God Pours Out His Spirit
The great revelation that we witness in Acts 2, and which the rest of Acts spells out, is this: That the Father has initiated a new covenant in which the Kingdom of His dear Son and the ministry of the Holy Spirit now take center stage in this new and wonderful time in which we live. This time has been referred to as A.D., anno domini, meaning, “in the year of the Lord.” Some have simply called this time, “the year of salvation,” and why not? Paul said himself, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). It is the Kingdom of God made real in our time, which yet waits an even greater fulfillment in the future.
And this is what this passage is about. It is too bad that some people get sidetracked into debates about speaking in tongues or other matters that are peripheral to this passage. Acts 2 is about the fulfillment of the promise that God made through the Prophet Joel some six hundred years previous, that “in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” Peter tells the people the good news that the long awaited time has come – salvation has finally drawn near, and it is predicated upon the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through faith in him and repentance, one can experience the forgiveness of sins and receive this wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit which they now witness. This gift is for all who “call upon the name of the Lord,” which in this context means, Jesus Christ. This is the good news the prophets proclaimed, and which Paul spoke of in another place, that the end of the ages has come upon us (1 Corinthians 10:11).
This is why the New Testament calls the time after the day of Pentecost the “last days.” We live in this time right now. That part of the passage which speaks of “wonders in the heavens above” and “the moon turning to blood” speaks to: 1) the magnitude of change the coming of the Holy Spirit brings; and, 2) the future coming of Jesus Christ when these things shall literally come to pass. In the meantime, we live “in the year of salvation,” and the “last days.” We are the ones upon whom the end of the ages has come.” We are the recipients of this wonderful time in which to live – on this side of the cross, and the fulfillment of prophecy, and the gracious revelation of this new covenant: Repent and believe and receive the Holy Spirit.