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Acts 2:17 "'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Was this written for today or how far into the future was this intended to apply? (Thanks Nihil Sine Deo for the comment.)

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    Contemporary application is off-topic.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 21 '20 at 14:08
  • Change it to read, was this written for today or how far into the future was this intended to apply? Or define last days Dec 21 '20 at 15:05
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    It's important that the question and answers be focused on this passage and not on other theological reasons for deciding whether it applies now. So I think this question needs to ask if there is anything in Peter's whole speech to indicate the intention of his words to apply to the church for all time.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 21 '20 at 23:27
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Dottard
    Dec 25 '20 at 9:40
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The answer to this question hinges on the meaning of "Last Days" (Acts 2:17). Was it Peter's time or our time or both or neither?

It comes as a rude shock to some that the New Testament calls the time after Jesus’ resurrection, the “last days”, or “last hour”, or similar. Note the following:

  • Acts 2:17 – Peter calls the day of Pentecost the “last day” in fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel. Compare v29-32.
  • 2 Tim 3:1 – perilous times in the “last day” which Paul discusses as already at his time.
  • Heb 1:2 – “These last days” God is revealed in Jesus.
  • James 5:3 – warning against rampant materialism and worship of money in the “last day”, that is, the time of James himself.
  • 1 Peter 1:5 – Christians reveal God and are miraculously preserved in the “last time”.
  • 1 Peter 1:20 – Jesus revealed in these “last times”.
  • 2 Peter 3:3 – Peter writes about his time as the fulfilment of that spoken by the ancient prophets about the “last days”.
  • 1 John 2:18 – Twice, John calls his time the “last hour”.
  • Jude 18 – Jude describes his time as the fulfilment of ancient prophecies about the “last time”.
  • Rev 2:16, 3:11, 22:7, 12, 20 – Jesus says, “I am coming soon/quickly”.
  • Even in a passage like John 6:39, 40, 54 where Jesus refers to the resurrection at the “last day” (see below) that time began with His death, Matt 27:50-53.

It should not be surprising that eschatology is defined in terms of Jesus – four times in the book of Revelation (1:11, 17, 2:8, 22:13) Jesus is called “the first and the last”. Thus, Bible eschatology, is the study of the time after Jesus inaugurated His Kingdom of Heaven (Matt 3:2, 4:17, 23, 5:3, 10, 19, etc).

CONCLUSION

Since, we, as with Peter, live in the "last days", then Joel's prophecy applies to the time period between Jesus first and second advents because that is what the Bible calls the "last days".

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  • Agree strongly, it’s principally the reason why “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭21:32‬ ‭should be translated age and not generation. Generation doesn’t fit with the understanding of last days but age or church age does. Dec 22 '20 at 21:42
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Joel first prophesied it.

Joel 2:28 And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

Peter confirmed it alluding to Joel.

Acts 2:17 "'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Paul encouraged it.

1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

Is Acts 2:17 applicable today?

We have three witnesses that say yes.

There is a counterbalance from Paul.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22reject every kind of evil.

Finally, if anyone claims to be a prophet, this is the warning from Moses.

Deuteronomy 18:20 But if any prophet dares to speak a message in My name that I have not commanded him to speak, or to speak in the name of other gods, that prophet must be put to death."

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I'm of the opinion that "Acts" is complete fiction. But taking the text as it stands...

In Acts, Peter completely misrepresents the Hebrew text, which says this:

[Joe 2:28 NLT] (28) "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.

Not this:

[Act 2:17 NLT] (17) 'In the last days,' God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.

The "Septuagint" has this:

https://studybible.info/Brenton/joel%202:28

Still, the NT perspective on all this is that the last days were their own days:

[1Jo 2:18 NLT] (18) Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.

Applicable? Absolutely not.

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    What is your basis for suggesting the Book of Acts is a work of fiction? I'm intrigued. Dec 23 '20 at 23:32

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