After that I will pour out my spirit on every sort of flesh,And your sons and your daughters will prophesy,Your old men will dream dreams,And your young men will see visions. – Joel 2:28
The prophet Joel was inspired to foretell that the pouring out of God’s spirit upon the anointed Christians would occur at a most crucial time in human history right before the “great day of Jehovah”.
At a time when the Jews were under a judgment to determine the fate of Judea and Jerusalem and its temple, the holy spirit was poured out upon the Jewish anointed Christians. On the day of Pentecost 33 C.E., when it was first poured out upon flesh of all kinds, the apostle Peter, a receiver of the spirit, publicly announced that this was a fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy, saying: “This is what was said through the prophet Joel, ‘ “And in the last days,” God says, “I shall pour some of my spirit out upon every kind of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams; and even upon my men slaves and upon my women slaves I will pour out some of my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. And I will produce wonders in heaven above and signs on earth below, blood and fire and smoke mist; the sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and illustrious day of Jehovah arrives. And then anyone that calls upon the name of Jehovah will be saved.” ‘ And the prophet Joel fills out Peter’s quotation of the prophecy by adding: “For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, just as Jehovah has said,The survivors whom Jehovah calls.” — Acts 2:16-21, NW; Joel 2:28-32, AS.
Thirty-seven years after Peter quoted those words of Joel the city of Jerusalem with its gorgeous temple was destroyed for the second time. The faithful anointed Christians in Jerusalem who had called upon Jehovah’s name through faith in his Son Jesus Christ escaped the frightful destruction upon earthly Jerusalem and Mount Zion at that climax of the “great and illustrious day of Jehovah.” This is not without solemn meaning for our times . For what happened back there at the Pentecost of 33C.E. was a prophetic pattern of what is to happen soon right before the day of Armageddon, in the opening phase of the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.”
Proving that the larger and final fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy is yet to come, the prophet follows up his words above with the further prophecy: “For look! in those days and in that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather together all the nations And bring them down to the Valley of Je·hosh′a·phat. I will enter into judgment with them there. In behalf of my people and my inheritance Israel, For they scattered them among the nations, And they divided up my land among themselves. For my people they cast lots.” (Joel 3:1-3) No such gathering of all the nations and bringing them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat to punish them for their mistreatment of Jehovah’s people occurred back there in the days of Peter and his fellow apostles. That leaves Joel’s prophecy concerning the outpouring of God’s spirit and all related events to be fulfilled completely in all its details down here at the days ahead before the beginning of Armageddon.
For many decades the writing department of the Watchtower has been proclaiming that this outpouring took place back in 1919 .The Watchtower w 98 5/1 ,page 14 ,paragraph 7 under the title :”Who Will “Get Away Safe?” made the following modern application on Joel’s prophetic words :
In 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 the apostle Paul says :”But if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away with; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away with. For we have partial knowledge and we prophesy partially but when what is complete comes, what is partial will be done away with. ” When the Bible was completed with the last book of Revelation, the gift of prophesy along with all other special gifts bestowed to Christians in the first century came to an end .This might be true but is not relevant to Joel’s prophesy. Why? Because like in the first century the beginning of the last days with Jesus’ baptism signified the beginning of a new period of miracles and extraordinary signs. In other words the verses of 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 apply up to the beginning of the last days not after that.
This is also logical too.If in 29 C.E. Jehovah didn’t speak from heaven so everyone could listen when Jesus was anointed with holy spirit during his baptism,how would people know that he was actually the true Messiah and put faith in him? Or later on at the Pentecost,in 33 C.E. if there were no external miraculous signs when the holy spirit anointed the first Christian congregation how could the crowds be convinced and put faith in Jesus’ resurrection and the fact that this newly formed group had Jehovah’s backing? In both cases the signs that followed the anointing of Jesus as well as the anointing of the apostles with holy spirit were more than enough to convince others that what they had just witnessed was an act of God. Without a visible demonstration of miracles anyone can claim to be the anointed Messiah or his anointed followers. Jehovah never leaves matters to chance.
In that light then please compare the 3 accounts ,first Jesus’ baptism 29C.E., Pentecost 36C.E. and finally the “supposed” outpouring of holy spirit in 1919 :
Jesus’ baptism by holy spirit can be found in the gospel of Matthew 3:16,17:
What were the signs that followed his baptism ? The heavens opened up, the holy spirit descended like a dove and God’s voice was heard loud and clear for all Jews present at the time. If you had been there on that day you would have know that Jesus was the anointed of Jehovah .Later on in 36 C.E. the anointing of the first Christian congregation was accompanied by similar signs. In Acts 2:1-6 we read:
All people present witnessed signs that originated from God ,there was no question about it ,no doubt.What were the signs? A noise from heaven,tongues of fire appeared in the upper room,all the disciples were filled with holy spirit, and this otherworldly noise was heard throughout Jerusalem causing thousands to gather outside that house were the apostles had gathered .They were not disappointed ,seeing uneducated men and women speaking miraculously in different languages they were convinced that Jesus’ resurrection was a fact and there were in the presence of supernatural forces.
On the other hand the brothers and sisters that gathered to the two much published conventions in 1919 and later on in 1922 ,they were not themselves or other spectators, witnesses of anything supernatural .Read the account for the last day of the assembly in 1922 and judge for yourselves:
Is not hard to see from comparing the aforementioned accounts that no outpouring of holy spirit , no miracles or special signs where manifested during the 1919 Assembly or later on during the 1922 Assembly .The ” last days of this system of things” didn’t start back then and the anointing of Christians didn’t follow.
Human expectations may fail but Jehovah’s prophesies never do .As in the last days of the Jewish system of things in the first century Jehovah poured out his holy spirit upon the anointed ones so it will be in our days .But when ?