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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Spring Edition 2005

The Pentecostal Promise Of The Last Days

"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, and your young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit" (Joel 2:28-29).

In his Pentecostal sermon, as recorded in Acts 2:16-21, Peter unequivocally affirmed that what had happened to the 120 gathered in the Upper Room that day fulfilled the above quoted great messianic promise from the pen of the prophet Joel in 820 B.C., and in consequence thereof, had ushered in the last days. Thus, the world has been experiencing the presence of "the last days" from the first Christian century onwards (Heb. 1:1-2). The apostles of Christ were living in those last days to which the prophecy of Joel applies, and so are we.

Many of we moderns have long labored under the delusion that the expression "last days" refers only to contemporary events assumed to portray the encroachment of the Scofield/Darby perception of a so-called "end-time" that is the days immediately preceding some any-moment secret pretribulation rapture of the church.

Such a perspective, however, is a "mentality" that has nothing to do with the biblical portrayal of the character of the last days. The term "last days," in the proper theological sense of which it is most often used in the New Testament, is a messianic expression that refers to the age of Christ's kingdom reign, which is this present Christian age.

The fact is, friend, that the true Bible doctrine of the second coming of Jesus Christ is not the scenario of events connected with the Darbyite conception of the last days end-time. The true doctrine is rather that of a general resurrection of the dead and a Great White Throne judgment scene that becomes necessitated, and is brought on, by a great apostasy.

What is needed, then, is for you and I to quit being in denial concerning what the Bible really teaches about the character of this present age, and concerning the potential messianic dynamic that has been unleashed upon us now, in consequence of our time, too, being Joel's prophesied "last days."

We can have a great out-pouring of the Spirit, too, just like they originally had on the Day of Pentecost, if the right mentality can be reconstituted that will allow for that effect. It will never happen until we get over Darbyism and begin to understand the potential dynamic nature of the gospel to transform this present age.

That is the logical place to begin, friend, and we have to begin somewhere. When we discover that we are going in the wrong direction then we have to turn around and go back the opposite way to get where we need to go. Darbyism is denial and destruction of the ideological foundations of the whole Christian system. We have to be willing to go through a good deal of ideological conflict, learning and adjustment to get shed of it, and know the truth.

Are you willing? If you are not, then don't talk to me about a brighter day. Don't ball on my shoulders about the direness of these last days, if you are not willing to do anything but sit there and rot in a mentality of self-fulfilling prophecy.

I, for one, am living in this day of my Messiah's power. And I'm not looking back.

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