul, it takes the effectual preaching of the gospel, even now, to make this known to men! For even being dedicated to reading and studying the scriptures, without the Holy Spirit opening the heart to understand, will never bring men to an awareness of the mystery of the gospel! This is exactly what the Jews did in their day. And this is exactly what bible-believing religionists are still doing in our day. Our churches are filled with an unregenerate membership! God have mercy!
Acts 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
Acts 13:26 Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. 27 For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. 28 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. 29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
And without this awareness there will never be a return to reverential, fearful worship of the Lord! Acts 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
Acts 5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things. 5:13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.
May the Lord God have mercy on the American church and its socially acceptable gospel!
Pastor Gene Breed June 23, 2012