Following the crucifixion of Jesus and His rising from the grave, He met with His disciples, telling them to wait in Jerusalem because they would be imbued with power from on high. Indeed, as they met and prayed, the Holy Spirit came upon them, filling them with the power and authority of God Himself. In the immediate aftermath, the disciples spoke in tongues that enabled the crowd gathered for Pentecost to hear the Gospel – the Good News of Jesus Christ – each in his own language. At that time, Peter stood up to speak to the assembly and pronounced the fulfillment of prophecy.
The prophet Joel in his day said that amazing events would occur in the latter times before the return of the Lord. Throughout their history, the Jews had turned from Yahweh, either following other gods or the god of self. In Jesus’ time, because of their zeal not to go after foreign gods, the Pharisees had instituted strict adherence to the Law of Moses, which ended up being a religious observance of self. Many prophets foretold that Israel would once more be scattered for her lack of desire to have the heart for Him that God required.
Yet, even then, God promised to restore His people to the land, He has never been done with them. If He gave up and abandoned them, what would that say about Him and His promises? But in regathering and provision, according to the prophets, God will need to do a painful work that will change His peoples’ hearts. We know that this will be the 7-year Tribulation.
Joel declared that in the lead-up to those final days and in that terrible time itself, astounding events would occur. Signs in the heavens and earth will alert people of the imminent return of the Lord. Moreover, God’s people will receive a special blessing from Him. Peter reiterates Joel’s prophecy in Acts 2:17-20 about this amazing time:
“‘And 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.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.”
This is a prophecy for both Israel and the church. Why? Because God says he will pour out His Spirit on all flesh. In that outpouring, many will prophesy, have visions, and dream dreams of that which God plans.
The initial fulfillment of this was at Pentecost, but like so many prophecies, it was partial in that there is more to come. In our current days, we are seeing this, and I believe, during the Tribulation will be the final fulfillment. Many have arisen today and said they are prophets of God in accordance with this Word. Unfortunately, it appears that many of them are false prophets, which were also foretold to rise near the time of the end. So, how do we know? Who is real and who is false?
Certainly the most important thing we can do in this regard is to compare the words of these prophets with the Word of God. Does what they say line up with what Scripture tells us will happen? A whole slew of prophets have declared themselves in the last number of years. We label them as belonging to the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. Why? Their prophecies smack of Dominionism, or Kingdom Now theology, which proclaims unscriptural events. One of many such false utterings is that the world will get better because Christians will reclaim the culture and prepare everyone through their activities for the return of Jesus. If anyone has read the Bible, they should know this is a patently obvious deviation from what God says will actually occur.
There are others who have been dreaming and having visions of late. I can’t speak for the vast numbers who are claiming visions from God, but one particular pastor caught my attention last year. Pastor Dana Coverstone has had many dreams. He initially posted his first one in early 2020 for friends to see and consider. The video went viral. Since then, he’s had numerous dreams that he has recounted for millions on YouTube. The latest video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nYiSbXdJ3g contains two related dreams: “THE TESTING FLOOR & Watchmen and the Fire Wind.” In my estimation, one of the things the dreams indicate is that the Rapture is very near. Events in this world as we know it are coming to a conclusion.
Why do I bring this up? It’s because Pastor Dana’s dreams have resonated with me as truly being from God. There is much symbolism in them, and they require prayer, thought, and discernment. But, one of the big things for me is that they have largely come to pass. I say largely because I think some of the events in the dreams may have been those which happened behind the scenes that we cannot see, and there are things recounted that may not yet have come to pass. Be careful how you judge. Just because you don’t see it initially doesn’t mean it’s not true.
The Lord doesn’t want His people to be ignorant of what is to come. This is the very reason for Bible prophecy, and for dreams and visions which both Joel and Peter said were coming. Once more I say be careful. Just because your religious tradition discounts such things doesn’t mean they aren’t real and won’t happen. What does the Bible say?
The key verse that Peter restated in Acts 2:21 from the prophet Joel is this:
“ ‘And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ “
If you don’t believe there will be true prophecies, dreams, and visions in the latter days, do you also discard this?
Again, when will the fulfillment of this prophecy occur? Obviously, many were saved at Pentecost. At Peter’s words, they were cut to the quick, repented as he said was necessary for salvation, and turned fully to the Lord Jesus. We have dreams today that God is giving people. Are many calling on Him? That’s not as well publicized, but we can assume that they are, and in that sincere plea, He is saving them.
However, I believe that the greatest final fulfillment of these words is yet to come. Interestingly, this same declaration wasn’t just from Joel and Peter; Paul also stated it in Romans 10:13. It’s a crucial truth.
During the Tribulation great deception will be in the world, yet God will continue to work in the hearts of those who desire truth. At that time the supernatural will be the norm with deceptive signs and wonders. Despite this, God’s Word will cut through to untold millions whose hearts will be convicted. Suffering and persecution will be so rampant that perhaps there is little time for any single person to believe before being killed. It may be that God will bring many miracles through His people, again, to counter the deception before so many people’s eyes.
In Iran today, many have turned to Jesus because they know that Islam is false. Iranian evangelists go out on the street illegally. When they bring the truth of the Gospel, people are saved literally within minutes. Iran is where the greatest growth of Christianity is occurring today. Muslims confronted with the Gospel want it, and God is doing a great work there. In fact, Scripture foretells that Iran will become a Christian nation.
During the Tribulation, it is likely that the hearts of people will turn just this quickly to Jesus when they hear the Good News. Just as the prophecy states,, literally everyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord will be saved. For those looking for an end-times revival, this is it.
We may see some pockets now of many salvations, but the Bible is clear: this world is going down. There will be no great revival during the Church Age before the Rapture. We won’t be here to see how this plays out during the Tribulation, but we can be assured that it will.
God’s Word never returns void. At that time, everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.